Life changes when you have a dog. You have an internal clock that’s not just your own, but your dog’s too – automatically recognising the daily things, tea time, especially.
Not all dogs cling to routine, but when they do it’s understandable, especially if they’re a rescue dog who has had uncertainty at times.
Here are four habits that you should know about before bringing your new dog home.
1. Your dog might give you some timely reminders (usually about food)
My old Labrador used to give me 30-minute reminders that it was time to ‘get in the kitchen’ so don’t be surprised if you start watching the clock to work out how much time you have left to complete whatever you’re doing before you know you’ll be called on.
In some cases, a routine is essential to rescue dogs. My own dog, Danny,
for example, came to us after he was found straying. We know little to nothing of his past but from day one he has clung to any kind of routine we’ve had. He knows when we go to bed he’ll get a biscuit, for example, so he runs upstairs and sits in his bed like a good boy waiting for his treat.
Pictured above, Danny
As well as routines, such as feeding times or walks, you’ll soon become tuned to timings for other things, such as when your dog is due to be wormed, flea treated, visit the groomers or have a check-up at your local vets. It becomes second nature, really. But where you can take the stress out of remembering everything, do.
Some websites even allow you to pre-order regular flea treatments for dogs, food and treats and much more, taking the strain off the weekly, monthly or quarterly to-do list. There’s no harm in alleviating any stress when you can!
2. Keep your dog’s emergency numbers nearby
If something should go wrong and you need emergency help, make sure you have numbers already written down that you can access easily.
It’s so easy to save numbers to our mobiles but if your phone isn’t in reaching distance at that point in time, by having whatever numbers you might need (your regular vets and an emergency vet, for example) nearby, you know that you, and anyone else looking after your dog, can get the right help quickly.
Pictured above, Olna who is on dogsblog.com and looking for a new home
3. Get to know your dog’s body (any lumps and bumps)
Grooming is a fantastic way to increase bonding with your new, but an extra benefit is that through grooming you can get to know your dog’s body and any lumps and bumps they might have.
This way if anything changes and you are concerned, you can get veterinary advice.
4. Have fun with training!
In some cases, depending on the age of the dog you’ve adopted, they may already be fully trained but there’s certainly no harm in teaching new tricks or reinforcing what they already know, but with you as their guiding hand and voice (or even sound, if whistle training takes your fancy).
Pictured above, Chico who is on dogsblog.com and looking for a new home
Training isn’t always easy, and it isn’t always quick, but it is essential, and it can be a great way to build a solid relationship with your new dog.
Whatever you do, do it at a pace that suits both you and your dog and have fun.