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  • Writer's picturePositive Paws

An Ounce of Prevention 

ALL newly adopted dogs, fosters, transports and pet  guests should be treated as a flight risk, regardless of age or temperament. Adopting/fostering a new dog is a time of transition. A period of decompression is vital to allow your  dog to get to know you and feel comfortable in their new  environment. 

Prior to your new dog arriving please prepare yourself with the necessary tools to keep them safe.


For all new arrivals, most recommend that you use two  forms of restraint, a Martingale (No-Slip) collar and a  secure harness together work best. The Martingale collar  tightens in response to a pull on the leash, which can  prevent dogs from slipping the collar, but a harness can  distribute the force from a pull-which is easier on the  dogs neck and shoulders. You can purchase a Martingale  collar with a buckle or without. A Martingale with a buckle  is not suggested for smaller dogs, who can’t carry the  additional weight that a buckle adds.

For small dogs a well fitted harness may be best. For a dog that pulls a lot while  walking, it has been recommended to use a properly fitted  harness instead, this can prevent injury to your dog’s neck. Always remember that a proper fit is most important.

Purchase an ID tag prior to picking up your new dog. This tag should have your contact number on it so you can always be reached. ID tags that slip onto the collar rather  than attaching via a metal ring are best. An embroidered  martingale collar or harness is also a great form of ID.

Don’t forget the microchip. So many dogs have been  returned home because their owners took the time to get  their pet micro-chipped and then make sure to  REGISTER it. The microchip is an essential part of your  dog’s ID “system”. Remember it is not a GPS device.

* Use a strong, traditional leash (4”-6”). Insert your hand  through the loop of the leash so that you may grasp the  leash itself and hold it securely. A retractable leash is not  recommended for any dog. It does not offer safe control,  they often malfunction and break. Remember that a  dropped leash is one of the top contributing factors of a  dog getting loose and going missing. 

* Double leash new arrivals and skittish dogs. Attached one to the collar and one attached to the harness. 

* Keep fence gates securely locked. Do not let newly  rescued dogs outside without a leash even in a fenced yard. Always accompany a new dog outside and never leave them  alone! Do not allow the dog off leash right away, even in a  fenced yard. NEVER allow your dog off leash unless you  are 110% sure they will return when called, even when  distracted. 

* In a split second dogs will escape through an open or  slightly ajar door. Prevent the “door dash” by placing a  baby gate in the hallway or doorway leading to the doors. A security door is also a great prevention. Using a crate can  also alleviate a possible escape while unloading groceries,  having guests coming and going, etc. 

* It is an exciting time when you bring a new pet home,  you want to show them off to the world. For at least three weeks do NOT bring them to dog parks, hiking, shopping to stores, etc. Allow them time to decompress before  introducing them to new environments. 

* Traveling by car with your new dog, he/she should be  contained by a harness & leash or in a crate at all times. If you stop for a pee break along the way, do not open the  crate door until a leash is attached through the wire crate. Nothing is worse/more dangerous than a loose frightened  dog in an unfamiliar area. During my time re-homing dogs  this has happened more times than I can tell you. The  outcome many times is not good. Before a door is opened  you must know that your dog is secure. PERIOD. This article for me is one of the most important. One in  three pets go missing in their lifetime, amounting to about  10 million lost animals each year. Heartbreaking for the  owner. This can easily be prevented by taking the  precautions necessary to SECURE your pet/s. 

Gail Moscato 


Positive Paws BHC

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