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There’s a good reason for the recent upswing in pet adoptions. Adopting a dog is a great way to have companionship and when the pandemic lockdowns and restrictions went into effect, adoptions began to increase.
People who have dogs tend to do more physically, which leads to an increase in dopamine levels. Dogs are affectionate, funny and loyal.
You can take the best care of your dog by knowing what to do for him emotionally and physically.
More people than ever before are adopting a dog or other pets. One of the reasons for this is due to the changes that have taken place in the world.
Those who didn’t have the time to adopt a pet or think about bringing one home to care for, now have the time to do it properly.
There are those who once worked at an office all day. Now many are home due to the pandemic and loss of job. Due to this, they’re feeling a sense of loneliness or isolation away from socializing.
During this time, there are animal shelters that have either lowered or completely canceled the associated costs of adopting a pet.
Where that’s the case, it’s financially easier for people who are considering adopting a dog to bring home a dog.
Some people have decided to adopt a dog because of the anxiety that world changes have brought into their lives. They want the support of a pet.
Studies have shown that animals not only lower stress, but provide comfort as well. People who adopt a dog are finding that taking care of a pet gives them a way to focus on something good.
While it’s great that people are adopting pets, it’s important that you get the information that you need to take care of the animal.
That way the adoption and the homing process will go smoothly.
Learning what you need to know about the animal you adopt can also go a long way toward avoiding any ailments or injuries that could happen to your new family member.
For example, if you choose to adopt a puppy, then you’ll need to know ahead of time how you should puppy proof your home.
Animals are naturally inquisitive about new environments and will explore their new territory. What might not seem like a big deal can be an invitation for chaos to a new pet.
A cord extending from a lamp into a wall socket might look uninteresting to you, but a puppy or even a grown dog may see that as something that’s perfect to chew on.
Not knowing how to comfort your pet or how to prevent them from sickness or injury can end up costing you a lot of money in vet bills to get the animal treated.
Bringing a new dog into your home is an emotional experience for the dog.
While it’s exciting for you and you know that you’re going to love the pet and give it the best possible care, the animal doesn’t know this.
All the animal knows is that something stressful is going on. It’s being removed from the home it was used to and is being thrust into a new one – one where it doesn’t know what’s going on.
This can put a lot of stress on the animal. If the dog comes from a shelter, the stress might be magnified if it has a negative past of neglect.
You might bring a dog into your home and he may feel like he belongs right off the bat.
On the other hand, when adopting a dog, you could bring one home that feels shy and slinks around. This may last for a few days, a week or even longer as the pet tries to understand his new situation.
You can help your new pet acclimate to your home by first being calm and keeping things low key, especially at first. You might be thrilled and want to show off the new pet, but all he sees is a lot of new faces.
Allow your dog to initiate how the interaction goes if he shows reluctance to join in any games or to play with you or other family members or pets. By allowing the dog to have his own personal physical space, you give him a sense of freedom from any stress.
Giving him this will help him to realize that he’s safe to sleep or to retreat and can join in as he chooses. You’ve had years to interact with your family members and your other pets.
Bonds have been formed and everyone there – and every existing pet – knows what to expect.
The new dog doesn’t. So he may react to family members or other pets by ignoring them.
On the other hand, he may view them as a threat. It’s common for newly adopted dogs to try to establish their own boundaries and dominance by baring teeth or being unsociable in the beginning.
You can make the dog feel more relaxed and comfortable by creating a routine for him. This comforts an animal because he knows what to expect.
He knows who is going to do what and this makes the dog feel safe and cared for.
He needs a set time he can expect to be fed. A routine lets a pet know that everything is going to be the same and he can trust you.
When you choose a dog from the shelter, that animal will have undergone a basic examination. But this exam is preliminary at best. The staff may not have all the background information on the dog so they have to fill in the blanks.
Many will only do the core vaccines. There may be some doubt as to the exact age of the pet. You need this information, since the care and feeding of a dog can change depending on age.
This is why, once you’ve adopted the dog, you should schedule a vet appointment. The veterinarian will complete a health baseline. This will give you a starting point for you and the vet to be able to understand what’s normal for the pet.
That way, if something changes in the future, the vet will be able to gauge what the difference is and what might be an issue. During the checkup, the vet will examine the dog’s eyes.
He’ll be checking for problems like potential diseases or eye injuries that may be undiagnosed. He’ll also check the dog’s ears. A dog can develop ear problems that signify an underlying health issue.
For example, some dogs have allergies that cause problems with the ears. Others develop a problem with wax build up.
Dogs can also have problems with yeast in the ears as well as bacterial infections. By catching this early, your vet can protect your dog’s hearing.
Internal exams are also conducted by the vet. He’ll listen to the dog’s heart to make sure there’s no heart murmur.
He’ll also listen to the lung sounds to make sure all is well and there’s no fluid or other issues. Your vet will have a discussion on what’s best for your pet’s lifestyle.
This will include care for eating as well as exercise. You’ll get information on your dog’s weight as well as types of food for his age. You’ll receive information on common problems associated with pet health and how to prevent it.
This might be things like dealing with common dog parasites, avoiding fleas and ticks and what to do if your pet has issues in this area.
Spaying or neutering might be discussed at this first meeting, if the pet isn’t already fixed. You may also get information on socialization and training. If not, you may want to ask.
Your vet will examine the dog’s teeth. As a dog gets older, it can be more difficult to pinpoint an exact age by the teeth.
But checking the teeth is because the vet is looking for signs of dental problems and disease. You may choose to run a DNA test kit, which can help you identify the breed if you’re not sure.
This can help you to understand certain traits that your dog may have. It can also help to identify genetic health problems that are common in your dog’s breed.
Foods that are best for your dog are ones that are made specifically for your pet.
These dog foods are nutritionally sound and include the vitamins and fatty acids that your pet needs for optimal health.
However, that doesn’t mean that your dog can never eat any human food. You do have to know what a dog can safely eat and what can end up being toxic for him, even in small doses.
Dogs can’t have things like grapes. Certain types of fruits are simply too harmful for their bodies and can cause problems such as kidney failure.
You also can’t feed dogs any beverages or foods that contain caffeine. This includes chocolate. If you’re a coffee drinker, you’ll have to be careful how you dispose of the coffee grounds, because some dogs will eat this, and the ingestion of the grounds can be enough to be fatal.
A good rule of thumb to remember is that if any product has caffeine, it needs to be out of reach and off limits for your dog.
Some people believe that it’s okay to feed raw fish or certain cuts of raw meat to a dog. But when they’re uncooked, the bacteria in these foods can make your dog sick just like they can do to a human.
Pets should not eat the fat from meat, since this and other fatty foods can cause pancreatitis. Don’t give your dog salty foods because he can get sodium poisoning. This can cause fluid to build up, kidney damage and too much salty foods can be fatal.
A dog can safely eat meat that’s lean as long as you’ve removed any fat. He can also eat certain fruits, such as apples or watermelons as long as you don’t give him the seeds of these fruits.
Dogs can eat some vegetables, like carrots, but cannot eat raw potatoes because these can be toxic to them.
Too much food can also be harmful for your pet. Excessive weight can cause heart problems and diabetes as well as other health issues.
Make sure that various family members understand they can’t just feed the dog whatever kinds of table scraps they want. Just like with humans, when a dog puts on too much weight, it can affect his entire body. The dog can develop joint problems. It can also develop high blood pressure.
When a dog has too much body fat, it also increases his risk of cancer. Because dogs will go to where the food is, you need to secure certain locations in your home. If you keep your trash in a can in your kitchen, you need a pet proof can.
These are ones that have a locking lid or are too heavy for your dog to tip or open. You can also invest in a pet strap for the top of your trash can.
Besides your trash, you’ll need to doggie proof your pantry. Make sure that you have a door that closes securely. If you can’t keep food behind a secure door, then make sure your food is stored in a way that’s too high for your dog to be able to reach it.
They’ll chew furniture and they’ll chew shoes. They’ll also chew toys and electrical cords and even sides of walls that jut out. Puppies chew things for the same reason that babies put things in their mouths.
It’s because they’re trying to explore things or because they’re teething. The chewing helps to console them as well as helps them learn about their environment.
Older dogs chew things because they’re bored or dealing with something that’s stressing them out. Chewing isn’t their way of misbehaving as much as it is a sign that something’s going on with them. You may experience having a new dog that barks a lot. Dogs bark for seemingly no reason sometimes.
But really, it’s just a reason that you can’t see. They always have a reason for their behavior. Dogs will bark because they want to get your attention. It’s their way of communicating what they’re feeling or what they want from you.
When a dog barks because he’s getting ready to go outside, it means he’s excited and he’s looking forward to getting out. Sometimes a new dog will bark just because he’s playing.
You can tell if this is the case if he barks, then darts off, then comes back and barks again. He wants your attention. Dogs may bark when they want you to give them a treat or because they feel it’s time for you to feed them.
They want you to pay attention because they feel ignored or they feel lonely. Sometimes dogs will bark because they’re feeling anxious.
If your dog barks excessively while you’re gone, it means they’re experiencing separation anxiety. Sometimes dogs bark when they’re hurt. Whatever the reason, a barking dog should always be acknowledged.
When your dog has a behavioral issue like chewing or barking, you’ll need to spend some time training him in order to prevent nuisance issues from continuing.
Dogs need to be exercised and have plenty of play time with you. This can help prevent boredom that will wreak havoc on your home. You can either take them on a walk or to a dog park where they can run and have fun with other dogs.
There is a lot of joy in becoming a dog owner. Whether you’re adopting a dog or multiple dogs, of any breed or size, you’ll have a better experience if you understand how to make life comfortable and healthy for them.
You may want to learn some specific details and facts about the breed of dog you adopted, so you can purchase books on those specific breeds to learn about the behaviors and traits they have that you can address as they grow up.
This applies whether you adopt a dog or acquire your dog some other way.
Copyright © 2021 DogSploot.com
Charles L Harmon is a retired Senior Programmer/Analyst enjoying his second home online. He is planning on traveling to the Philippines once the Covid-19 Pandemic is over. He has writers in the Philippines writing for TravelESP and DogSploot sites with two more sites in the planning stage. Charles makes his home in the Inland Empire region of Southern California.