Adopt a new fuzzy friend for International Homeless Animals Day

Did you know that August 18th is International Homeless Animals Day? Since I’ve rescued quite a few cats in my life thus far, I’m going to enjoy it by giving them all catnip and watching them go nuts, but for those of you who want to celebrate the day by adopting a homeless animal, here are some handy tips courtesy of Bil-Jac:

Celebrate international Homeless Animal Day! Courtesy of Bil-Jac Super Premium Dog Food More than five million pets are put into animal shelters each year. The lives of these furry friends could be improved drastically with just a little help. Adopting a pet can bring joy into your family’s life and change the life of an animal. In honor of International Homeless Animal Day on August 18, 2012, Bil-Jac is sharing the following tips for a smooth transition if your family is considering adopting a pet:

Preparing: Ready your home and family for your new friend’s homecoming.

  • When choosing a pet to adopt, consider the breed, age and size and how he or she will fit with your family and living situation. Oftentimes, the shelter or rescue group will be able to give you some information about the kind of household each dog would do best in.  Spend time with the dog to get a feel for its energy level and temperament. For the first car ride home, it may be a good idea to bring a crate along, both for safety and to help calm your pet.
  • Make sure your spouse, children or roommates understand the responsibility – and the fun – that comes with pet ownership. Divide responsibilities for pet care as you would other household chores. Everyone should take a turn as the pooper scooper!
  • Pet-proof your house before your new addition to the family arrives! Puppies and other young pets may require gates near stairs or a crate to sleep in. Make sure the trash is securely closed, plants and breakables are stowed away, and there are no cleaning products or chemicals within reach. If you’re adopting a larger dog, be sure doors and knobs for the stove are removed or locked!


Transitioning: Make your pet part of the family!

  • Your furry friend could be very nervous about his new home, making accidents and abnormal behavior more likely. Be patient and give your pet time to get used to the sights, smells and people around him.
  • Let your pet know what to expect right away! A new pet will be confused initially, so set rules and a schedule immediately to help them adjust quickly. If you plan to crate train, have the crate ready when you bring your pet home. Be firm with your crate training and always reward good behavior!
  • Make introductions like a vocabulary lesson! Believe it or not, your new friend will have to get used to a new language of commands and names. Jump right in as soon as your new buddy comes home!
  • Depending on what happened in your pet’s former life, socialization may be a challenge. He may not know how to behave on walks or with children, so be careful at first. Correct poor behaviors with consistency and patience.

In a few short weeks, your dog will be comfortable, in a solid routine and will let his true personality shine! Keep to the regular routine you set initially and ask your veterinarian for help if health or behavior issues arise. Most of all, love your pet like he or she has always wanted someone to, the favor is sure to be returned!

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