DOGust Clear the Shelter Month

Every August, a Clear the Shelter push occurs in local shelters nation-wide in an effort to connect animals with human partners and families. In doing so, this push reduces the number of animals in shelters and lowers the euthanization of shelter animals. Now while DOGust refers to adopting dogs, a cat may be more suitable for your lifestyle. So, whichever is better for you, a dog or a cat, please adopt...don’t shop!

Each year approximately 1.5 million shelter animals are euthanized due to overpopulation in shelters. How can you help? Well, August is Clear the Shelter Month and International Homeless Animal Month. So, if it’s right for your family, August might be the perfect month to adopt a pet and protect your pet with Invisible Fence Brand. You won’t see a fence but you’ll always see results! This month…adopt.

Adoption Checklist:

  • Energy Level - of you and the pet
  • Size when fully grown
  • Relating to other animals and children
  • Noise level of the pet
  • Who will feed them? 
  • Who will clean-up after them? 
  • Who will check in on them during the day?
  • Who will ensure they get lots of daily exercise?
  • Collar & leash
  • ID tag with names & contact info
  • Food & water bowls
  • Dog Bed
  • Grooming supplies (brushes/trimmers)
  • Treats & toys

6 Tips for First-Time Dog Parents Should Know Before Adopting

Proper preparation can make all the difference. Adopting a four-legged friend is an exciting and important decision. Please take these six tips into consideration before adopting…

#1 Be Honest About Your Lifestyle.

It’s important to be honest with yourself about the kind of dog that might be best for your lifestyle. How do you prefer to spend your free time? If you like to hike or other physical activities, you may not want to get a breed with a flat nose such as Pugs or French Bulldogs. Those breeds have more difficulties with breathing. You may be more suitable with working or sport breeds like shepherds or terriers. On the flipside, if you have a more sedentary lifestyle, terriers are probably not the best breed for you as terriers are more-high strung and energetic. Just do your homework to ensure you’re properly matched. Spend time with the animal before bringing them home will help ensure whether the animal is a good fit for both of you.

#2 Prepare Yourself for the Financial Obligation of Dog Ownership

Like children, dogs aren’t cheap even if you get one for free. There are food costs, grooming, vaccines along with the occasional accidents or illnesses especially as the animal ages. These costs should be taken into consideration when deciding to adopt an animal. For first time animal owners, you may want to reach out to a veterinarian for estimates on vaccines, food, heartworm prevention as well as other expenses you can expect when adopting. Pet insurance may be something to consider. Not sure if you’re ready for the commitment? Consider fostering first.

#3 Assess Where the Dog is Coming From

If you’re looking to adopt a dog from a local rescue or animal shelter (high-fives!) you may want to invest some time to familiarize yourself with the organization before visiting. Look at the adoption application. Does it have a policy that states the animal must come back to them if it doesn’t work out for one reason or another? You may also want to look at the average time the facility has an animal before adopting. Why does that matter? The longer they have the animal the more they’re know about the animal’s temperament, personality, likes and dislikes. Working with a reputable organization helps ensure you have as much detail as possible about the animal to help you make a well-informed decision about whether a particular animal would be a good fit for you and/or your family.

#4 Understand that Personality Varies from Dog to Dog

Researching breeds is certainly important and beneficial in helping to narrow down breeds. Don’t be too quick to cross a breed off your list. Like humans, dog personalities can very even among dogs from the same litter. The take-away – don’t think in absolutes but rather generalizations and use them as guides especially when getting a dog from a shelter or rescue. Those animals are more likely to be mixed breeds.

#5 Give Careful Consideration Before Adopting a Puppy

Puppies are cute, aren’t they? They sure are which makes them super hard to resist. It’s important to understand a few things about puppies. Puppies grow! While they may be small when you adopt him or her, he or she will grow. Puppies have energy and enthusiasm which can be both fun and exhausting! Getting a puppy means potty training, crate training and being gentle much like with a baby. With a puppy, you get to experience them learning everything for the first time. So, ask yourself, “Am I okay with teaching this puppy everything she or he needs to know all at once?” If not, that’s okay! There are plenty of adult dogs to choose from. In this case, keep in mind that some training will be needed since your home will be new to them.

#6 Give Your New Pup Time to Adjust – Be Patient with Yourself and the Dog

Regardless of age, breed or size of the dog you adopt, it will take some time to adjust to their new surroundings. Set-up a space for the animal that’s just for them and pet proof your home. Please consider the 3 Day, 3 Week, 3 Month Rule…

First 3 Days:

Your new dog will be overwhelmed with the new surrounds. Don’t be alarmed if your new furry friend doesn’t want to eat for the first couple of days. Many dogs don’t eat when their stressed. You dog may shut down and curl up in a crate, under furniture. He or she will likely be scared and unsure of what’s going on or the opposite. He may test you to see what he can get away with – just like a child.

-Feeling overwhelmed

-May be scared and unsure of what’s going on

-Not comfortable enough to be himself

-May not eat/drink

-May shut down and curl up in a crate or hide under furniture

-May test boundaries

After 3 Weeks:

Around three weeks you may notice your dog is starting to settle in and feel more comfortable. He or she may be realizing this may be his/her forever home. Every dog is different so be patient. Your dog is probably figuring out his environment and settling into a routine. His personality may be coming out. Behavior issues may also start showing up so show your puppy what’s right and wrong. The most effective way to do this is by assigning words to actions and by using positive reinforcement. Hitting an animal breaks trust and can harm your relationship. Consistency matters!

-Starting to settle into his/her environment

-Feeling more comfortable

-Realizing this could be his/her forever home

-Figured out his/her environment

-Settling into a routine

-Guard is coming down and starts to show his/her true personality

After 3 Months:

Your dog is probably now completely comfortable in his/her new home. By this time, a bond and trust have been built with your dog giving him or her a complete sense of security with you. He/she is set into a routine.

-Feeling completely comfortable in his/her home

-Built trust and a bond

-Gained a sense of security within the family

-Routine set

There are so many homeless dogs that would love your attention and care. Before you find your next furry best friend, give careful thought to the kind of dog that would be a fit for your lifestyle. There are no right or wrong answers, it's solely a matter of what works for your family. 

How to Keep Your Dog Safe:

#1 Keep your dog secure either on a leash or in a fenced yard. Be sure to check local laws regarding leash laws.

#2 Training is key both for the dog and the human. Dogs who have been trained by a professional are less likely to go missing. Most importantly, sogs learn recall commands. Formal obedience training benefits owners by offering valuable information that leads to better relationships between pet and owner.

#3 Just like kids, dogs need supervising even when in a fenced yard. Dogs, especially expensive purebreds, can be stolen even from a fenced yard.

#4 Tags and microchipping help with the recovery of a missing animal – both dogs and cats. These steps must be completed when you first receive your new family member. Tags are an inexpensive way to protect your pet. Unfortunately, dogs can slip their collars. Microchipping is an additional step to help insure your dog’s safe return. Many shelters and veterinary offices hold microchipping events for a fraction of the cost. It is essential to keep the information on the microchip or tag up to date also. It is only as useful as the information listed on the chip in helping recover your pet.

#5 Spaying and neutering reduces your pet’s likelihood of wandering off in search of a mate. In addition, spaying and neutering eliminates the chances of unwanted offspring should your dog wander off unexpectedly.

#6 Keep your animals records up to date. That includes photos, vaccinations, and those valuable tags and microchips, too.

#7 Purchase and install an Invisible Fence Brand boundary product.

5 Things to Do if You Have a Lost Dog:

#1 Immediately put out food water and your dog’s bed or an article of clothing at the location where your dog was last seen. There is a good chance that your dog may return.

#2 Get the word out by using flyers and signs (like yard sale signs) with a picture of your dog and your phone number. Check your phone often! Go door-to-door with your flyers in the neighborhood where your dog was last seen.

#3 Contact your local animal shelters and animal control facilities, vet clinics and police departments to report your dog missing. Fax or e-mail them a photo of your dog and your contact information. Contact the microchip company and report your dog as lost.

#4 Instruct everyone that is helping you to NOT call or chase your dog. This will prolong your search. If they see your dog, tell them to sit or lay down (no eye contact) and gently toss our tasty treats to lure your dog in.

#5 Post your dog on local lost and found sites on Facebook.

(Information provided by Lost Dogs of America)

(Information compiled from several resources: RSPCA, Rescue Dogs 101, Humane Society to name a few.)

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