Oakland, California (EastBayDaily) — There are still nearly 4 million dogs surrendered to shelters each year according to the American Humane Association. Adopting a furry friend from a local shelter is the perfect place to find dogs of every type, size, age and personality—all waiting for a loving home. In recognition of Adopt-a-Dog Month in October, the experts at Montclair Veterinary Hospital are detailing several tips for new dog owners.
“The first thing you can do to prepare for a new dog is to buy all the necessary supplies in advance,” says Montclair medical director Dr. Gary Richter. “Being a new pet owner can be overwhelming and these suggestions will help make the transition easier.”
Establish a relationship with a veterinarian as soon as the pet is brought into the household. Schedule quality health checkups for your pet. Many online resources are available to lead you in the right direction. If adopting a puppy, keep the puppy well fed, well exercised, accompanied by positive reinforcement and lots of affection.
“Puppies’ nutritional needs greatly differ from adult dogs. Visit a trusted, local pet store to buy the proper food for a puppy. Buy plenty of puppy-approved treats and toys to keep the puppy occupied. Remember, puppies go through a teething stage just like human babies; it’s important that they have toys that they can chew,” said Dr. Richter.
New pet owners should remove objects and valuables within easy reach of a puppy to avoid common pitfalls such as chewing or destroying valuables, leather goods, and the like.
Consider socialization early and often. As soon as a puppy is vaccinated, introduce the puppy to as many people as possible, and to friendly dogs so that the puppy will get used to and enjoy the company of others. Enroll in a puppy socialization class for the puppy to learn basic training, and how to play well with others. SPCA offers classes at many locations.
“If adopting an adult animal from a shelter, keep in mind that your dog may not be socialized and may have bad habits. Close supervision can reduce damage to your household and will help you recognize problem areas to work on,” said Dr. Richter.
Other essential tips for welcoming a new dog in to the home include: If possible, arrange some time to enjoy a few days with your new pet. This provides the owner a jump start to helping their pet learn the house rules from the very beginning. Use positive reinforcement to encourage good behavior early on. This includes using treats, petting, praising, or giving a dog their favorite toy. Always have cleaning supplies on hand for unexpected accidents to help remove urine and debris and neutralize odors. If the dog smells its urine in the carpet, further accidents are almost certain.
Pet lovers and new owners can read more tips on the Montclair Veterinary Hospital blog here.
About Montclair Veterinary Hospital Since 1961, the award-winning Montclair Veterinary Hospital team has shown commitment to excellence in helping animals to have a healthy life. Medical director Dr. Gary Richter leads a team of professionals who practice cutting-edge and progressive medicine integrating education in to the overall wellness plan. From preventative care to sick pets, holistic alternatives and geriatric wellness, MVH provides everything you need to help your furry, feathered and scaly pet.live long and health lives. For more information, visit http://montclairvethospital.com.