BUCKHANNON, West Virginia – Imagine being kicked out of your family to a strange, noisy place where you have to learn a new language and completely new rules. Robin Keough, volunteer at Love 4 Animals, said this is what the animals feel when placed in an animal shelter.
“Being at the shelter is stressful for them. Many dogs, their owners died, and that’s why they came to the shelter, or they were stray. They’ve been on the streets for a while. They had to fight for food or find food in the countryside. Or, their family moved, and they had to bring them in and leave them, so the dogs just went through a lot of changes. ”
While it’s tempting to love a new pet, Luv 4 Animals recommends that new owners give the pet the time and patience to adjust to life in their new home. The required decompression time may vary from dog to dog. The Pet Rescue said two weeks is an average, but some dogs need a month or more. This time the new owner also has the opportunity to get to know his new pet.
“Every dog is different,” added Karen Sanford, another Luv 4 Animals volunteer, “Some dogs like to be petted, and others less so, giving the adopter time to find out, okay, what does the dog like? ”
One of the main tips, Robin said, is to keep the animal in a calm environment and not show your new shelter animal to the dog park.
“The dog doesn’t know he’s going to a safe environment,” added Karen Sanford, another Luv 4 Animals volunteer, “He doesn’t know where he goes people will like him. to eat. That they’ll have a place to sleep. So it takes them a while to figure out, “Hey, I’m safe here, and this is my home.”
Robin recommends setting up a crate with a blanket on it and a toy or two inside to give the dog a safe place to rest.
“The crate is a time out,” Robin explained, “It shouldn’t be punishment for the dog. ”
Having a set routine of when the dog is fed and walked can also help with post-adoption nervousness and home training. Although a dog has already been trained to use the outside restroom, it may take some time to learn a new schedule and rules. Getting together with your family and deciding what language to use for training (sitting, staying, resting, etc.) can help the dog understand what is expected of them. Robin said even old dogs can learn new tricks.
“I brought some senior dogs into my house, and they bonded to me so quickly, and were loyal and loyal, and they have the ability to hold their urine, and they don’t want to litter their home environment, so they’re actually easier to train than a puppy, ”said Robin.
While you are training your dog, you may also need to train your children to respect the dog’s space. Luv 4 Animals recommends teaching children not to:
- Disturb a dog that is eating, sleeping or with puppies
- Get close to a dog’s food, toys or bowl
- Tease, chase or yell at the dog
- Play rough with the dog, ride it like a pony, grab the ears or tail
- Remove food from the dog
“Sometimes the kids get so excited and they think this dog is going to be like a stuffed animal to them that they can hug and hold and get dressed and everything. Some dogs will tolerate this, but a lot of dogs don’t like it, ”Robin explained,“ You have to give the dog space and let the dog learn to trust you and come to you to love you.
One important thing to remember, Robin said, is not to let the dog run free and expect him to know how to get home. New dogs can easily wander and get lost. And, it’s important to take pets, even new ones, to the vet for a check-up on a regular basis.
“We are adopting dogs here, or brought here, that the family says, well, they got mean. He’s a nice dog, and now if the kids pet him he slaps them, or the dog is no longer trained at home, “Robin added,” A lot of these dogs come in and they might have a terrible ear infection, and that is why the dog cracks. You think about how much your ears hurt if your ears hurt. These dogs can also get ear infections, which makes them mean. Or, Lyme disease is causing joint pain and discomfort, or some of those old dogs have arthritis and they need a little medicine to get them through it. So adopting a dog, the adoption fee can be very low, but it is also a financial commitment.
In addition to dogs, Lewis-Upshur pet store has cats available for adoption. Some are sterilized and others come with a $ 50 sterilization voucher. The adoption fee is $ 15. Donating is another way to help save animals. Love 4 Animals said send a message to their Facebook page for information on how to donate.