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HOWARD COUNTY ANIMAL CONTROLAND ADOPTION CENTERCaring for your Adopted DogHOWARD COUNTY Animal Control & ADOPTION CENTER8576 Davis Road Columbia, MD 21045410-313-2780 www.HCPD.ORG

Dear new pet owner,Thank you for saving the life of a shelter pet. We hope the enclosedinformation will be helpful during the initial adjustment period asyou begin training and caring for your new companion animal.It is our goal for this to be a successful and happy placement for you,your family and your new pet. Please don’t hesitate to call the adoption center for additional assistance. We wish you a lifetime of thewarmth, joy and companionship that owning a pet can bring.Sincerely,Howard County Animal ControlStaff and Volunteers2


CRATE TRAININGToo many potentially good pets aremisunderstood, unfairly punished,abused, isolated or given up on by otherwise kind and well-meaning ownerswho are unable to prevent, control orlive with common problem behaviors ofpuppies and dogs.offers security and safety.A dog crate is a rectangular enclosurewith a top and a door, made in a variety of sizes proportioned to fit any typeof dog. Its purpose is to provide guaranteed confinement for security, safety,housebreaking, protection of household goods, travel, illness or just generalcontrol.You can: Enjoy complete peace of mind whenleaving your dog home alone, knowingthat nothing will be soiled or destroyedand that he is comfortable, protectedand not developing any bad habits. Housebreak your dog more quickly byusing the close confinement to encourage control, establish a regular routinefor outdoor elimination and to preventaccidents. Confine your dog at times when hemay be unwelcome, overexcited,stressed or sick. Travel with your dog without risk ofthe driver being distracted or the doggetting loose and lost, and with the assurance that he can easily adapt toany surroundings as long as he has hiscrate.BENEFITSIf your first reaction to using a crate isthat it is unfair to the dog, you are notalone. It’s natural to feel that enclosingyour dog in a crate would be inhumane.But as the dog sees it, a crate providesa private, special area of his own thatYour dog can: Enjoy the privacy and security of aden of his own to which he can retreatwhen tired, stressed, or ill. Avoid much of the fear and confusion caused by your reaction to problem behavior.The correct use of a crate may givemany of these innocent animals thechance they need – and deserve – tospend their lives as the appreciated petof a satisfied owner.4

CRATE TRAINING continued More easily learn to control his bowelsand to associate elimination only withthe outdoors. Be spared the loneliness and frustration of having to be isolated in a basement or outdoor area. Be conveniently included in familyoutings, visits and trips instead of being left behind alone at home or in aboarding kennel.IS A CRATE RIGHT FOR OUR DOG?The use of a dog crate is not recommended for a dog that must be frequently or regularly left alone for extended periods of time, such as all ormuch of the day while the owner isaway.ter dishes that can be clipped directlyonto the crate. This will prevent the dogfrom spilling the water in his space.WHAT KIND OF CRATE IS BEST?The most practical dog crate is a collapsible wire mesh crate, available ina variety of sizes. Lightweight and easyto handle, it allows total ventilation andpermits the dog to see everything going on around him.A wooden, metal or fiberglass/plasticairline crate can also serve the purpose,but it restricts air and vision, is less convenient to handle and has limited sizeselection.WHAT SIZE SHOULD A CRATE BE?A crate should always be large enoughto permit the dog to stretch out flat on hisside and sit up without hitting his head.While the size of a pure bred puppy iseasy to predict, that of a mixed breedmust be estimated based on generalHis crate must be large enough to permit breed, body type and size at a givenhim comfortably to stretch out fully on age. It is always better to use a crate ahis side and to feel that he has freedom little too large than a little too small.of movement; it must also be equippedwith a dish for water. There are also waCONTINUED ON NEXT PAGEIf it is attempted, the dog must be wellexercised both before and after crating, given lots of personal positive attention and be allowed complete freedom at night (including sleeping nearhis owner.)5

CRATE TRAINING continuedCRATING A PUPPYA puppy that is eight to 16 weeks oldshould normally have no problem accepting a crate as his own place.Any complaining he might do at firstis caused not by the crate but by hislearning to accept the controls of hisFor a puppy, measure as above, then unfamiliar, new environment. Actually,add 12 inches for anticipated growth. If the crate will help him to adapt morea small crate is unavailable for tempo- easily and quickly to his new world.rary use, reduce the space of an adultFor bedding, use an old towel or piececrate with a removable partition.of blanket that is washable and a freshlyworn, unlaundered article of your clothWHERE SHOULD I PUT IT?Since one of the main reasons for us- ing, such as a T-shirt. Use corrugateding a crate is to confine a dog without cardboard in the bottom of the cratemaking him feel isolated or banished, it if there is no floor pan. Unless you areshould be placed in, or as close as pos- crating your puppy for a long period ofsible to, an area used often by family time, a puppy need not be fed in themembers, such as a kitchen or family crate and will only upset a dish of a fully grown adult dog, measurethe distance from tip of his nose to thebase of his tail and use a crate close to,but not less than, this length. The heightand width of most crates are properlyproportioned to the length.To provide a greater sense of den security and privacy, it should be put ina corner and/or have the sides andback loosely draped with a sheet, largetowel or light blanket that can easily beadjusted for desired visibility or air flow.Be sure it is free from drafts and not tooclose to a direct heat source.6Make it clear to children that the crateis not a playhouse but a special roomfor the puppy, whose rights should berecognized and respected. However,you should accustom the puppy fromthe start to letting you reach into thecrate at any time, or else he may become overprotective of it.

CRATE TRAINING continuedEstablish a crate routine immediately,closing the puppy in it at regular one- totwo-hour intervals during the day andwhenever he must be left alone for upto four hours. Give him a chew toy fordistraction.At night, in the beginning, you may prefer to place the crate in the room whereyou sleep. This will allow you to hear ifthe puppy wakes, whines or indicatesthat he needs to eliminate.Then, start leaving the crate door openat night, when someone is at homeduring the day or when he is brieflyleft alone. If all goes well for a week ortwo, and the dog seems reliable whenleft alone, remove the crate itself andleave the bedding in the same spot. Although he will probably miss the crateenclosure, that spot will have becomehis own place, and his habit of goodbehavior should continue.Even after a long period without acrate, a dog that has been raised inOnce adjusted to his new life, he willone will readily accept it again, shouldsoon show greater bowel control andthe need arise for travel, illness or bethen may be crated all night in his reguhavior.lar place.CRATING AN ADULT DOGEven if things do not go too smoothly atMany of the usual problem behaviorsfirst, don’t change your routine. Be conof older puppies and adult dogs aresistent and firm.caused by the lack of a feeling of security when left alone. Although a crateIncrease the space inside the crate as can fulfill this need, it must still be introthe puppy grows so that he remains duced gradually, with every possiblecomfortable. If you do not choose, or effort to be sure that the dog’s first asare not able, to use a crate permanent- sociation with it is, plan to use it for at least six monthsor until the dog is well past the teethingphase.CONTINUED ON NEXT PAGE7

CRATE TRAINING continuedWhen you first introduce the crate, secure the door open so that it can’t unexpectedly shut and frighten the dog,and do not put in any bedding. Encourage the dog to investigate this newobject thoroughly, luring him inside bytossing a treat into the far end, then letting him turn and come back out, praising him.crate, you may safely leave him alone.Give him a chew toy or a safe bone toabsorb his attention. If you are still uncertain, leave him at first for only a briefperiod until he has proved that he willnot resist the confinement.Once he has accepted the crate ashis bed and his own special place, yourpet can stop being a problem and startWhen he begins to enter the crate being a pleasure!confidently, place his bedding andan item with your scent, such as an In due time, it may even be possible tounlaundered T-shirt, inside. Start coax- wean him gradually off the crate withing him to lie down and relax, still using out him resuming problem, if necessary. Continue this pattern for several days, encouraging him DOES THE CRATE ALWAYS WORK?to use the crate as much as possible Although a crate can be used successand shutting the door briefly while you fully by most pet owners, there are someanimals that simply cannot or will notsit beside him.tolerate this form of confinement. ThisDo not hesitate to meet modest resis- reaction is not common with a youngtance with consistent firmness and au- puppy, but it does happen!thority so the dog is clearly aware ofthe behavior you desire; your goal may Previously owned dogs may have sufhave to be acceptance, not content- fered a traumatic, frightening experience while crated. Some purebredsment.seem to have a special aversion toAs soon as you feel confident that the crates or show no desire to keep itdog will remain quietly in the closed clean.8

CRATE TRAINING continuedIn some cases, a dog will use a cratereadily as long as the door remains openbut will object violently the moment it isclosed and/or he is left alone. It shouldbe stressed here, however, that thesereactions represent the exception rather than the rule, and most average petdogs can be successfully trained to usea crate.If, despite every effort at positive conditioning and real firmness, a dog is obviously frantic or miserable when confined to a crate, forcing him to use oneis indeed inhumane and can result inreal physical injury, should he attemptto chew his way out. Be sure you alwaysremove your dog’s collar to avoid injury, should he try to escape.Even though a crate may not alwayswork, it is always worth a try becausewhen it does prevent or solve problembehavior, it is truly the best friend youand your dog could ever have.9

HOUSE TRAININGAdapted from an articleby Jacque Schultz, ASPCAindividual preferences.CONFINEMENTn an ideal world, puppies come with A method that helps build bladder andsome house training. A new caretaker bowel control.has a fenced-in yard to which no otherdogs have access and a stay-at-home CLEANINGschedule that allows frequent potty A good enzymatic odor neutralizer totrips to that yard. Under these circum- clean up accidents.stances, most dogs are housebroken inonly a few weeks. However, most of us Puppies can control themselves roughlyone hour for each month of age, up tolive in the real world.10 hours. At three to four months, theyIn the real world, puppies may have can usually stay clean for six hours overspent time in an environment where night but soil more frequently during thethey became accustomed to lying in day. Three walks a day is fine for mosttheir waste, which makes training dif- dogs eight months or older.ficult. We may hold jobs that keep usaway from home for long stretches or Puppies thrive on routine, and thatlive in housing without fenced-in yards. means seven days a week. Establish setThe further a lifestyle varies from the feeding, walking and sleeping times. Goideal, the greater the challenge house- out the same door to the same placeat the same time.breaking is.IReal world house training requires a A puppy usually needs to eliminateafter waking, eating and exercising.strategy based on three components.Charting his output will help you predicthis needs.CONSISTENCYA consistent walking schedule catered For the first few weeks in a new home,to the dog’s developmental stage and a puppy may seem like he is constantly10

HOUSE TRAININGsoiling, but as he matures and devel- to be fed a quality food up to four timesops muscle tone, he will learn to control a day, as part of regular routine. Don’tleave food out all the time, and supplyhimself for longer periods.fresh clean water until a few hours beConfinement, preferably in a crate, fore bedtime.builds control by associating the pup’sdistaste for soiling in his special area During bathroom breaks outside, thewith soiling inside the house in general. pup should wear a leash and collar andA crate also provides your dog with a remain under your control. If you don’tsafe haven to escape to when he re- acclimate the pup to your presencequires quiet time of his own. Make sure while he’s relieving himself, you maythe crate always has clean bedding, create a dog that won’t soil in frontfresh water and a favorite toy, and of you but waits until he’s back in thenever use the crate as a form of punish- house and can disappear behind thesofa or under the dining room table.ment.Remember, it is unfair to crate a pup forlonger than he is physically able to control himself. In these cases, confine himto a small space, such as a bathroomor kitchen, with papers at one end anda bed and toys at the other. It slows thehousebreaking process, but it is the bestoption, short of hiring a pet sitter, if noone can be home with the puppy during an average workday.Do not allow puppies access to carpeting, especially wall-to-wall, when itnears time to eliminate, for they oftenreturn to and repeat accidents here.Should an accident occur, get outthe odor neutralizer immediately, andclean, clean, clean.Your dog is incapable of making anyconnection between a bad behaviorand a punishment if the punishmentFeeding a quality food to your puppy comes too long after the bad behavior.increases healthy growth and decreases the volume of waste. Puppies needCONTINUED ON NEXT PAGE11

HOUSE TRAINING continuedIf you come home and find a mess, cleanit up. If your puppy is sniffing the floor,take him out. If your puppy is circling,take him out. When your puppy goes inthe correct place, praise him immediately. Relieving oneself shouldn’t be atraumatic experience for your dog.As for bedding, your dog must earn itby keeping his crate clean for approximately seven days. When he accomplishes that, add thin bedding, suchas a sheet or worn towel. If that staysclean, then add additional bedding.If the problem stems from behaviorPeople sometimes forget that dogs are learned before you adopted the dog,animals. The only way they’re going to you will probably need to work with alearn to become house trained is if you them understand exactly whatyou expect of them. This takes time and “My dog keeps me outside for hoursbefore he goes.”effort on your part.COMMON PROBLEMS“My dog eliminates in its crate.”There are two common causes for cratesoiling. First, the crate may be too large,thus allowing your dog to soil at oneend and rest in the other. Second, bedding in the crate may be acting like adiaper, wicking offensive waste away.If the crate is too large, reduce its sizewith a barrier that blocks off excessroom. The pup should have just enoughroom to stand up, turn around in a circle and stretch out.12Some people walk their pups just untilthey eliminate and then promptly turnaround and head for home. In no time,dogs learn that they can extend the funonly if they drag out the process. A walkshould be the reward for soiling. Whenyou leave your home, take your dogimmediately to a suitable toileting spot,such as a lamp post, patch of grass orcurb in front of a fire hydrant.It’s helpful if this is a spot other dogs use.Issue your potty command. Circle thespot with your dog for five minutes to 10minutes, at most.

HOUSE TRAINING continuedIf he urinates, praise and go play. If heholds, go right back in and crate him. Tryagain in 15 minutes. Before you know it,you should have a dog that will soil oncommand in his spot.“My dog was housebroken, but whenhe turned nine months old, he startedto urinate in the house.”As a male dog matures and begins tolift his leg, he marks his territory, leavingolfactory messages for other canines.Consider neutering the dog, since anunneutered male is more likely to engage in marking behavior than a neutered one.A well-timed verbal correction whenhe is lifting his leg is helpful, too. Confinement will once again be necessarywhen he is alone until the problem is resolved.13

LEASH TRAININGIn Howard County, dogs are requiredby law to be restrained by leasheswhen off the owner’s property. A leashis an excellent safety device to protectyour pet from traffic and unrestrainedanimals.It will prevent your dog from trespassingon neighbors’ property during your walk.It also keeps your dog from jumping upon children or adults you encounter,ensuring that your dog has the chanceto be properly introduced.A leash is a great identification tool,symbolizing that the dog has an owner,and enabling someone who sees theleash and identification tag attachedto the dog’s collar to find you if you andyour pet become separated.An added benefit is it keeps your dogfrom harassing deer, squirrels and otherwild animals.Use a leash every time you reward yourdog and you with fresh air, exercise andcompanionship.14

HEALTH: ALLERGIESJust because you or a new householdmember has allergies doesn’t meanyou must part with your canine. If you’reallergic to dogs, chances are you’re allergic to other things, too. Parting wayswith your dog will solve just part of theproblem.While allergies can’t be cured, they canbe managed. Below are some stepsyou can take. See an allergist. Make your goal clear:You intend to keep your pet. Too often,the dog is the most obvious target andthe doctor recommends removing thepet before looking for other possible irritants in the home. Insist on a thoroughscreening to reveal all of the allergensthat bother you. Don’t give up. Even if the tests showyou’re allergic to dogs, don’t be talkedinto giving up your dog immediately.Since allergic people are usually bothered by more than one thing, it’s the total allergen level that causes problems.If you can remove the other allergensin your home, your symptoms may decrease. Consider allergy shots. Pet allergiesare particularly responsive to thesetreatments. Breathe clean air. Invest in a good airpurifier with a HEPA filter. Putting an airpurifier in your bedroom and keepingthe pets out will help. Groom the dog. Brushing your dogdaily will reduce shedding. Give your dog a bath. Bathing dogs inlukewarm tap or distilled water reducesirritants found on their skin and coats. Feed them right. A high-quality dietthat includes some natural fat can prevent excessive hair loss. Adding a littlefat a few times a week reduces skin dryness and flaking. Wash your hands after handling yourdog.15

HEALTH: POISONOUS PLANTSCurious canines may try to nibble on or eat household plants. It’s important tobe aware of plants that are toxic to dogs so that you can prevent your petfrom becoming sick. If you must have these plants in the house, store them in areas where the dog does not have access. If your pet ingests any of these plants,call your veterinarian immediately. If possible, bring the plant with you to the veterinarian or animal hospital for identification.AlmondAmerican YewAngel’s TrumpetApricotBalsam PearBird of Paradise BushBittersweet WoodyBlack LocustButtercupCastor beanChina BerryCoriariaDaffodilDelphiniumDologetonEnglish HollyEnglish YewFoxglove16Ground CherryHorse ChestnutIndian TobaccoIndian TurnipJapanese PlumJasmineLarkspurLocoweedLupineMatrimony VineMay AppleMescal BeanMock OrangeMoonseedMoonweedMushrooms (if toxicto humans)NightshadeNux VomicaPoison HemlockPokeweedPrivetRain TreeRhubarbSkunk CabbageSoapberrySpinachSunburned PotatoesTomato VineWater HemlockWestern YewWild CherryWisteriaSource: AmericanKennel Club

HEALTH: POISONOUS FOODSSome foods that are considered good for people can be very dangerous forpets. The list below highlights some of the most common foods that can bedangerous to animals. This is not an exhaustive list, and any decision to provideyour pet with food not specifically intended for animals should be discussed withyour veterinarian or pet nutritionist. If your pet ingests any of these foods, call yourveterinarian immediately.Alcoholic beveragesApple seedsApricot pitsAvocadosCherry pitsCandy (particularly chocolate and any candycontaining the sweetenerXylitol)CoffeeGrapesHopsMacadamia nutsMoldy foodsMushroom plantsMustard seedsOnions/onion powderPeach pitsPotato leaves and stemsRaisinsRhubarb leavesSaltTeaTomato leaves and stemsWalnutsYeast doughSource: Humane Societyof the United States17

HEALTH: KENNEL COUGHKennel cough in dogs is very similar tothe cold virus in humans. Don’t worry; humans cannot get kennel coughfrom their dogs. This disease is so common and is named “kennel” cough because wherever there are numbers ofdogs confined together in an enclosedenvironment, such as a kennel, animalshelter or dog show, the disease is muchmore likely to be have no rise in temperature and donot lose their appetite. The symptoms ofkennel cough usually will last from sevento 21 days and can be very annoyingfor the dog and the dog’s owners.Life threatening cases of kennel coughare extremely rare, and a vast majorityof dogs that acquire the infection willrecover on their own with no medication. Cough suppressants and occaThe same is true with the common cold sionally antibiotics are the usual treatthat affects humans. All it takes for in- ment options.fection to spread is a single infecteddog, an enclosed environment and sus- Even in the most hygienic, well venticeptible animals in close proximity. In- lated, spacious kennels, the possibilityfected dogs can spread the organisms of a dog acquiring kennel cough exists.for days to weeks even after seeming to Kennel cough can be acquired fromyour neighbor’s dog, from a Championhave fully recovered!show dog at a dog show or from an aniKennel cough in dogs will stimulate mal hospital. There may have been ana coarse, dry, hacking cough about infected dog, unknown to anyone, thatthree to seven days after the dog is ini- acted as a source for other dogs in thetially infected. It sounds as if the dog kennel.needs to clear its throat, and the coughwill be triggered by activity or exercise. To try to prevent the spread of kennelMany dogs that acquire kennel cough cough within the Howard County Aniwill cough every few minutes, all day mal Control facility, all incoming dogslong. Their general state of health and are immediately vaccinated againstalertness will be unaffected; they usu- the virus.18

HEALTH: HEARTWORMSHeartworms are parasitic roundworms that are spread from oneanimal to another by mosquitoes. Whenthe mosquito bites an animal that is infected with heartworms, the mosquitocan then infect the next animal it biteswith heartworms.Heartworms take five to seven monthsto become adults and can start reproducing at that time. Heartworms live inyour dog’s arteries. They damage bloodvessels, reducing the heart’s pumpingability, and can cause severe lung andheart disease. It is important to get yourdog tested each year to make sure ithas not become infected with this disease.not an over-the-counter product. Ifyour dog becomes infected with heartworms, treatment is possible, however,it is a complicated and expensive process, taking weeks for recovery.At Howard County Animal Control &Adoption Center, all dogs over the ageof six months at the time of adoption aretested for heartworms. The result of thetest is recorded on your pet’s medicalhistory report. We highly recommendspeaking to your veterinarian and starting your new pet on heartworm prevention right away.Heartworm prevention is important tokeeping your dog safe. There are avariety of options for preventing heartworms, including daily and monthlytablets and chewables, monthly topicals and six-month injectable products.Heartworm prevention should be given as directed by your veterinarian.Make sure you are using a brand recommended by your veterinarian and19

HEALTH: RABIESRabies is a fatal disease that can oc- Howard County Animal Control.cur in nearly all warm-blooded animals, although rarely in rodents. It is not The law requires pet owners to continuously maintain current rabies vaccinapresent in birds or reptiles.tions for their pets.The rabies virus, which is present in infected saliva, enters at the site of a bite. The first rabies vaccine that your petSaliva on an open wound also consti- is given is effective for one year. Aftertutes exposure. The average incubation the first year, you will only need to giveperiod in dogs is two to eight weeks, but rabies vaccines every three years toit can be as short as one week or as long booster your pet’s immunity to the a year.Rabies is a very serious virus and is always fatal. Most companion animalsare exposed to the virus by interactionswith wildlife, which can include bats inthe home. Rabies is easily preventedin our pets by maintaining their rabiesvaccines.Maryland state law requires all dogs,cats and ferrets to be vaccinatedagainst rabies by the time they are fourmonths old.If your adopted animal is over fourmonths of age and in good health atthe time of adoption, a current rabiesvaccine has been administered by20

BEHAVIORS: BARKING & DESTRUCTIVENESSAdapted from articles by Suzanne Hetts, dog’s destructive behavior. Althoughoccasional destructive behavior is norHumane Society of Denvermal, persistent and severe destructiveanine behavior problems, such as behavior problems need to be resolvedbarking and destructiveness, are for both the dog’s and owner’s sake.not just frustrating to the pet’s own- Remember, dogs do not participate iners. They may also create tensions with destructive activities out of spite or revenge. They often behave to relieve anxiety or as an outlet forDogs are vocal creatures and bark to excess energy.communicate. They may be warningoff what they perceive to be territorial Often, the same factors can contributeintruders. They may bark during play to barking and destructive behavior.or when they are afraid, frustrated or By studying your pet and his activities,bored. Barking can also become a way you may determine which one of theseof getting what they want, such as to be causes is to blame – and may find a solet in the house or to get attention from lution to your problem.owners. However, continual barking forlong periods of time, or in the middle of ATTENTION-SEEKING BEHAVIORthe night, or at everything that moves, Without realizing it, owners may pay theis a sign of a problem.most attention to their dogs when theyare misbehaving.Similarly, chewing, playing, exploring,and investigating are normal behaviors SOLUTION Dogs must receive positivefor dogs – especially puppies.attention and reinforcement for appropriate behavior.Because destructive behavior is socommon, it is reasonable to concludethat all dog owners should be preparedto lose something of value due to theirCONTINUED ON NEXT PAGEC21

BEHAVIORS: BARKING & DESTRUCTIVENESS continuedFEARS Fearful responses to thunder- ions for long time periods with nothingstorms and loud noises often involvebarking and escape attempts that result in destructive behavior. In thesecases, doors, door frames, window trimand screens and walls are often damaged. These problems can be especially dangerous because excessivelyfearful dogs may injure themselves attempting to break through windows ordoors to escape a feared situation.In the summer, dogs are often frightenedby thunderstorms and firecrackers. Carsbackfiring, garbage trucks and othersudden, loud noises may frighten dogs.Dogs will look afraid with ears back andtail down as they bark, and peoplewatching them may not be able to determine the cause of do, dogs often display frustration-relieving behaviors,

crating your puppy for a long period of time, a puppy need not be fed in the crate and will only upset a dish of wa-ter. Make it clear to children that the crate is not a playhouse but a special room for the puppy, whose rights should be recognized and respected. However, you should accustom the puppy from the start to letting you reach into the