FOR years it has been medically documented that companion animals, like dogs, cats, rabbits and birds, help people live longer and healthier lives.
Being responsible for caring for an animal often gives new meaning to someone who is living alone or who is far from loved ones. Pets can help elderly people keep an active lifestyle and may help fill a void left by living alone or away from family.
For working families taking on a rescue pet should take into consideration that they have time for the new family pet. Children should be encouraged to help and go to dog training classes which are educational, social and really a lot of fun.
Seniors may want to consider adopting an older adult animal instead of a puppy or kitten or rambunctious ‘teenage’ pet. Older pets are more likely to be calm, already house-trained and less susceptible to unpredictable behaviour.
Animal shelter staff can help potential adopters find the most suitable animal for their lifestyle. Seniors should not be encouraged to take on a large dog. Many seniors take on a dog far too powerful for them, which can become unmanageable.
Obviously if you live in an apartment then you have a small dog. Dogs’ lives revolve around odour. I always recommend bathing a rescue pet as soon as possible. By doing this you wash away the old identity and allow the dog to get his new identity. Most dogs will roll on the ground to get their new identity.
Take your new pet for a walk around the area of your street near your home as soon as you are able. This allows your new pet to learn the new smells of the area.
Ensure that all doors, gates etc to the home are secure and that you have, apart from a microchip, a tab on the collar with your telephone number.
Emotionally you will feel very sorry for the little fellow and often new owners can overdo the attention. Best not to smother the dog and keep in mind that now is the time to set the rules of your home.
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