How to properly care for a shelter dog.

A gigantic choice that comes with many benefits and several new obligations is to adopt and care for a shelter dog.   Are you looking for an addition to the family? Maybe you finally gave in to your family begging for a dog.     Here are a few things to do and consider right now, before you head out to pick up a new dog and get them home.

Consider how a shelter dog might react to his or her first days in a new home.

Will a shelter dog behave perfectly in a new home? Maybe, and maybe not.  It’s possible they might be in a shelter for bad behavior but it’s not the main reason they end up there.  The main reason is the accommodation problems. That is the primary reason that people surrender their pets, such as moving into a house that does not accommodate dogs, which has limits on certain breeds or are forced to move because of work problems. It’s a small number of dogs that are returned with issues of conduct/misbehavior. One thing is certain it will take some time to get accommodated.

A check up is essential after adoption.

You should bring them in to visit with an experienced veterinarian for a full checkup soon after getting every pet. Many adopted dogs do not have a health history. A visit will ensure they are safe and comfortable.
The veterinarian will check any paperwork from the adoption agency or sanctuary. They will also do a health check, confirm vaccines, and answer your own questions. An early vet appointment is particularly necessary if there are any health issues to be discussed by the rescue agency.

Involve the whole family.

We will always strongly advise that families with children bring the children to the shelter. A  meetup with the children and the potential new family member is strongly encouraged. It is so good for children to have a pet and vice versa. One thing that is certain is for a new rescue puppy, children should never be left unattended. Often times kids do not necessarily know when a dog needs to be left alone. It could lead to a dog feeling defensive, and possible dog bites.

Should I get training for my Shelter dog?

Although training is not mandatory it is highly recommended. It helps establishes relationships and set standards for positive behavior. A new owner should attend training with your new dog. Look for a positive training community that encourages family members to work under supervision directly with their dogs. If you are not sure how they will react to other dogs first opt for 1 on 1 class. Interaction with other dogs is recommended if possible. Consistent love, attention, and training will help break bad habits.

Set some boundaries.

The new member of the family comes home with no pre-set idea of what you want from them and what the rules are. But for every pet, limits are natural and safe, and dogs actually enjoy having them. They make for a happy home as well. Decide on a few simple house rules when you bring a dog in. Things like where they are and are not allowed to roam, where they can sleep, what the exercise and eating habits are going to be, and how much time they will spend indoors and outdoors. Everyone should use a few simple commands so that the new family member will not be overwhelmed with too many conflicting orders.

What should a shelter dogs diet look like?

Do some investigating to what they were eating at the shelter.   When you first get home, start with the same food routine. Conversate on how to eventually adapt to a new diet with your veterinarian. This is mostly achieved by beginning with a small amount of the new food and over the course of several days adding in increasingly larger portions.
If you experience some gastric upset, turn it down a notch and discuss it with your pet’s doctor before going on.

Time to adapt.

It is fun to have a new pup, both for you and for the dog. Overwhelming or confusing feelings can take over if there is too much excitement though. Try not to encourage the whole neighborhood to come to see the new dog just yet. Take precautions around other dogs also until he is settled. With plenty of care and getting to know each other, you will quickly get to know your new dog. The most important thing is to have fun doing all that you will do. We hope this has helped and given you ideas on how to care for a shelter dog. Perhaps you could take a look at some of our other articles like this one.     

Leave a Comment