Firstly, congratulations on your newly adopted furry friend! Thank you for making the choice to adopt not shop and providing a forever home to a wonderful animal in need.
Need advice on how to introduce your new pet to any existing pets in your house? Click here.
Your new pet has more than likely been playing, chewing and interacting with KONG toys while awaiting adoption, as KONG generously donates thousands of toys to RSPCA shelters and care centres around Australia every year.
Continuing your pet’s play time with KONG toys can be a great way to help them settle in to your home and get to know you and your family. Play time helps create quality time with your pet and helps them understand the new boundaries and rules of their forever home, as well as creating essential mental stimulation. KONG’s Tug Toys and Chase Toys can be great for this kind of supervised interactive play.
HOT TIP: Being gentle and giving praise and rewards for desirable behaviour will quickly establish trust and a strong bond. Be patient and never punish your pet, as this is likely to erode trust and could lead to behaviour problems.
Your new pet will require a lot of care and attention from you to help build up their trust. At some stage, you may have to leave your pet alone for short periods. Try and make this a gradual process to avoid causing anxiety – leaving for very short amounts of time and rewarding them upon returning with a healthy dog food treat, a walk or play time. Gradually increase the length of time you are away so they learn you will always come back and will have a walk or play time to look forward to.
A good way to avoid boredom while you are away is to leave toys for them to play with. Keep a stash of toys hidden and provide different toys to play with on different days. Toys such as KONG Interactive Chew Toys, Treat Dispensers and Food Puzzles, which can be filled with healthy doggie treats and food can help to keep them entertained while you are away. You can also try going for a walk before you leave as this can help to tire out dogs before they are left alone. Remember to avoid feeding immediately before or after exercise.
HOT TIP: Remember to allow for any food delivered as treats or in enrichment toys as part of the daily diet to avoid overfeeding.
This article was prepared with assistance from The KONG Company. The KONG Company is a great supporter of the RSPCA and generously provides toys for dogs in RSPCA shelters across the country.