10 Tips on Adopting a Shelter Dog

by on October 1st, 2010 at 7:00 am

  1. Do plenty of research prior to adopting a particular breed. This can give a reasonable estimated cost of maintenance, feeding, and help identify any characteristic health problems which may require special care.
  2. Adopt for the right reasons. From the lovable Dalmatians in the children’s movie to the cute Chihuahua in the Taco Bell commercials, animals portrayed in the media are often pursued shortly after their time in the spotlight. While some of pets find life-long happy homes, many end up in shelters once the next fad comes along.
  3. Wait it out. Make sure the decision to bring a new pet into the home is appropriate for your lifestyle and carefully considered, factoring in work hours, community housing regulations, and other pets in the household.
  4. Look past the puppies. Many people want to nurture a cute puppy, but this often leaves the older dogs behind, who may really need your love and support! Don’t forget, young puppies are often prone to chewing and accidents, so an older dog might really suit your lifestyle better, anyway.
  5. Spend time at a shelter. You may be surprised that the breed you were initially most drawn to can change after you get to see the dogs in action. Once you do find a dog you may want to take home, play with him or her (especially if you have children) to see how the interaction goes.
  6. Schedule a checkup with a veterinarian. Due to their prior living conditions, many shelter dogs need extra care in addition to regular vaccinations. Natural herbal and homeopathic remedies can help restore balance in the body to provide both safe, effective fast-acting symptom relief and improve body function for long-term health.
  7. Prepare your home. Don’t wait until you bring the dog home to stock up on supplies, including leash, collar, bowls, etc.
  8. Purchase pet insurance. Research and planning can’t protect your dog (and your wallet) from accidentally swallowing a toy or having an allergic reaction to a new food, but most emergency vet costs can be significantly cut by insurance.
  9. Timing is everything. If and when you do decide to get a new dog, give your pet some time to acclimate to his or her new surroundings. Many shelters suggest adopting on a weekend or when you can be sure to have time at home with your new dog.
  10. Be patient! Problematic behaviors are often caused by underlying issues, which can usually be resolved by training combined with some extra love and TLC.

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