You have decided to make your family bigger or to start one by adding a furry addition. You have made a wonderful compassionate choice of adopting a dog from the street. While you have emotionally prepared yourself and know that you just want to love and spoil the doggie, you must carefully consider your decision. This is a big decision and a big responsibility that you have decided on. To help you feel secure in the decision you have made and the steps you will be making next, here is a list of things you should think about before Adopting a Pet Dog, prepare yourself for and enjoy the happily ever after.
Think Carefully- Adopting a Pet Dog
This cannot be emphasized enough for potential adopters. The animal you will adopt requires love, of course, but also time, money, attention, and space. With the adoptees there is also the factor of their mostly unknown past, thus further raising the importance of giving them time and being patient. Some tend to be scared, some are unaware of the boundaries that they never learned, some develop food obsession, and some have their doggo friends and relatives they do not want to be separated from.
Spay and neuter
Shelter animals are usually spayed and neutered upon arrival at the shelter. The owners who are against neutering are often judged as irrational. When diving deeper into the literature, neutering remains a level-headed recommendation, as the risks of spaying are directly connected to the previous uncontrolled reproduction leading to the poorer quality of life and in some cases, poor genetics combined. Getting to the bottom of the dilemma, the detailed exams are what each animal needs before neutering, as well as the proper care before and after the procedure. With the current number of stray animals still rising, it is for the best to neuter and gives your dog a long and healthier life.
Vet check- Adopting a Pet Dog
As well as humans, animals also require regular medical care. As well as their owners, dogs need yearly medical appointments, or more often if the recommendation is different. Most of the dogs have a life expectancy of around 12-15 years, making each of their days exceptionally important to be spent as carefree as possible. When adopting make a vet appointment a priority in the first few weeks. Even when they have been checked, you still need to know that you are getting yourself into. Apart from annual check-ups, you need to clean your dog’s teeth and wash them every now and then.
Deworm and prevent ticks, fleas, and worms in the future
Even if your new furry friend is completely healthy or comes with detailed healthcare information, you will have protection from worms and ticks as your responsibility. Deworming needs to be done according to your vet’s recommendation, mostly every couple of months, whereas the tick and flea protection should additionally be supervised after each walk by yourself. Ticks and fleas can be removed by yourself or your vet, be certain to follow their advice.
Prepare your home before pup arrival = Adopting a Pet Dog
Deciding to add one more family member should come with the corresponding preparation. Your dog will need his bowls, bed, toys, shampoo, maybe even cage to give them additional private space and help training. If you already have animals, double-check their shots and health, but also be certain to help them have their space until they bond with the new pup. Lastly, thoroughly check your home for any harmful corners, paying close attention to pests as it is best that your pest control is done before an animal comes to live with you.
Tag and microchip
Even though microchipping will be done at the shelter, your dog still needs a tag with your contact on it. Unfortunately, many things can happen to our furry friends. We will not scare you with the statistics, but be careful when taking walks and especially on holidays if your dog is afraid of the fireworks. The tag on their collar is the safest way back home, while the microchip with updated information could even save them from euthanasia.
Clear your schedule for the first few weeks
In the first period, free your schedule as much as you can. Ideally, spend the first few weeks at home bonding with your new buddy. If you already have an animal, this step may be even more important, depending on their reaction to the new family addition. If you have or are adopting a senior pay close attention to their reaction as they might appreciate peace and a warm bed more than anything, whereas the cats might not be crazy about the dog and would need dog-free space.
Respect their boundaries
As mentioned, the dog from the shelter often has an unknown history. This can mean many things, but the most important is that they have had the experiences that might have left consequences. They might be afraid, might be used to being hungry or thirsty, might not have a lot of socialization with other dogs, might have emotional trauma from people and objects… Many things might hide behind those round eyes and you should let them open up when they are ready.
Training starts NOW
Even though you might want to kiss and hug the dog, and let them play and explore their forever home, you have to start training your dog. You are the first that should go through the door, leash training even for the first car ride home, and eating from their bowl only. Also, check with the shelter their behaviour to get information on any possible behaviour issues and prepare to be a dog parent.
Along with their boundaries, new experiences in a safe and loving home might be too much for them. Be certain to give them time to adjust to your and your existing family’s lifestyle. If you happen to encounter their fear or behaviour issue, stop everything and correct the poor memory. Some dogs might like sleeping, some playing, just find their favourite thing to do and slowly expand their world. Start with home, backyard, or peaceful streets for walkies, and start building their world from there.
Shower with love
Finally, we don’t need to tell you this. Wherever your pup has been before, whoever did it meet and whatever has been done to them, it is over. They have reached their forever home, and you are there to give them nose kisses and ear scratches, long walks, and sunny sunsets with many toys and treats they get interested in. Once you are together, there is only happiness. As Beatles sang, love, is all we need, with fur on top or without it.