Common Issues with Shelter Dogs

Albuquerque Rescue vet

Albuquerque Rescue vetAdopting a dog is a great way to add a fur baby to your family. But sometimes there are some issues that can come with a shelter dog. Being aware of these issues will make it easier for them to transition into your family.

Anxiety and Fear

From the streets to the shelter to your home. That is a lot of change for one dog. Your new dog probably doesn’t know if this new home is good, or bad, or temporary. He is stressed out because he doesn’t know.

The best way to deal with it is time and patience. Give them a place to hide, like a crate or a box. Don’t try to make them come out and socialize. Your new dog will do that in his own time, I promise.

Food Aggression

Your dog may have had to fight to eat at the shelter or on the street. Sometimes this can make them aggressive during meal time, like snarling, barking, even biting you or another dog. It will take a bit of time for him to learn that his food is his own.  The easiest way to solve this is to put his food in a seperate area, like a crate or bathroom, so he can eat in private. Do not disturb him until he is done. In time, he will realize that you are not going to steal his food.


Guarding and territoriality

Guarding is a “street” behavior. Your dog is protecting his “thing.” That “thing” might be a toy, or a bed, or even you. He may try to guard you from another dog or even from another person. The best fix for this is behavioral training. If he gets territorial, remove the “thing” he is being territorial about. If it is you, then take him off your lap or stop playing with him, to reinforce that the behavior is not acceptable. Once it stops, reinforce with pats and love, to reinforce the good behavior.

Leg Lifting

Some dogs will try to mark their territory when they get into a new space. This is not the same as not being house trained. If they start doing this you can spray them with a water bottle. This won’t hurt them but can help stop the behavior. Make sure to use Natures Miracle to clean up any marking. It has an enzyme that breaks down the urine so it won’t continue to have ordor or stains.

Separation Anxiety

Often dogs from the shelters have separation anxiety. They may bark, chew, or destroy parts of the house. There are ways to help address this anxiety, giving them a place like a crate, to sleep during the day, giving them toys to play with, putting on doggie tv for them to watch, and playing with them a lot when you get home. Speak to your veterinarian about assistance with their anxiety.

Shelter dogs are amazing additions to your family. But when you first adopt you need to be patient as there can be transition time. But it is time well invested.

National Puppy Day

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It’s National Puppy Day!

If you are adopting or have a puppy today is a great day to celebrate. Make sure you review the new puppy and kitten FAQ to keep your puppy healthy and happy as they start their life with you.

Puppy FAQ

A new puppy or kitten is such an exciting addition to your family.  Now that you have your new baby you are probably wondering what you need to do to take cNew Petare of your new family member.

When should I get their shots?

The best time to start vaccinations are from 6-8 weeks of age.

How often do I need to get shots?

Shots need to be done annually.

Do vaccines take effect immediately?

No. They take 14 days for your pet to be fully protected.

Are vaccinations requires?

All vaccinations are a good idea but the Rabies vaccine is required to have yearly.

Do I have to license my pet?

Yes. All dogs and cats older than 3 months are required to be licensed with the City of Albuquerque.

When do I have to license my pet?

You do not need to license your pet if they are younger than 3 months. After they are 3 months old, you need to get their license.

At what age can we spay or neuter?

You can generally spay or neuter as young as 2 months. It is generally recommended to get the procedure done before they are 6 months old. There are other factors besides age to take into consideration, like size and weight, to determine when you can spay or neuter. For a more precise answer for your specific pet, please contact us.

For more about vaccinations.

For more about pet licenses.

For more about low-cost spay and neuter.

What to Avoid During Your Dog’s Exercise

over exercise dogs albuquerque

over exercise dogs albuquerque

Exercise is good! Does this mean all exercise is good? No.

Here are advantages of exercise for your dog:

  • Fewer behavioural issues, such as anxiety.
  • Improved digestion
  • Improved overall health
  • Happiness
  • Weight control

What to avoid with exercising your dog:

  • Make sure you are taking into account things like breed, age and physical abilities. Example, Labs often like to swim. Does this mean that Pugs like to swim? No it does not.
  • Exercising too long. Your dog might be able to have 20 minutes of exercise but maybe not 45 minutes. Make sure you are not over exercising them.
  • Exercising different dogs together: If you have a German Shepherd and a Pug exercising together, you cannot assume that the pug can run as long as the shepherd. Tailor the exercise for the dog.

Signs of over exercise:

  • Sore or sensitive pads.
  • Extended fatigue.
  • Limping.

If you are concerned you over-exercised your dog, bring them into your Albuquerque veterinarian right away.