Dear Fostering: Anytime you bring a new addition - a pet, a child, another relative - into the family household, your dog is going to need some extra attention to compensate for the disruption in his normal routine.
Dear Fostering: Anytime you bring a new addition â a pet, a child, another relative â into the family household, your dog is going to need some extra attention to compensate for the disruption in his normal routine.
Before you bring home the new dog, establish your petâs routine as it will be after his arrival. Itâs a good idea to keep the two dogs separate for the first few days while the foster dog gets used to his new surroundings. So, if you plan on putting your dog in a new room for a while when no one is home, then start doing it now, otherwise he will associate changes with the arrival of the other dog and may act out. Donât spend tons of time with the foster dog and ignore your pet. Feed them in separate quarters.
Your dog may become very territorial with a new, older and intact dog entering his domain. Be aware that your perfectly housebroken dog may life his leg to pee on furniture, or worse, on you, as a way to mark his territory. Your dog wants to send the new dog a clear signal that this stuff is his!
When a dog arrives from a shelter, or any place where multiple dogs are housed, you always run the risk he brings something with him, like kennel cough, parasites or worse. Take your dog to the vet and make sure he gets a kennel cough booster and is up-to-date on all his vaccines. Also, continue to use his flea and tick control and his heartworm preventive.Â Â
The New Arrival
On the day the âfoster childâ arrives make some quality time to be with your family pet.Â Keep him on his established routine and keep him apart from the new dog. Many dogs coming through the rescue system donât have a history, so itâs important to treat the dog with cautious eye that he might try anything.Â Â
When you do introduce the two boys, make sure they are both on a leash the first few times in case they get âtestyâ with each other. Your dog will want the âguestâ to know that this is his home. The guest, being an older, intact male, will want to dominate your pet. He may try to mount him and play rough.
After the boys get to know each other on leash, you can start to have supervised off-leash playtime together. Watch for signs of aggression, like raised hair on the back, bearing teeth combined with a low growl, or staring down with a stiff body and tail pointed backwards. If you see any of these behaviors, step-in and separate them before it escalates.
Once a pecking order has been established, let both dogs enjoy family time together, such as meal times, watching television or taking walks. Since you are fostering a dog, itâs important to realize that he should be a temporary visitor. Try and treat this dog like a new puppy and assume he has no skills, manners or training. Then as you work your way through his training youâll be happily surprised to learn how much this dog has to offer. Develop these skills and behaviors so that he will be a welcome addition to his new family and not end up in rescue again.Â Â
Lisaâs Pick of the Litter
The American Veterinary Medical Association and its related auxiliary entities began National Pet Week in 1981, and it is being celebrated this year from May 1st through the 7th.Â The goal of National Pet Week is to promote responsible pet ownership, celebrate the human animal bond, and promote public awareness of veterinary medicine. This year the theme is Pets.Love@TLC and is emphasizing both the caring and care taking things we can do for our animal friends.
For more information access the National Pet Week web site at http://www.petweek.org/ index.cfm.
Lisa Peterson, a long-time breeder of Norwegian Elkhounds, is the Director of Club Communications at the American Kennel Club. Contact her at email@example.comÂ or Dogma Publishing, P.O. Box 307, Newtown, CT 06470.