1. Forgetting to microchip your pup
Priority number one after getting a new dog, whether puppy or rescue, should be making sure they can find their way back home if he or she ever gets lost.
Millions of pets are lost every year around the world and it happens to even the most responsible dog owners!
The best way to protect your pup is to get it microchipped, says Aimee Gilbreath, executive director at the US-based Michelson Found Animals Foundation.
These small chips that are implanted in the folds of the skin in your pup’s shoulders hold a unique ID number that connects with your contact info (i.e. your phone number) that you supply online.
It’s not a GPS tracker. Many shelters will offer inexpensive microchips or you can ask your vet about microchipping options, she says.
The last thing you would want is your new pet wandering off in search of adventure. (Is your dog one of the Best Breeds in the World? Find out here.)
2. Not registering the microchip
Microchipping your dog is only half the battle – many owners don’t realise you have to also register the microchip with your name and current contact information for it to work.
Many registries charge a yearly fee.
Make sure your information is current every year, she adds.
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3. Dropping the leash and telling your dog to “make friends”
Some dogs are immediately comfortable with other animals but many are not, and throwing your dog into a situation with another dog to “make friends” is a recipe for disaster, Gilbreath says.
Start by making a careful introduction, looking for signs of distress in both animals.
“Never force an interaction and have a place for each dog to go if they feel threatened – you can slowly bring them back together after they’ve had time to calm down,” she explains.
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