HEALTH & BEHAVIOUR ADVICE: DOGS & PUPPIES
Below you will find useful resources and guides for your foster animal, these are your one-stop shop for all the essential info about the animal in your care.
**Please note as of 4/09/23 for any urgent health-related issues outside of opening hours, please call the on-call vet nurse on (07) 5509 9075.**
Behavioural Management Plan
Management is an important part of working on changing a dog’s behaviour. “Managing” means doing what is required to prevent a dog from practising undesirable behaviours or emotions, while offering them a great quality of life. If you are fostering one of our unique animals experiencing a few behavioural challenges, please ensure you complete our Behaviour Management Plan and provide updates within the outlined timeframes.
Thank you for fostering an animal that needs additional socialisation support. Together, we can provide the foster animal with the best opportunity for a comfortable and safe life.
Dogs communicate with one another and with us using their own elegant, non-verbal language. These tips focus on the important aspects of a dog’s body: eyes, ears, mouth, tail, sweat and overall body posture/movement.
Because each dog is an individual and will express fear, aggression, stress or joy slightly differently, there are no hard and fast rules for interpreting dog body language. Tail wagging, for instance, can indicate several emotions. The important thing is to look at the entire body of the dog.
The most critical aspect of raising a healthy and happy puppy is to provide plenty of exposure to people, other animals, new places, and fun experiences. To help your foster puppies grow up happy and healthy, it’s important to be aware of what they need at each phase in their development. Here is a quick summary of the stages of puppy development, starting at birth up to two years old.
With jobs to be done and errands to be run, it’s inevitable that your foster dog will be left alone for some period of time. Some dogs struggle with the idea of being alone and—without intervention—may begin showing behaviours typically associated with separation anxiety, a serious and taxing behavioural challenge.
Separation anxiety is triggered when dogs become upset because of separation from their guardians, the people they’re attached to. When treating a dog with separation anxiety, the goal is to resolve the dog’s underlying anxiety by teaching him to enjoy, or at least tolerate, being left alone.
Socialising Adult Dogs
For dogs to be happy and comfortable in the world of humans, socialisation is so important. Many dogs lack basic social skills because of limited exposure to dogs and people, or a lack of positive experiences. We can help these dogs by teaching them that the world isn’t as scary as it seems.
Brain Games for Dogs
Depending on your foster dog’s age and energy level, he or she should get at least two 30-minute play sessions or walks with you per day. Try a variety of toys (balls, squeaky toys, rope toys, etc.) to see which ones your foster dog prefers. Remember to discourage the dog from playing with your hands, since mouthing won’t be a desirable behaviour to adopters.
You can also offer your foster dog a food-dispensing toy for mental stimulation. You hide treats in the toy (such as a Kong) and the dog has to figure out how to get the treats out.
It’s widely known that brain games can improve people’s memory and cognition and potentially help ward off age-related diseases, such as Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. But it’s perhaps a lesser-known fact that such enrichment can benefit dogs as well.
Dog enrichment in the form of games keeps your dog mentally and emotionally youthful. Here are ideas for canine brain games.
Making Pet Toys
Like most animals, dogs like to play and need activities to keep them busy. Dogs who don’t have these opportunities can get bored or frustrated, and begin to exhibit problem behaviours, including chewing and digging. One way to avoid these problems is to provide toys for your foster dog.
AWLQ provides all medical care for our foster animals at our approved veterinary clinics. Because we are ultimately responsible for your foster dog’s well-being, our staff must authorise any and all treatment for foster dogs at our approved veterinary partners.
If your foster dog needs to go to the veterinarian, please notify the foster coordinator by email or phone. Because our vets run on a tight schedule, all foster animal vet checks must be allocated an appropriate appointment time. If you cannot make a vet appointment for your foster animal, please call the relevant foster office, giving us as much notice as possible, so we can rebook you a time.
For any urgent health-related issues outside of opening hours, please call the on-call vet nurse on (07)5509 99075
For more information on common medical issues please refer to your Foster Carer Manual.
If your foster animal displays any of the following medical symptoms during the foster period, please get in touch with your relevant AWLQ Foster Coordinator to arrange a vet check appointment:
- Sneezing and congestion with green/yellow discharge from the nose and/or eyes
- Coughing, wheezing or heavy breathing
- Diarrhoea or vomiting
- Straining to urinate or defecate
- Bleeding from any part of the body
- An extreme change in attitude or behaviour
- Not eating or drinking regularly