I spoke with employees from Muttville Senior Dog Rescue in San Francisco—the shelter that WIRED artwork director Elena Lacey has fostered pups from. They supplied a ton of recommendation and a peek at their take-home paperwork (you can find copies here) that may apply to all new pets, whether or not they’re infants or seniors. The shelter you undertake from could have their very own paperwork for you to take residence too.
★ Expect some skittishness and indoor accidents, even for housebroken animals. Don’t hit them or push their faces into it—that type of coaching is complicated and merciless. Be affected person, present them the place they should go, and reward them effusively after they go there. If you are adopting a senior pet, they could have a more durable time holding it. No one says it’s a must to stay in filth, but when the sight of a bit, uh excrement, will ship you right into a rage, perhaps rethink getting a pet.
“Just as the humans are going through a transition with a new family member, the dog is going through a big transition too,” says Kristin Hoff, Muttville’s Adoptions Manager. ★ “Setting up a schedule is really important for dogs so they can start knowing what to expect—twice a day feedings and more potty breaks than you think your new pup will need (expect mistakes and don’t get mad when they happen).”
Muttville employees additionally emphasised what they name the ★ guidelines of three on the subject of canines. The first three days may be overwhelming, and they most likely will not act like their true selves. Even consuming may be arduous. In the primary three weeks, they will begin to get snug, recognizing your (and their) schedule, and will hopefully kind a bond with you and some other animals within the residence. By three months, your pup ought to be absolutely themselves and utterly snug of their residence. For canines, Muttville says, predictability is reassuring.
If You Have Kids or Others Pets at Home
★ Kids will not be as in tune to cues of anger, worry, or discomfort, so it’s best to supervise interactions, displaying them precisely what’s applicable. You need everybody concerned to be protected and completely satisfied, and you possibly can’t blame an animal for performing out if little palms are yanking at their tails, stealing toys, or interrupting supper time.
When it involves ★ introducing two canines, Muttville says to take a “loose leash walk” so neither of the dogs feels anxious. Keep them 10 to 15 feet apart and slowly let them get closer if all goes well. You can eventually take their leashes off and let them play, if you find they’re comfortable together. At home, Muttville says to put away all the toys and food bowls that belong to your other dog, so there are no territory fights. When you won’t be home, you should keep the dogs separated at first, start with a week of that and see how things go. You can use crates or separate them using baby gates or doors.
★ Cats can be more difficult, whether they’re meeting another cat or a dog. Keep them separate, but let them get used to each other’s scents. You can use a blanket or towel for this and then allow each pet to smell the other within different areas of the house—so let the cat roam the living room and kitchen today while the dog is in the bedroom, and then switch the rooms tomorrow. If you’re introducing a dog and cat, keep the dog leashed at first, just in case. Be mindful and supervise them until you’re sure all is well.
More Tips (for Adoption or Fostering)
Foster parents, especially of senior and special-needs animals, are much needed and can help the pets get used to living in a home rather than being stuck in a cage at a shelter. You should have all the essentials listed in this guide for whatever animal you’re fostering, but Elena Lacey offered some advice based on her own experience as a foster parent that we think works for newly adopted pets too: Get some canned chicken, cream cheese, and hot dogs. “Often, they’re scared and don’t want to eat, or their tummies are upset,” she says. “Canned chicken is a pretty universal treat that won’t upset their stomach, and they almost always are excited about it.” If the animal will want medicine, Lacey says cream cheese and scorching canines are a fail-safe method to get them to take it.
She also suggested looking into ★ pet insurance. There are a lot of pet insurance companies out there, and we haven’t tried enough to offer one best answer. You can see if your employer offers it the same way they might offer health insurance for you, that way the cost will come out of your pretax paycheck. We also suggest asking around in any pet-specific groups on Facebook or Reddit and then doing your own research.
Find a Vet and Trainer Stat
If you don’t already have a veterinarian you like, try to find one before bringing your new pet home and set up an initial appointment. Ask if they use any telehealth services, too (we have suggestions if they do not). This will turn out to be useful when you’ve got questions which may not require a visit to the vet. It’s a good suggestion to ask your vet what pet insurance coverage they settle for, too.