By Mary Margaret Barrett & Connie Phoebus,
You have decided to rescue a dog. You have done the research and decided on the type of dog that you want. You have looked at the picture on the website and selected your perfect match. The application is filled out and a home visit is scheduled. All references on the application are good. The little brown one with floppy ears is yours!
Ask questions: Get to know everything you possibly can about your new dog from the folks who know the dog the best — the foster parents or care volunteers. If possible, keep their phone numbers handy.
Prepare your home: When stressed out, even dogs that are out of the “chew “stage can be destructive. If you don’t want something damaged, put it out of sight and out of reach. Have beds and crates available to make the new dog feel safe. Crates are essential for training and create a safe “cave” for your dog. Have water bowls available and ready. Potty pads, too!
Establish a routine immediately: The quicker a dog can get into a routine, the better. Make sure there is time for eating, walks, potty breaks and playtime. Be patient while he or she gets acclimated to the new environment. Limit contact with strangers. Let them get to know their new family first.
These are just a few tips to make your pup comfortable and happy. Now go and enjoy your new best friend!
Mary Margaret Barrett is founder of Limbo Chihuahuas, a Gulfport-based 501c3 nonprofit. Connie Phoebus helps with the organization’s marketing and fundraising. For information visit their website, LimboChihuahuas.org.
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