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How to Introduce a NEW DOG TO YOUR OTHER PETS

9 Easy Steps to Welcome a New Dog Home

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Few things are as exciting as bringing home a new pet. At least for you. But how do you imagine the big introduction between your new dog and your resident pet(s)? Do you imagine handing out treats and name tags at your front door, resulting in happy munches and friendly woofs (or meows) as they bond instantly and forever. Cesar Millan would be so proud.

Then you blink twice and remember that you are living in reality and not in some ideal parallel universe. But reality can match your ideal, when you’re armed with these nine easy to follow steps, and a healthy dose of reality.

 

  1. Patience. Introducing your new dog to the pets already in your home is a process. To succeed, you must start with a plan and a promise – to yourself — to be patient. The process can take anywhere from a few days to a few weeks (and in extreme cases, a few months).
  2. Making a Match. To improve your chances of a happy blending of old and new, choose a dog as close as possible in temperament and activity level to the pets you already have. Dogs and cats are creatures of habit, and most dislike any disruptions to their daily lives and routines.
  3. Monitor Temperament. Some dogs are naturally more relaxed and more social than others. Some are more territorial and don’t enjoy sharing at all. Unhappy with the arrival of a newcomer, they may demonstrate their disapproval by fighting with the perceived “intruder” or by marking.
  4. Separate Corners. Allow your new dog to adjust to you and to his/her new surroundings by keeping him/her in a separate room with his/her bed, food, water and toys for several days. This is where having its own crate can be a lifesaver. And make sure to spend as much quality, comforting time with your new arrival as possible.
  5. Maintain Routines. Maintain your other pets’ regular routines – from feeding and pottying, to exercising, playing and together times. This will reassure them that nothing has changed.
  6. The Nose Knows. Since smells are of utmost importance to animals, get them used to each other’s scents as soon as possible. We’ve all witnessed how dog’s get to know each other through the tried and true smelling of the rear. It’s important they have the opportunity to smell each other, but it’s a good idea to keep the new dog on a leash at first, in case you need to take control quickly.
  7. All About Food. Another smell driver is food. Feed your resident pets and your new dog on either side of the door to his/her room, or crate, encouraging them to associate something pleasurable with one another’s smell. Once this has been successfully accomplished, walk your new dog slowly through your home, room by room, allowing him/her to become familiar with its sights, sounds and smells. Keep your other pets behind the closed door of his/her room to allow your new dog a sense of safety and privacy, while promoting a further exchange of scents between them. Repeat this several times a day for a few days.
  8. Good Sightlines. Next, use two doorstoppers to keep the door to your new dog’s room propped open just enough for all of the animals to see each other. Repeat this several times a day for a few days.                                                                                                                                                 But remember, when you leave your home, make sure your new dog in his/her room with the door closed, or secure in its crate.
  9. Reward and Correct. Armed with the tastiest treats and most tempting toys, you can expect sniffing, approaching and walking away. Reward good behavior with praise and treats, but discourage bad behavior by promptly separating the offending parties and gently, but firmly correcting them.

Hopefully, when you’re ready to make the “formal” introductions, your patience and your animals’ pre-preparations will pay off. And they will not only recognize, but also start to accept one another by what they see and smell.

Once again, patience is key. This too is a process, which may take time until the blending is successful, and your family is calmly and contentedly one.

If, however, certain problems persist, speak to your vet or consult a recommended animal behaviorist.

Some additional resources on introducing new dogs to your existing pet family may be found on Cesar’s Way Blog and the Humane Society.

Be Special: Adopt a Dog with special needs

Their bodies may be imperfect, but their spirit remains intact.

So it is said about the special needs dog. Although caring for one can be challenging, more and more people are opening their hearts and their homes and adopting them. For this reason, more and more dogs who might otherwise be euthanized are being given a new “leash” on life.

bigstock-Lonely-Homeless-Dog-And-Helpin-4790849Experts stress the importance of not viewing special needs dogs as “handicapped.” Although they have certain limitations (including partial paralysis, three leggedness, blindness or deafness), they’re not “aware” of them, and can be as active and affectionate as any other dog.

Adopters of special needs dogs insist the rewards outweigh the work. Many use social media to share their experiences, to interact with owners like them, and to encourage others to adopt. They don’t see these dogs’ medical or physical problems as a shortcoming, and don’t believe it makes them any less of a dog.

Those interested in adopting a special needs dog should first fully inform themselves about that dog’s condition, limitations, and maintenance. This includes meeting with their vet, requesting a tutorial on administering medications, and asking if they will make house calls. If not, they should ask to be referred to someone who will.

The quality of life for special needs dogs has been greatly enhanced by the growing number of products available to their owners.bigstock-Icon-Illustration-Representing-25243043-2 There are pet diapers, no-slip boots, orthotic braces, prosthetics, and front, back, combination and amputee harnesses. Ramps, pet steps, pet stairs and pet carts. Adjustable pet wheelchairs that can accommodate dogs weighing up to 180 pounds. And because partially paralyzed pets frequently get carpet burns when out of their chairs, there are washable, heavy-duty “drag bags” to protect their back ends.

Sadly, dogs who are blind or deaf have been characterized as aggressive, unpredictable, untrainable, prone to other health issues, and even a shorter life span. Studies, however, have proven otherwise. They have shown that despite their obvious deficiencies, these dogs are generally quite healthy and capable of living long, otherwise normal lives. And that, whether blind or deaf, they are no more aggressive, unpredictable or untrainable than sighted or hearing dogs.

Blind dogs are trained through the use of both sound and scent cues. By relying on their highly developed sense of smell, their noses let them know where and what things are, and when combined with their owners’ reassuring voice and touch, helps them live as normally and comfortably as possible.

They quickly learn and “map out” their surroundings, and for added protection, have their own “go to” place, created by putting their food and water bowls, doggie bed, kennel, and several favorite toys (squeaky toys or ones with bells inside are best) on a distinctive mat, and never moved. A carpeted runner or large area rug provides them with safe play area because the traction is good and the edges clearly discernible.

Sharp edges on furniture can be padded with bubble-wrap or foam pipe insulation to help prevent injury. Any stairways should be baby-gated, and a textured mat laid before each one to alert the dog to the gates’ proximity. And all outside activities, from pottying to playing, should be done either in a securely fenced yard or securely on leash.

Deaf or hard-of-hearing dogs are trained through the use of sign language or hand signals with treats as reinforcement. Vibrations are also used, such as walking with a “heavy foot” if their attention is elsewhere, and stomping close to their bed or near their head to waken them rather than touching and startling them. Lights can also be used as a teaching tool to get their attention, but, of course, this works best as night.

Since they bond instantly with their owners, placing their trust and safekeeping in their hands, deaf dogs always look to them for guidance and follow where their owner leads. As with blind dogs, all outside activities, from pottying to playing, should be done either in a securely fenced yard or securely on leash.

Because there is nothing inherently “wrong” with them, deaf dogs can do almost anything hearing dogs do. Many of them excel at agility and obedience, and make excellent therapy dogs.

As the owners of special needs dogs readily agree, their own lives have been irrevocably changed. By the sweetness and determination of the animals they adopted. By the smiles they elicit and the kisses they distribute. And most importantly, by the inspiration these dogs provide, not only for them, but for everyone around them.

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Article by Nomi Berger

Nomi is the best selling author of seven novels, one work of non-fiction, two volumes of poetry and hundreds of articles. She lives in Toronto, Ontario, Canada with her adopted Maltese, Mini, and now devotes all of her time volunteering her writing skills to animal rescue organizations throughout Canada and the USA.

STARelief’s featured Volunteer of the week – Sarah

 For us at STARelief, every pet family we help is a small victory. Yet, being a completely volunteer run organization, we are able to only do as much as time and resources allow. And this is where every additional hand that helps is a special one. Today we’d like to introduce a very special volunteer- Sarah! Sarah is a 7th grader at Bi-Cultural Day School in Stamford.  She is  twelve and a half years old and has already raised more than $1000 for STARelief! Other than fundraising for STARelief, Sarah has also been in the Stamford All School Musical three years in a row. We decided to catch up with this young star and ask her what motivates this dog and dolphin lover!
 IMG_2601What inspired you to begin volunteering and fundraising?
I started fundraising because of my upcoming Bat Mitzvah this March.
Why did you choose STARelief?
The thought that pets might not have enough to eat or people might have to give up their pets because they can’t afford to feed them made me realize that my beagle Hunter and I were very fortunate. I love that STARelief helps people and their pets.
Tell us a little about Hunter’s Help
Hunter’s Help is my way of honoring my beagle Hunter who died at fifteen and a half in September. Hunter never wanted for a treat and in fact, may have had too many!  I felt this would be a great way to honor his life.
How did you come up with the idea of a dog wash to fund-raise?
I decided to do several dog washes in memory of Hunter.  Heather from STARelief told me that Pet Valu in Stamford was always willing to help and so I decided to approach them and have dog washes to help raise the money.
What plans do you have in the future to help fund raise?
I would love to continue Hunter’s Help even after my Bat Mitzvah and help STARelief whenever you need me!Sara1
We at STARelief, are thrilled to see such young and enthusiastic supporters for our cause and thank Sarah for all her help! We hope that her example leads many more youngsters to join causes and achieve like she has!
Sarah set her goal at $1000 which, at that time seemed unobtainable.  Its amazing what one person can do! She says she was touched by the generosity of the community, especially shoppers who came into Pet Valu to just buy food, who gave so selflessly and generously when she told them what she was doing.  They enabled her to exceed her goal.  “Hunter’s tail is wagging knowing that he helped people keep their pets happy, healthy and home” she signs off!

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Article by Madhumita Ganapathy

Madhu, having grown up in a household that always had pets, fell in love with animals at a very young age. She firmly believes that until one has loved, nurtured and cared for a pet, one’s life remains incomplete. She loves writing, travelling, and meeting new people. Madhu lives in Stamford and joined STARelief as Social Media Director to lend her marketing expertise in spreading the word and creating awareness. Connect with her on Twitter @MadhuG86

13 years down the line- A tribute to the 9/11 victims

Bravery is a term most often used to describe a human being and his/ her capability to tackle a situation head on. Rarely do we use the term to describe the qualities of our animal counter parts. Yet, if we discount the bravery of our furry friends, we do them a great injustice. 13 years ago a terrible tragedy and injustice struck this nation and had ripple effects in the rest of the world. Yet in the face of adversity we saw heroes emerge from among us. Stories of Roselle and a hundred other dogs resonate to this day. Here is a glimpse of some of those dogs who served, loyally and bravely, who deserve no less praise than our fire-fighters, medical teams and rescue workers: Charlotte Dumas’s tribute, Hero Dogs

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Miraculous tales of survival and bravery, and heartbreaking tales of misery and sorrow emerged. Today, we send out a thought and a prayer to the innocents who lost their lives on the 11 of September 2001. And have also learnt that bravery is not a term we can restrict to the human kind, for the contributions of our four-legged friends in the companionship, search and rescue of victims is no mean feat.

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Article by Madhumita Ganapathy

Madhu, having grown up in a household that always had pets, fell in love with animals at a very young age. She firmly believes that until one has loved, nurtured and cared for a pet, one’s life remains incomplete. She loves writing, travelling, and meeting new people. Madhu lives in Stamford and joined STARelief as Social Media Director to lend her marketing expertise in spreading the word and creating awareness. Connect with her on Twitter @MadhuG86

How does STARelief make a difference?

Often you see STARelief events, fundraisers and more on our Social Media pages. So how do these translate into the success stories that we share? How does our organization identify whom to assist and how do we use the funds we collect? This post is an insight into how STARelief hopes to make a difference in the lives of a pet family in need.

Why we do what we do

We at STARelief, believe that no pet family should have to give up their pet due to financial constraints. Many of our volunteers previously worked at shelters and realized that many families end up surrendering their pets because they could no longer afford to care for their ailing pets. Having to choose between feeding one’s self and caring for one’s pet is a position no one should be in. And it was from this belief that STARelief was born. You can read more about our work here.

How we do it: Fundraising and Pet food pantry

doggy daySTARelief is a completely volunteer run organization. All the funds we get go into helping pet owners who cant afford to care for their pets. We participate and host events which is our main source of funding. Recently we participated in New Canaan Dog days, where we were able to raise aid money. We also partner with others (like Web Thrift Store, Amazon Smile etc.) that offer a service in return for any donations. When you shop at Web Thrift Store or Amazon Smile, a percentage of the price you pay is donated to STARelief. We also host other events such as bake sales, tag sales, the dog wash at PetValu and our upcoming event Doggy Day Palooza. All the funds we raise through these events go directly into aiding pet families in need.

 

We also run a pet food pantry where we accept donations in the form of Pet food. We run numerous donation drives at various locations. We donate the food we have collected to pet families that can’t afford to purchase pet food.

Who benefits?penelope

A few ways we reach out to people who are in need of support are through our online presence (Facebook, Twitter, Website etc.),  partner organizations and through direct referrals. So far we have provided $ 45, 325 in veterinary care. Some of our criteria to provide aid are listed here. We have been successful in aiding over 300 pets in need. Here are some of their stories.

We also recognize the invaluable services of our military veterans. We run the Pet-for-Vets program to aid our veterans.

What can you do to help?

You can get involved in many ways. We are always looking for volunteers who are inclined to make a difference. You or someone you know can join our team by writing in to us. You can also contribute monetarily by donating here. Another way you can engage with us is to donate pet food to our pantry. We love to hear from our supporters, so if you have some great ideas for STARelief, or are passionate about animals, we would love to hear from you!

As always, please help us spread the message of our work and share this post with as many people as you can!

 

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Article by Madhumita Ganapathy

Madhu, having grown up in a household that always had pets, fell in love with animals at a very young age. She firmly believes that until one has loved, nurtured and cared for a pet, one’s life remains incomplete. She loves writing, travelling, and meeting new people. Madhu lives in Stamford and joined STARelief as Social Media Director to lend her marketing expertise in spreading the word and creating awareness. Connect with her on Twitter @MadhuG86

 

 

Are we over-protective of our pets?

I know of a friend who is a great animal lover. She often rescues abandoned pets and tries to provide loving homes for them. So great is her love for the critters that she views her own dog as a ‘child’ (at this point there are many of us who are probably silently nodding in approval- for after all we are all guilty of this to some extent!). Yet, when she hands over the rescued animal, she hands over a list of do’s and dont’s, constantly calls the to-be-owners with instructions and borders on intrusive behavior, successfully scaring away many a prospective loving owners! So here comes the all important question- Do we allow our love for animals to blur our reality?

Image courtesy: www.nydailynews.com

As one who works with rescuing abandoned animals, it becomes natural to view the world with cynicism. Yet, doesn’t it also become one’s responsibility to recognize good intentions and trust our fellow human beings? 

Have you had similar experiences with an over-protective owner or rescue worker? What are your views? Let us know in the comments section!

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Article by Madhumita Ganapathy

Madhu, having grown up in a household that always had pets, fell in love with animals at a very young age. She firmly believes that until one has loved, nurtured and cared for a pet, one’s life remains incomplete. She loves writing, travelling, and meeting new people. Madhu lives in Stamford and joined STARelief as Social Media Director to lend her marketing expertise in spreading the word and creating awareness. Connect with her on Twitter @MadhuG86

Growing up with pets

A lot is being said today about the benefits of growing up with pets in the house. The benefits that people list range from young children developing better resistance to allergies to better behavior training. Yet, when I look back at my growing up years, I remember the two dogs (one succeeding the other) that tottered behind me and unknowingly taught me a whole lot of things that would later change the way I look at our world.

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The first dog we had at home was a golden Labrador. She was the most beautiful dog I have ever seen. She stood tall and slender, her eyes betraying the softness of her heart. She was brought home when I still very young, so her size alarmed me and my friends. When I overcame my initial fright I learnt that Ruby (which is what we named her) had many lessons to teach us.

Patience:

When I look back now, I am appalled at how we played with Ruby. We tugged at her tail, climbed over her like a horse, hugged her tight and pretended she was our dog detective on mysterious journeys into different lands and what not! Yet, through all those years Ruby never once so much as scratched any of us. She never barked in protest and always followed us into every nook and cranny! One of the greatest lessons I learnt from my beloved dog was the virtue of patience. She somehow understood that we were children and was always patient with us, through whatever we did.

True love and faithfulness:

When Ruby was a grand old lady, her master (my grandfather) passed away. For 3 days she refused to eat a single meal. We coaxed her, brought her favorite foods, tried to feed her by hand and tried every other trick in the book. But Ruby never touched a morsel, she mourned for her beloved master, for it was he who used to feed her every day. Soon afterwards, she lost the will to live. She fought terrible disease and finally passed on to join her master. There is no love in the world that is purer than the love and faithfulness of an animal to her master.

Feeling pure joy:

After Ruby, we brought home another Labrador – a chocolate colored fellow, whom we named Brandy. When Brandy came home he was forty days old. He had blue eyes and fit into my palm. It was love at first sight. Brandy missed his mom terribly and would choose to cuddle up to me or my mother as he slept (he conveniently ignored the men of the house!). As he grew up, we taught him to climb stairs, sit, roll, play, all like he was a human baby. The hours of joy that Brandy brought the household as he grew up remain unaccounted, but the memories of our little boy can never be erased. He is now an old man, but still behaves like a child when he sees us! And the way he looks at me when I walk in through the door, still fills my heart with immeasurable joy that only he can bring!

There may be a hundred researches that suggest the medical benefits of children growing up with pets. I have just a few, but these to me are the most valuable! Do you have incidents from your childhood or those of your children’s that you would like to share? Share them with us in the comments section!

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Article by Madhumita Ganapathy

Madhu, having grown up in a household that always had pets, fell in love with animals at a very young age. She firmly believes that until one has loved, nurtured and cared for a pet, one’s life remains incomplete. She loves writing, travelling, and meeting new people. Madhu lives in Stamford and joined STARelief as Social Media Director to lend her marketing expertise in spreading the word and creating awareness. Connect with her on Twitter @MadhuG86

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STARelief and Pet Assistance
P.O. Box 3035
Stamford, CT 06905
Phone: 203-636-0971
Fax: 203-883-0325
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