Did you know October is Adopt a Shelter Dog Month? Millions of dogs (and cats) enter shelters every year. Rescuing a shelter dog is the perfect way to celebrate Adopt a Shelter Dog Month. Keep in mind, shelter dogs may need time to adjust to new living situations. Noisy shelters are a scary place for a dog. Moving to a new home adds to the dog’s anxiety. Consider the following tips to help you with a successful adoption process.
Tips for Successful Shelter Dog Adoption
Before you adopt a shelter dog or any other pets, think. Do you have enough time for your pet? Does your landlord allow animals in your building? Do you have enough money to cover your pet’s expenses? Each question will help you determine the type and size of pet to bring home.
One of the best ways to begin the adoption process is research. Learning about different dog breeds will help you find the right dog for your home. Many shelter dogs are mixed breeds. If you have a specific breed in mind, learn about size, weight, temperament and other pertinent information.
2. Take Your Time
Prior to adopting your new shelter dog, prepare your dog’s living space and your entire home.
- Keep cleaners or other chemicals in a safe place.
- Place plants out of the dog’s reach.
- If you plan on keeping your pet out of certain rooms in your house, install baby gates.
3. Dog Necessities
Purchasing the basic supplies will prepare you to bring your new pet home. Remember your new shelter dog’s necessities depend on the size. If you have an idea of your future dog’s size, you may start purchasing the basics.
- Food and Water Dishes: From small bowls to large self-feeding dishes, you will need one for food and one for water.
- Leash and Collar: A leash and collar are necessary for walking your dog. The collar should fit properly. A tight fitting collar may cause your dog to choke. A loose fitting one may result in your new dog slipping away from you. When you are not walking your dog on your own private property, doggy cleanup bags are a must.
- Backyard Fencing: If you are able, fence in a specific area for your dog to play and go potty.
- Dog Bed: In order to be comfortable, the dog bed needs to be size appropriate.
- Crate or Kennels: Many dog owners use crates or kennels. Having a kennel set up and ready will ensure a proper routine from the start.
- Toys: Dogs love to play. Having toys ready will help ease the transition process.
4. Ask Questions
After all the research and preparation, the time is right to find your perfect new four-legged companion. Do not be afraid to ask questions about the dog.
- Is the dog good with other dogs, cats or children?
- Do you know the history of the dog?
- What is the dog’s current food?
- What is the dog’s energy level?
Every answer will help determine if the dog is right for your household.
5. Bringing Your Pet Home
Your new dog will need time to adjust to unfamiliar surroundings. Allow your dog some time to sniff the house. A new home is intimidating. The adjustment will not happen overnight. Slowly introduce your new dog to others in the household.
6. Vet Appointment
Unfortunately, the shelter may not have a complete background history of your new dog. Taking your pet to the vet is a perfect way to set up a health regiment. Ask your vet about shots, preventive medicines for fleas and ticks, diet suggestions, dog training and any other concerns you may have about your addition. Your vet is a valuable resource.
Adopting a shelter dog is a commitment. However, finding a new fur baby to love and cherish is the best outcome.