Caring for your new dog
Settling in: the first 2-3 weeks
- Confine to an ESCAPE–PROOF room, kennel or secure part of the yard for a few days until settled, or your new dog may escape and become lost.
- Avoid over stimulation (exciting/rough play or rough petting).
- Once settled (eating well, looking contented), allow your dog to explore the house and yard, under supervision.
- Over the next 2-3 weeks return your new dog to the Escape Proof area whenever you cannot supervise its activities.
- If your new dog is to live outside, begin during the day, under supervision.
- Fresh water should always be available.
- Dry ADULT DOG chow should be fed twice a day, at least initially. Once over a year old, some dogs will be content with one meal per day.
- A small amount of canned/moist dog food can also be fed & will help your new dog settle in.
- Uneaten food should be thrown away & all bowls kept clean.
- Do not feed spicy food, bones or milk.
- Dogs will need to eliminate after waking, eating and exercise. Take your dog to the designated area at these times.
- If kenneled at first, every 2-3 hours allow it out for toilet time.
- If kenneled at night, let it out just before kenneling and early in the morning.
- If your dog has a “toilet accident”, do not scold it. Do not use ammonia-based disinfectants or bleach to clean up messes.
Rest and sleep
- Moving to a new home is unsettling. Your new dog will need time to adjust.
- Provide a quiet, secluded area and do not disturb your dog when it is asleep.
- Attention and play will help your new dog to settle in, but avoid over stimulation (exciting/rough play or petting), as this may be unsettling and could lead to biting or aggression.
- Provide safe toys (tennis balls, squeaky dog toys). Discourage hand or rough play.
- Undesirable behavior should be discouraged with a sharp and firm “NO!”
- Praise good behavior.
Grooming and daily care
- Most dogs will keep clean though long coats will need brushing.
- If dirty, your dog can be bathed with vet or store bought pet shampoo, or very mild human baby shampoo.
- Check daily for problems like runny eyes or nose, diarrhea, or vomiting.
- Consult a vet ASAP.
Vetinary care, fleas, worms.
- All T&TSPCA dogs 1 year and older are vaccinated, then given a yearly booster.
- If your new dog seems unwell (not eating, listless, vomiting, diarrhea, etc.), contact a vet ASAP.
- Treat for fleas and ticks monthly with approved pet products or consult your vet.
- Worm for tape worms every three months, best done by a vet.
- All T&TSPCA puppies and dogs are spayed/neutered before adoption.
Introduction to other houshold animals
- Avoid exposure to household DOGS until your new dog seems settled.
- A gradual introduction is recommended.
- Ensure that all dogs are restrained (on a lead) at the first meeting and are reprimanded if they show any undesirable behavior.
- Supervise all interactions between all dogs until you are confident that there will be no aggression.
- Initially, ensure that your new dog always has an escape route away from your dog/s.
- If you decide that your new dog is in danger and the situation cannot be resolved, please return the dog to the T&TSPCA.
- Delay face-to-face introduction to CATS/KITTENS for at least a week.
- Ensure that your new dog is restrained (on a lead) at the first meeting and is reprimanded if it shows any undesirable behavior (eg; barking, growling, snapping, chasing).
- Supervise all time together until you are confident that your new dog will not pose any danger towards your kitten/cat.
Introduction to children
- Children must be taught how to handle and interact with your new dog (do not disturb while sleeping/eating, be gentle, no grabbing, pulling etc.) and how to know when your dog has had enough attention and needs to be left alone.
- Initial interaction time must be limited and supervised.
- If startled, hurt or over stimulated through play or affection, dogs may become aggressive or bite, potentially harming children.
- Contact the T&TSPCA for advice if there are any problems with your new dog (not settling well, toilet concerns, issues with household cats or dogs etc.). However, if your dog is unwell, consult a vet.
- If you cannot keep your new dog, please return it to the T&TSPCA.
- If you find an alternative home for your new dog within the first year after adoption, notify the T&TSPCA so that the new owner can be contacted for a home check (see Adoption Agreement).