Thursday, September 5, 2013

How to be the Best Pet Parent Ever!

Margot Ahlquist has some great tips about being the best Pet Parent ever!

1)      Before you adopt or rescue a dog, know what you are getting into.  Research the breed, ensure that the breed’s qualities and needs are a great fit for your family. Ask questions about the dog’s history, medical issues or needs, behaviour and temperament.

2)      Ensure your family is prepared to make a commitment to your new pet.  This commitment is about making your home the pet’s forever home.

3)      Your dog might undergo some anxiety related to the move, transition and adjusting to his or her new home.  If the dog had toy or blanket at the shelter and they allow you to bring home with you, this can help provide a sense of security and stability for the dog.  Sort of like a child with his or her favorite blankey.

This is one of our Toby's favorite toys, the Kong is his other favorite toy.

4)      Begin to create a routine immediately, for example, meal time, play regime, walk time, training time.  The more routine you provide, the more comfort you provide to your dog, and this translates to stability.

5)      When you have to go to work, create a routine around leaving that is not dramatic.  You can leave something with your scent (e.g. a t-shirt) with your dog, some pet parents have a saying they use like “guard the house, I’ll be back soon.” Other pet parents leave a toy such as a Kong filled with kibble. You may find leaving a radio on for background noise can help reduce anxiety when you are not home.

6)      Socialization is very important for your new dog. You can find dog walking and pet groups on, through your local animal organizations, and your vet may have some great suggestions to.  You can also research doggie daycares, dog play groups and the off leash parks in your area.  

Toby and his friend at K-9 Awareness Centre
7)      View your dog as a member of your family…. His/her forever home.

You can listen to more of Margot’s tips on PAWsitive Radio here: and on
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Toby's books are available through Amazon and our website.

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