Here’s What You Should Know Before Adopting A Shelter Dog
While there are certain advantages of purchasing a dog from a professional breeder (you are informed about their genetic history, traits and inherent personality), there are a lot of animal shelters out there that you can also visit to adopt a dog that is just as friendly and lovable as dogs with pedigree. Proceed with care, though; adopting a dog from a shelter isn’t as easy as you might think it is and there are a lot of things you have to be careful about.
Being Passive Goes A Long Way
When you first get acquainted with a dog from a shelter, you really don’t know what to expect. However, the same is true for the dog, as that is the first time that they’re interacting with you as well. So, instead of trying to socialize with the dog right away, simply get close to them, avoid eye contact and let them get used to you. Ignore the dog completely until they know what they’re dealing with, or in other words, until they’ve gotten used to your scent and presence.
A Walk Is Absolutely Necessary
Some of your new dog’s best (and worst) traits will manifest themselves when you take the pooch out for a walk. Once you’ve narrowed down your choice to a few dogs, take them all out for a short walk, no more than ten to fifteen minutes. This will give you a basic idea of how your new pooch reacts to different people, dogs and traffic.
Do You Want An Energetic Dog?
A very important thing to consider is your general lifestyle. If you’re single, live alone or with your partner, you’ll probably be able to handle an active, energetic dog. However, older people or people with small children should consider getting a less energetic dog because there’s nothing worse than a pooch who can’t get enough exercise. Trust us on that.
Don’t Be Intimidated By Barking
Barking happens all the time at dog shelters. If dogs bark at you, they’re probably not really barking at you. Because there are so many dogs in one place and they’re all sounding off at the same time, they’re probably just reacting to each other, not to you.
Don’t Visit The Shelter During Rush Hour
When the shelter is crowded with people (at the end of the week, for example), the dogs become very excited and agitated because of all the new faces and scents in their surroundings. That’s why it’s a great idea to visit the shelter in the middle of the week when business is slower. This will give you ample time to bond with your new friend and decide whether you want to take them home.
Maybe You Want An Older Dog?
The sad truth is that many dogs are left homeless due to divorce or death. These dogs end up in shelters, usually severely depressed. However, these dogs are often very good with people and kids, they’re housebroken and some are even trained. And while we all know how cute puppies are, getting an older dog might be the best choice you could make; someone else already did all the hard stuff, left the dog there and now all you have to do is pick up where they left off!
Vaccination Is Super Important
There’s nothing worse than seeing your dog succumb to a disease that could’ve been prevented by vaccination. Vaccines for dogs have been around for quite a while now and they’ve become common practice, so make sure that you know which shots your dog has received and which they haven’t. Inform yourself about every vaccine that your dog should have and vaccinate them ASAP.
Take Your Whole Family (And Your Dogs) To The Shelter
It’s crucial to make sure that your dog is able to properly socialize with all the members of your family, including your other dogs. Observe how the dog reacts to the dogs in their existing environment; if they bark or growl aggressively at other dogs, it might mean that they won’t get along that well with your dogs either.