Blogtober Day 28: Any advice for future / present dog owners?

10 canine commandments

Phoebe says:

I won’t harp on about the obvious parts of being a dog owner (or Pet Parent as my Mom puts it), as I’m just going to go ahead and assume that everyone knows that food, vet checks, water etc are the basic essentials. My advice is more about become a parent to a Rescue Dog, as this is my own experience.

My top things for you to consider are:

  1. Know that rescue/shelter dogs are all capable of loving and being loved. You may need a little more patience with us in the beginning, but we’re just as full of love as the next dog!
  2. Understand that it may take time for us to be 100% comfortable in our new surroundings and relationships. We can’t tell you about everything that happened in our past to make us scared and fearful, but if you’re kind, patient and observant you’ll soon see what we are trying to tell you and what we need help with.
  3. Get professional help when you aren’t sure what is wrong with us. Remember that a single visit to a Vet, Behaviourist or Trainer could easily solve most problems in no time!

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Cooper says:

I’m not usually one to give advice, but I think some important things for you to remember when getting a new (adopted) dog are:

  1. Don’t be afraid of adopting a rescue or shelter dog. It’s true that many shelter and rescue dogs have long and sad histories, but I think this is a big problem that created a stereotype of us by many well meaning rescue organisations. Some dogs are perfectly fine, puppies are a clean slate, and sometimes we end up in kennels because our owners got very ill, passed away, or had to move unexpectedly – many of us know love and a warm house, so being in shelter is scary for us, but being in a home again is second nature! Take me for instance – I’m not going to pretend I’m perfect (but who is?!), but I’ve known love and protection so I’m not scared, I just have a few dog greeting issues because I missed out on proper socialisation!
  2. Think long and hard if you are ready for the challenges that a new dog may present. Take the ability for them to socialise with other dogs, cats and children into account, and be ready to either work with a behaviourist to solve them, or take other measures to keep everyone involved safe and secure.
  3. Spay and neuter. Seriously. Unless you area registered breeder and have homes for all the puppies you are breeding, there’s no reason to overpopulate!

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Mom says:

Exercise!

  1. Good for the Body: The obvious. Most of our dogs are cooped up in our yards with no access to the outside world. They also need to stretch their legs and get a gulp of fresh air!
  2. Good for the Mind: A bored dog is a destructive and “naughty” dog. Keeping their brain exercised comes not only from physical activity, but also from puzzle toys such as muffin pan games and Kongs.
  3. Good for the Soul: Some dogs have very real afflictions that cause them to feel more than just bored or “blue”. Examples of these are severe anxiety and Separation Anxiety. A good walk can help the dog tremendously.

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3 thoughts on “Blogtober Day 28: Any advice for future / present dog owners?

  1. Thank you for this! That last advice about exercise is really helpful. I’m going to try taking my dog on a long walk before her next vet visit, see if she’s a little less anxious.

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    • It doesn’t completely go away, but I found with my dogs that if they’ve gotten rid of excess energy before what would usually be a stressful event they’re noticeably much more calm and don’t get as worked up as before. As the owner of a very fearful and anxious dog, I swear by it! Hopefully it helps for you too – let me know! 🙂

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