BlueMoon Meadows - A Caring Place for Orphaned Pets

Adoption Tips

"How do I introduce my new dog to my resident pets?"

Introduce your new dog very slowly to resident dogs and cats. Put the other pets in another room while you gently guide the new dog into the home. Spend some time quietly, offer a treat and cuddles; show the dog the backyard and let him eliminate if he needs to.

Gradually introduce the new and resident dogs, letting them explore. If you have cats, do the same. Don't be alarmed if there is a bit of scurrying and testing of the boundaries in the first few days, but do not leave the pets unsupervised for the first two weeks. Though many dogs and cats welcome the new addition, keep in mind that there may be a period of adjustment for the first few days up to 2 - 3 weeks depending on the rescued pet' s history and personality. During this time, the adopted dog may appear shy or submissive. Take it slow and easy; let the dog learn to regain trust; give him hugs and kisses as he can tolerate them; he may be surprised at first, but will eventually relish the attention and return it. As he becomes more confident, he may change his behavior towards resident pets, beginning to play and explore the pecking order.

Always feed your pets and your adopted dog separately; consider feeding the adopted dog in a crate if you notice any food aggression between dogs. Be careful when dispensing treats or other high-value items like rawhides or favorite toys. Sometimes what is thought to be food aggression is actually just a territorial imperative that will take care of itself as the pecking order is established and the dogs relax.

Keeping this in mind, always supervise the interactions of your adopted dog with other pets. When leaving the adopted dog home alone (even if you have other pets at home), the use of a crate or gate is recommended at least the first few days up to two weeks.

Even the best-trained dogs may have accidents

Even the best-trained dogs may have accidents in a new home for the first few days. Make sure your new addition knows where the door to go outside is. Always use the same door to go outside. Watch your new dog for signs of needing to "go." He may not know how to tell you. Many dogs just stand at the door, while others do nothing. Continue to work on housetraining him for the first 10 days. Only gradually allow him more and more freedom as you become convinced he will behave in the house. If your dog has an accident, do not ever rub his nose in it: this is degrading to him and never recommended by responsible trainers.

Always use the same word when going potty. This way the dog will learn what you are saying. Use phrases like, "Do you have to go potty?" By learning this phrase you will teach your dog to potty on demand. Never play with the dog when it is time to potty. They need to learn first and foremost that outside is for business. If you are having some resistance to training, then crate the dog, letting him out only for potty time (the same place each time), then back to the crate. After two weeks of crate/housetraining the problem should be solved, but don't expect a puppy under 6 months or even a little older to fully '"get" it that young.

Housetraining Tips

  1. All dogs are naturally clean concerning waste elimination. In early life, they seek a spot to eliminate that is remote from where they eat and sleep. We (pet owners) are the culprits who force them to violate this hygiene by placing doors and other barriers between them and the proper toilet area. Use this instinct to housetrain your new dog.
  2. Feeding & Training Tips: Give the dog 15 minutes to eat. Take him outside after each meal - rain, snow, or sunshine to the same spot in the yard. Puppies always go potty after eating; most adults also need to eliminate after morning and evening meals. Determine how soon after eating the bowel action occurs. Usually this will be about the same time every time. Some pups may take up to one hour for this to occur. Now you have learned how long to wait after feeding, before going outside. Take him to his spot; give the command you use to go potty; reward and praise lavishly after he does. If he doesn't go, bring him back in; try again in an hour. Don't let him out of your sight during training. While training, keep treats in your pocket or a fanny pack.
    Our experience is that the best way to house train a puppy or new adult is crating. Keep your eye on the dog when you are home and get him or her outside regularly; but when you are away, slip your dog into the crate with a comfy towel or sheet, a rawhide chew, favorite toy, and a pleasant "see you later" and praise. The crate is not punishment but his den while you are away. Some Shelties will prefer to sleep in the crate even when you are home because it is a safe haven. Another trick is to keep the dog on leash in the house: loop on your ankle when you're relaxing, to your belt loop when you're working in the house or yard. Keep him close so you can watch him; take him to his spot every couple of hours.
  3. Quality and type of food is the biggest problem we face. Cheap, bargain food will cause all sorts of digestive problems and make housetraining much harder. Please feed a good, high quality food, which is better for the dog's health and, with fewer by-products, produces less "output" from the dog.
  4. For cleaning accidents, use an odor neutralizer recommended by your veterinarian. Most household cleaners contain ammonia, which is also found in urine -- and therefore only confuses the puppy. Vinegar diluted 1 Tablespoon per cup, can remove the scent of urine; there are also many fine products available in pet stores. You can try Simple Solution from your Pet Store or OdoBan from Sam's. Another good product is Joe Campanelli's "Miracle Stain Remover," which is excellent. We have found it available at vacuum repair shops and at the website:

Seven Ways To Prevent Chewing
(common in ages puppy through 3 years)

  1. Move valued furniture, loose pillows, house plants and books out of any area the puppy has access to. Check carefully for any dangerous objects, such as lamp cords, pins and needles, pens and pencils.
  2. Put him in his crate when you can't watch him. He'll go to sleep, most likely; the house will stay safe, and you won't have to punish him.
  3. Give your pet his own special chew toys. We recommend rawhide bones. If you see the puppy even start to move toward something he shouldn't chew, say "No!" and give him a toy. Be consistent. He will catch on.
  4. Some dogs like to chew. It's part of exploring. And she may chew when bored. Exercise and plenty of attention can help control chewing.
  5. Commercial sprays from your pet store can make items such a furniture legs unattractive to your pet. Or try spraying with Listerine.
  6. Your dog loves chewing your old sneaker or sock, because the odor reminds him so strongly of you. But she'll love the new sneakers you've worn only once or twice just as devotedly. So keep him away from all sneakers (and socks), old or new.
  7. Check with your veterinarian if your puppy shows symptoms of really bad teething pain. He may paw the side of his face, rub his face on the floor, or have difficulty eating. It could be his baby teeth require extraction. Ease his pain by letting him chew ice cubes or a damp cold washcloth.

Some important Odds & Ends For Your Dog

  • A dog's normal temp is around 101-102. Always use only a rectal thermometer to check for a fever.
  • Benadryl may be given for allergies. Ask your vet for dosage.
  • An injured dog is always a risk for a bite. Wrap an injured dog in a blanket or thick towel and transport to vet.
  • Excessive panting or lethargy with inability to cool down after a walk or run and bright red gums may indicate heat stroke; get the dog in a cold bath immediately; then directly to the vet.
  • If your dog has surgery, check the sutures every day for inflammation; smell the incision for odor of infection; if either are noted, take the dog to the Vet.
  • Keep dogs from playing with panty hose and plastic toys. These are the biggest problem toys.
  • Never give a dog Tylenol. Only plain aspirin/baby aspirin/ascription for pain.
  • Keep your Vet's phone number next to the phone.


Don't forget your Heartworm Pills

Dogs get Heartworm from an infected mosquito. If a mosquito ever bites your dog, it is at risk for heartworm. Heartworms are worms that live in the heart. Left untreated, they will kill your dog. Treating the dog is both dangerous and very expensive (hundreds of dollars). That is why we require you to keep your dog on heartworm prevention pills every month. One heartworm prevention pill/topical per month will prevent heartworm. Heartworm prevention pills/topical only kill baby heartworms; they do NOT kill the adults. So, if you miss a few months of the prevention pills, you must retest the dog before continuing. You should NEVER give an infected dog the prevention pills.

What about any phobia my pet might develop?

Separation Anxiety

In our experience, treating a dog with separation anxiety in a matter-of-fact, cheerful manner when humans must leave the home for work and other activities reassures the dog who is worried about being left behind.

Give the dog a rawhide chew and favorite toy and say good-bye, but do not make an issue of this, or the dog's concern may increase. Dogs with severe separation anxiety who are destructive should be crated with the chew and toy, and a professional trainer consulted for more tips

Storm Anxiety

It is important to remember that dogs have very sensitive hearing and other responses to their environment, including air pressure, that may cause trembling, barking, and racing about in some dogs who are moderately to severely affected by storm anxiety. Some trainers recommend putting on a nature CD with storm sounds while playing a favorite game with the dog to acclimate him to the sounds. Some veterinarians will prescribe a mild sedative for dogs severely affected. In our own experience, holding a dog who is anxious, or distracting her with a favorite game may help her get through the storm. If none of these approaches work, then the dog should be crated nearby while her humans talk comfortingly to her until the storm passes. Dogs who are very affected by storms and possibly destructive to the home should be crated when their human companions must be away and know a storm is predicted. Click here to learn more about storm phobia and dog behavior.

Chocolate is Deadly to Dogs!

Keep chocolate away from your dog. 1 oz. of chocolate can kill your dog. Even small amounts of theobromine, a naturally occurring alkaloid found in the cocoa bean, can cause vomiting and restlessness in pets. Larger doses can be fatal.

Plants That Are Toxic To Animals

A - Alfalfa, Almond (Pits of), Alocasia, Amaryllis, Apple Seeds, Apricot (Pits of), Arrowgrass, Avacodo, Azalea.
B - Baneberry, Bayonet, Bear grass, Beech, Belladonna, Bird of Paradise, Bittersweet, Black-Eyed Susan,
Black Locust, Bleeding Heart, Bloodroot, Bluebonnet, Box, Boxwood, Buckeyes, Burning bush, Buttercup.
C - Cactus Candelabra, Caladium, Castor Bean, Cherry (Pits of), Cherry (Most wild varieties), Cherry (ground),
Cherry (Laurel), Chinaberry, Christmas Rose, Chrysanthemum, Clematis, Coriaria, Cornflower, Corydalis, Crocus Autumn, Crown of Thorns, Cyclamen. D - Daffodil Daphne, Daphne, Datura, Deadly Nightshade, Death Camas, Delphinium, Dicentrea, Diffenbachia, Dumb Cane.
E - Eggplant, Elderberry, Elephant Ear, English Ivy, Euonymus, Evergreen.
F -
Ferns, Flax, Four O'Clock, Foxglove.
G -
Golden Chain, Golden Glow, Gopher Purge.
H - Hellebore, Poison Hemlock, Water Hemlock, Henbane, Holly, Honeysuckle (only the berries are toxic), Horsebeans, Horsebrush, Horse Chestnuts, Hyacinth, Hydrangea.
I - Indian Tobacco, Iris, Iris Ivy.
J - Jack in the Pulpit, Java Beans, Jessamine, Jerusalem Cherry, Jimson Weed, Jonquil, Jungle Trumpets.
L - Lantana, Larkspur, Laurel, Lily, Lily Spider, Lily of the Valley, Locoweed, Lupine.
M - Marigold, Marijuana, Mescal
Bean, Mistletoe, Mock Orange, Monkshood, Moonseed, Morning Glory, Mountain Laurel, Mushrooms.
N - Narcissus, Nightshade.
O - Oleander.
P - Peach (Pits of), Peony, Periwinkle, Philodendron, Pimpernel, Poinciana, Poison Hemlock, Poison Ivy,
Poison Oak, Pokeweed, Poppy, Potato, Precatory Bean, Common Privet.
R -
Rhododendron, Rhubarb, Rosary Pea, Rubber Plant.
S - Scotch Broom, Skunk Cabbage, Snowdrops, Snow on the Mountain, Staggerweed, Star of Bethlehem,
T - Tansy Mustard, Tobacco, Tomato, Tulip, Tung Tree.
V - Virginia Creeper.
W - Water Hemlock, Weeping Fig, Wild Call, Wisteria.
Y - Yews (Japanese Yew, English Yew, Western Yew, American Yew)

Danger! Hot Cars!

When the temperature is in the high 70's and 80's outside, a parked car quickly becomes unbearably hot inside within minutes, even in the shade and even with the windows left open a few inches. If the car is parked in the sun, the inside temperature can quickly reach 160 degrees. Leaving the air conditioner on in an idling car isn't much help as it begins to labor and can shut down the engine. The dog could also knock the car into gear as he struggles to get out. As humane societies, law enforcement agencies, and local media constantly warn pet owners, in just 5 minutes, the temperature inside a car even with the windows cracked can reach 100 degrees or more. In just 10 minutes, the temperature inside a car can reach 120 degrees or more. The dog has a fur coat designed to retain heat, and he cannot sweat when he is overheated. As the inside temperature rises, the dog's body temperature has also risen, and he may have just minutes to live. If not rescued, he will suffer heatstroke, leading to collapse, brain damage, and an agonizing death.

Danger signals of overheating, whether from being in a parked car or excessive exercise in heat are the following: Obvious distress, staggering, heavy panting to eventually struggling to breathe, excessive drooling,vomiting, glassy eyes, dark red to blue or purple gums and tongue, collapse, seizures, and coma. If you see a dog alone in a parked car on a hot day, go into the store and ask the manager to page the owner. If this is unsuccessful, call the SPCA or the police to free the dog; if the dog is obviously in trouble and in danger of dying before they can arrive, then get the dog out. People are generally not cited for taking that action; instead, the owner will likely be cited for animal cruelty. Once freed, if the dog is suffering, apply the following first aid: Get him into the shade, pour cool (not cold) water on him or use cool towels to gradually lower body temperature. Give him cool water or ice cubes to lick. Take him to a veterinarian immediately for a thorough examination.

Another reason not to leave dogs unattended in locked cars, even with the windows rolled down, is that they can jump out to look for the owner and be lost or worse. Also, dogs have been stolen even from locked cars.

Generally, except for taking your dog on trips where he is welcome inside, do him a favor and leave him home. Never leave a dog alone in a parked car.



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