Georgia – The ASPCA has announced that October is “Adopt-a-Dog Month”. Recent statistics show that over 1.4 million dogs are adopted through Animal Shelters in the US every year. The sad fact is that over 1.2 million dogs are euthanized in the US every year. Many of these euthanized dogs were originally rescued from the Animal Shelters and subsequently returned because of issues with current family pets.
While adding a new dog to your family can bring extra fun and companionship, it can sometimes create stress for your resident pets. Introducing a new dog into your current household of pets can be a challenge if proper measures aren’t taken from the outset,” said Robin Edwards, Master Dog Trainer and Owner of Home Dog Training of Georgia.
In light of that, Edwards would like to share some tips that will make the adoption process fun and successful:
Dog to Dog
- Before you bring the new dog home, bring home his scent so your resident pets can be introduced to his smell first. Rub the new dog with a cloth (or use a blanket he has slept on), then bring it into your home and place it where the dog will be sleeping.
- In addition, be sure both your resident dog and the new dog are current on their vaccinations to avoid any risk of cross-infection.
Introduce in a Neutral Location
- Introduce the dogs in a neutral place that is unfamiliar to both dogs, such as a park. This prevents your resident dog from feeling his territory is being threatened.
- You’ll need two handlers, each loosely holding a dog on six-foot leashes. “Stay relaxed and upbeat so the dogs don’t pick up on any tension you might be feeling,” said Edwards.
- Don’t force an interaction between the dogs. Just walk near each other for a few minutes. One or both of the dogs may ignore each other, which is fine. Remain positive and give the dogs time to get comfortable with the situation.
Robin has expanded on the above points. You can find additional information at Adopt-a-Dog-Month Tips.
“Rescuing a dog from the Animal Shelter and providing him with the love and safety of your family is a wonderful and noble thing”, stated Edwards. “Let’s make sure it is the right thing for both family and dogs.”