Rehoming help!!(10 Posts)
Wonder if you lovely lot could possibly help me.
We are rehoming a beautiful 10 month old pedigree fox red lab and really looking for a bit of advice on where to start with her settling in.
We are a very active, outdoorsy household and with a pony and living on dartmoor spend more time getting cold and muddy than we do in a house...
However we have children the youngest being 6 and a cat and of course the horse.
She is coming for a trial sleepover tomorrow to test the water and really would love for it all to work out so some tips to settle her as quickly as possible would be really helpful...
Also diet, what is the best ratio of wet food to dry food, apparently she is not picky in the slightest, does she have to have wet food?
Regarding the cat, what is the best way to build a tolerable relationship between them, she hasn't met a cat before but the is the absolute softest dog you have ever met so really hopefull that it's something we can work on!!...
Oh how exciting!
With regard to the food you’re best to keep her on what she’s currently being fed for a week or 2. Then look to change to whatever you like. Changing homes can unsettling on their tummies.
If you choose a good quality dry food then she shouldn’t need wet food, or look at raw. Find what suits your lifestyle. The website allaboutdogfood.com can help you find a good quality dry/wet/raw food.
For the cat, choose what area will be the cats safe space, possibly upstairs and pop a baby gate there. Keep the dog on lead for the initial meeting even indoors and have lots of treats ready to reward and give lots of praise. The cat settling may take a while so don’t worry if not instant.
Also key to give the dog her own safe space that the kids know to leave her alone in whether it’s a bed in the corner, a crate, a room etc. Just so she knows when she’s there she gets quiet time and can retreat there whenever she feels overwhelmed.
Sounds like she’ll have a fabulous life! Enjoy.xx
We have just adopted a terrier. One bit of advice is to have a box of kibble always handy or to wear a treat pouch. IShe is quite nervous so It helps to distract her when she get anxious. Cats, door bell, birds and visitors even a falling leaf can start her off. We either hand feed her the kibble or throw it across the floor so that she hunts for it. We also bought a variety of Kong chew toys. She used self sooth by attacking the toys and managed to destroy two In the first weeks. She is so much calmer now and the frantic chewing has lessened.
She also used to gulp her food, so we now give her food in a Kong Bone. We have 4 of them because we feed her throughout the day. when she first came she pooed on every walk and it was very loose. We put her on Lily’s Kitchen Recovery food. She still has Lily’s Kitchen but mainly Chicken and Turkey as she does have a nervous digestive system.
Make sure the cat can always escape - never hold the cat when near the dog (you might get scratched!) keep dog on lead for initial meetings until you can see how they react. Gate off upstairs so cat can retreat. Feed cat when dog is shut away. Expect it to take time. Allow the cat to “tell off” the dog without punishment - but never let the dog chase the cat. Get some Feliway.
Food - whatever they’re fed now. Labs aren’t usually fussy!
Children- drum in rules about appropriate behaviour, and make sure they all know the dog has safe spaces, must not be woken from sleep, etc. Read up on signs of stress together so kids are able to read the dog.
Enjoy! Do you know why dog is being rehomed? Honesty about its current training and faults would help you.
Best of luck.
We had two rescued labs (sadly one died in Dec aged 11) and they were fantastic dogs. They fitted right into our horsey outdoorsy lifestyle. Both had a bravado bark when they met the horses (sometimes when they bark the loudest they're scared), so introduce on a lead. Beware all dogs (but particularly labs!) eat horse poop and any other poop (except fox poo, which they roll in!) then often throw up later, so watch for that - and horse feed too. We have cats too. We always have a stairgate so the cats can observe safely until they're happy.
Feed wise, we feed dry food. We give skinners fish and rice or James Wellbeloved veg and fish/turkey (our non lab is allergic to lots of things so we avoid grains). Labs don't need a lot of food, they're the good doer cobs of the dog world. Other things to know, they're more energetic than you think and need wearing out. Ours throw themselves into every bit of water available, unless it's warm and soapy (while the non lab looks on like they're bonkers). Both our rescues settled into family life like they'd never lived anywhere else. I think our outdoor lifestyle and land helped immensely (lab 2 had had four previous homes and he was only a year old). Main thing to know, labs are so loveable! Do post pics once you're settled. Oh and at this time of year I I'd reccomend a furminator type brush to get some hair out, they can moult nearly as well as the horses.
Thanks everyone 1st night went well, we had a little bit quiet pining for 5 minutes when we went up to bed but I was very good and resisted letting her up...start as you mean to go on right?!
She is obviously very excited to be somewhere new and her favourite game so far is just to go in and out the house (secure garden) I'm back to 1st baby syndrome where you don't want to leave them out your sight for a second so it's still very much a case of right shoes, coat back on...hoping this will settle for both of us! She is very good at letting us know when she needs to go to the toilet as will pine a little and sit at the door but at the moment this is also mixed in with her just wanting to be in and out LOL!!
She was very non plussed about the cat, didn't even give her a 2nd glance, however the cat is furious!! And hasn't eaten or been out side since the dog arrived. We are torn as didn't really want to move cats things litter tray, food etc from where is normally is as didn't think that was fair on her but they both sit as well as the front door beyond the safety gate and therefore her safe area!! Should I move it for her or leave them where they are to encourage her to come out and start some kind off accepting behaviour? The dog has also only seen the cat stationary and worried if they find theirselves together before the cat is ready and she flees she might become more interesting to the dog....
Possibly overthinking all of this LOL!!
Husband is actually away tonight for work so I'm being thrown in the deep end and have 3 children, a dog, cat and of course pony to keep happy
and alive till tomorrow morning...wish me luck!!
So pleased the visit went well. She sounds lovely. Well done for taking her on
Don’t let her dictate to you going out and in for too long though, otherwise it’ll become an ingrained habit and you’ll be doing forever more!
Yes move the cat’s things until she’s settled with the dog. You can’t force a cat-dog relationship, it has to be slow.
We moved our cats’ things upstairs as soon as we knew that the dog was going to be arriving. Obviously you didn’t have this option but I would definitely move them now. Everything that we read said to not put the dog/cats together and never force the issue, so that the cats have a chance to meet (and hopeful make friends with) the dog in their own sweet time. Our pup arrived 2 weeks ago and the cats are not much closer to him now than then, but they are using the furniture to hide from him and are very pleased of the stair gate at the bottom of the stairs which means that they have quiet food and cuddles from us upstairs. They ‘run the gauntlet’ downstairs but if they stayed still, the pup would not chase....sadly they don’t and he does, despite trying high value treats etc to stop pup from saying hello at close quarters! One of these days it’ll happen but until then I’m just happy that the cats aren’t peeing everywhere! Good luck.
Two cats here when dog arrived, and one took 3 days to adjust and one took 3 months! So you cannot force it - move the cat’s things to the safe space (keep a bowl & tray where they usually are too but provide extras upstairs) and let your cat choose the pace.
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