Essential Steps for Dog Adoption
Compliments on your decision for dog adoption. You are up for an enriching and rewarding relationship. But first, you want to ensure that there is a smooth transition for both your family and its newest addition.
These steps will highlight what you should do before, during and after adoption to ensure that the new arrangement is favorable for everyone.
1. Bring Family Members On Board
Your new pooch will affect many aspects of your life as a family. It is crucial that everyone understands that having a pet is a long-term commitment. First, it is paramount that everyone contributes to selecting the perfect pup for your home.
Again, you need to discuss your new responsibilities. Your new companion will require regular feeding, walks, grooming and occasional trips to the vet. (Ideally, there should be an adult who agrees to be entirely responsible for the fur baby). Furthermore, they will need plenty of love from everyone at home.
Finally, set some ground rules including boundaries and limitations. A list of dog commands that everyone will use will help prevent confusion. You should also consider whether anyone at home has any pet-related health issues.
2. Organize the Finances
The adoption agency will require a fee to help them discharge the cost of caring for the animal. However, this charge is a trivial fraction of what you will spend on the pooch before and after they get home. Some of the immediate expenses may include licensing as per the local rules, an initial trip to the vet, food, supplements, collar, leash, grooming supplies, toys, and beddings.
Apart from these being the most immediate costs, they are also recurrent. Other expenses may include training classes, permanent identification, a crate or carrier, and unforeseen expenses. Illnesses and emergencies can lead to expensive veterinary care. Finding a lost dog can also be costly.
3. Decide What You Want
Before visiting your local shelter or surfing the web for adoptable pets, clarify what you do and do not want. An excellent way to reach this decision is to have a few breeds, size and characteristics of your ideal doggy in mind. While each animal is an individual, they are expected to reflect some traits from their breed.
You may not want a dog who sheds or drools. As such, you should know and hold firm to your sentiments. If you prefer to nurture a previously ill-treated dog, that is what you should communicate with the staff at the shelter. You can ask for an older dog if you prefer not to deal with the hassle of training a puppy. What’s important is to be as specific as possible regarding what will work best for you.
4. Check Out the Shelter in Advance
Experts recommend that you visit a shelter’s website before setting foot in it. Apart from familiarizing with the requirements necessary for adoption, you can have a sneak peek of their pets. You can also look around to see if any of their canines catch your attention.
Besides, you can also visit the facility in person to get a better grasp of your options. It can be overwhelming to walk into the shelter for the first time and be met by all those fur babies. Such a visit can also give you an opportunity to interact with the animals, which can help you reach a decision faster.
5. Check the Requirements
It is recommended that you look into the required paperwork for adoption. These documents may range from a lease or another proof of residence to veterinary references. As an apartment renter, you may be more conversant with the landlord’s decree on pets. However, as a homeowner, you should also be aware of any requirements. For instance, most insurance does not cover larger dogs. If the paperwork is in order, ensure that you take it with you to facilitate same-day adoption.
Some adoption agencies may require fenced yards or even home checks. It is advisable that you are conversant with the requirements before the actual day.
6. Research Various Breeds
When adopting a dog, you want one that matches your lifestyle. You may consider a specific breed to be cute, but what about its temperament? If you have small children or get visitors regularly, you will need a breed that is friendly and unflappable.
You will do well with a guardian dog You will do well with a guardian dog if you prefer to keep to yourself, which does well as a one-person dog.
If you are athletic and love the outdoors, you will find an excellent companion in a dog with a high energy level. Every breed has a distinct personality and knowing these traits beforehand can save you plenty of trouble down the road.
7. Dog Proof Your House
Dogs can get into trouble just like young children do. Consequently, it is wiser to keep valuables and things that may cause harm out of their reach. Dog-proof space where your pup will be spending most of his time. This process may include installing gates, organize loose cables, keeping away chemicals, plants, breakables, rugs and fixing the crate.
General cleaning is also a great way to dog-proof your house. If you are adopting a puppy, you can lie on the floor and look around to see what may be in the puppy’s eye-view.
8. Go shopping for your Pup
Sometimes it is wise to wait until you have adopted your new pup before buying supplies. For instance, things like feeding bowls and collars may depend on the dog’s size. You should also inquire about what your dog was eating so that you can offer him the same during the first days. You can switch to another diet later, but try to make the transition gradual.
Some of the supplies you may need to include food bowls, water bowls, leash, collar, food, beddings, first-aid supplies, toys, poop bags, poop scoopers, dog treats, odor neutralizer, an ID tag, and grooming supplies.
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9. Bring your Dog to the Adoption
If you have another dog at home, it is advisable that you let them tag along for the adoption. Most shelters require that families bring any dogs they have at home to greet the potential newcomer. This policy is intended to confirm that the interaction between your fur babies won’t be a problem. In most occasions, the situation works well, and your pup may help to introduce the rest of the family.
10. Inquire as Much as possible
You shouldn’t shy away from asking any question regarding the animal. If possible, ask questions through the entire adoption procedure. The shelter staff and volunteers are the only people with any information regarding your potential new best friend. Such queries may revolve around their health background or even why they are at the shelter.
The more information you can gather, the more prepared you will be to answer any questions that arise in the future. Therefore, you want to know as much as the shelter knows regarding your pet’s past, personality and health.
11. Get All the Paperwork
Finding a dog at the shelter with proper documentation is hard. However, try to gather as many records of your pup as possible. These records provide crucial details regarding vaccination and other health conditions. They are also vital as they provide the vet with a medical background from which he can build a hypothesis in case of any health complications.
12. Get Identification
When picking up your new pup, bring an ID tag which has your contact details as an extra safety measure. Moving to a new home can be stressful and the first few days can be very uneasy for the doggy. If he has a microchip, see to it that your contact details are registered with the chip’s company.
13. Adopt at The Beginning of a Weekend
It is advisable that you spend at least two or three days with your new dog to help them settle in. During this time, you should introduce your rules, boundaries, and limitations. You should also capitalize on this time to bond and socialize with the rest of the family.
Take time to observe the dog’s behavior and tendencies closely. When you notice any unwanted behavior, reprimand the dog and find a solution if possible. Learning the dog inclinations will help you plan better for when you intend to leave the dog alone.
14. Find your Pup a Vet
It is always advisable to have your pup visit the vet before taking them to their new home (especially if you have other pets). Reputable shelters are up to date with vaccinations, and you may not have to worry much about them. However, your dog may be ill, and some dog issues are not evident to the untrained eye. You may also want the canine to be spayed or neutered.
You want to identify a nearby veterinary clinic where you can bring your furry-friend for annual check-ups and vaccinations. It may be ideal if the clinic offers emergency services and diagnostic tests. Otherwise, it is advisable that you find the nearest emergency hospital and keep their contact close.
15. Give the Dog a Great First Day
Leaving the shelter can be stressful, remember, you are taking the pup from where he considers home. As soon as you get into the car, make sure your dog feels at ease. You can ask someone to drive as you keep the pup occupied. If you are alone, your pooch should be secured in a crate and keep the ride relaxed and quiet.
When you get home, allow the dog to adjust to the home environment and family members. Take as much time to show him around and let him sniff about to familiarize with his new home. Take the pup to his water and feeding bowls and also show him his bed. If he is acting shy, leave him alone.
16. Begin Training Immediately
Training for your pooch begins the very moment you take him. During the ride home, if he whines pet him lightly and let him be. Being overly affectionate will only reinforce the behavior. Upon arrival, show your dog to his toileting area and allow him to familiarize with it. Be sure to stay with him until he relieves himself.
Keep your new pup on a leash and take him outdoors regularly for toilet breaks. Ensure you take him to the same place every time and praise him emphatically for going. When he attempts to potty at the wrong place, say a firm NO and take him to the right spot. Again, use the list of commands you made to teach your pet what you expect of him. Once he is settled in you can enroll your pup in a reputable training school for more training,
17. Create a Routine
Dogs love a routine. It helps them feel comfortable and safe. Develop a routine for feeding, toileting, exercise and solitary. A reliable schedule will help your new pup settle in faster because knowing what to expect will lower his anxiety.
Be sure to use the same keywords when signaling these crucial periods to avoid confusion. In this routine, allocate some time to be alone with your dog. During the quiet time, you can pet your fur baby gently or brush him as you speak to him softly. Convey to your loyal companion that he is safe and loved and you will be off to a rewarding relationship.
18. Balance Between Love and Space
During the first days, your pal may show some signs of anxiety. During this scary time, it is crucial that you understand him and exercise some patience. If you have small kids, remind them to be slow and gentle with the new dog. A new dog may not react well to being overwhelmed.
Please note that you are not being asked to ignore the dog, but balance hours of petting, playing and cuddling with some alone time. You should also allow the canine some supervised time alone to explore the dog environs. If you want to crate train your dog, you can leave the crate open so that the dog can enter when the dog is overwhelmed.
19. Be Patient and Take It Slow
Understand that it will take your new pup some time to trust you and understand the house rules. While these lovely creatures are instinctive and adaptive, they communicate in a different language from humans. Therefore, be patient as they try to figure things out. Again, lower your expectations especially with an adult dog, he may have suffered emotional trauma and may take some time to trust again.
It is normal to burst with anticipation to introduce your new family member to friends and family. However, take it slow. At least, do not acquaint your dog with more than one person daily. Similarly, let a few weeks go by before introducing your dog to the park or any other busty environment. You do not want to overwhelm him.
20. Continue Asking Questions
Never stop learning about dogs and your furry friend in particular. Most shelters will encourage you to call whenever you have a concern. Remember, they are the only ones who know more about your dog than you. You should also liaise with your vet regularly and express any matters pertaining to the behavior or health of your pet.
Adopting a dog is a life-affirming act. Soon enough your furry friend will realize he is in his forever home and you will be surprised at how he will bloom. His love and loyalty will be your reward.
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