Pet Care Hints & Tips
A healthy cat is a happy cat, make sure you are doing all you can in and around the home.
Make sure that you look into what vaccinations your puppy has had prior to you taking them and register your dog at the local vets so that you can arrange for any required jabs or worming treatments.
Neutering avoids the rise of unwanted dogs. All dogs want a loving home, but unfortunately this does not always happen so we can try to reduce the problem by neutering our dogs.
Although it is possible for neutering to be done at any age, the optimum age is below one year. Contact your vet to find out the most appropriate time for neutering.
We have taken on an older dog
Taking on an adult dog may be a good option if you do not have as much time to train a puppy. The adult dog should have picked up more skills and may settle easier into your new home and adapt better to your lifestyle. Dogs that are past the puppy stage should also have been micro-chipped and have had all required vaccinations. If you take on a dog make sure you register at your local vets and have a full check-up done so that you can be sure your dog is micro-chipped and in full health.
Ask as many questions as possible when taking on a dog from a care centre or from a family. This will help you with feeding habits, training and discipline. You may have a large family with children or have pets at present; finding out the history of the dog will enable you to judge whether or not the dog is right for you. Due to their past experiences, the dog may not be able to live in harmony with a cat, another dog, a large family or with children.
Unfortunately some dogs are badly treated and can reach adulthood without having being trained. If you take on an older dog it is not always easy to tell what has happened to them in the past so be patient if they are having trouble with toilet training. Training should not take too long but timings will be dependent on the dog's temperament.
Ensure that the dog does not feel nervous or stressed as this will make the problem worse; a comforting environment with lots of love and attention should help your dog to relax.
Start by ensuring that the house is clean and tidy and free of the smells from your new pets going to the toilet within the house. This will mean that the dog should stop visiting there to relieve themselves. Dogs are drawn to the scent of their faeces so make sure that you place some used newspaper or traces of faeces in the garden at a preferred area.
Always stay with your new dog until they have become used to the new arrangements and toilet area outside. This training may take a few weeks. On a night time or during the day if you have to leave the house (ideally a maximum of two hours), make sure that the dog is restricted to one area of your home. This could be somewhere non carpeted, somewhere quiet so that they do not become nervous or scared and they can also be kept confined to their sleeping area by the use of a cage or another device that will keep them in one area. It is very unlikely that a dog will go to the toilet in their sleeping area so this may be the most effective option.
Praise must be given when the dog uses the correct area to go to the toilet, this way they will associate their good behaviour with something positive. Do not come down too hard on your pet if they have an accident, as this will cause a set back in the training regime.
Encouragement and Love
The most important thing to remember is to make sure that you try and give as much love and attention as possible to your new pet. A new pet will settle in much more quickly if they feel safe and protected and are given reassurance. You may have to counteract some of the bad experiences that your pet has been through in the past with a previous owner so make sure that you do not force affection on your dog when they are feeling reluctant.
Recognise the symptoms of illness and see how you can help should anything crop up.