Adopt, Don’t Shop: Tips for Adopting a Stray/Shelter Dog

Estimated Reading Time: 6 minutes

Bringing a new dog into your home is one of the most memorable days ever. It’s very much like adding a new member to your family because you’re getting a new friend, someone who you will love and care for. And even though you could go and buy a dog from a registered breeder or a pet store, adopting one from a dog shelter or rescuing one from the streets would be so much more rewarding. However, there are certain precautions when it comes to adopting a dog. In this article, we’re breaking down five things you should consider when giving your adopted pet a new home.

Make sure your pet is comfortable at their new home

First things first, before you can bring your adopted furry friend home, you need to make sure that your house is optimized for the new pet. Your dog will probably be anxious and fearful due to his transition to a new home, so try to make the whole process go as smooth as possible. Designate a spot in your house just for him, and choose a place where he can still hear and see their new family without him feeling unsafe and overwhelmed, and make sure he has a soft bed, two bowls for water and food, and preferably, a couple of dog toys he can chew on.

Address any health issues of your new pet

When it comes to adopting a stray dog, there is no way of knowing his vet history. And even though shelter and rescue organizations do their best to ensure all their dogs get proper veterinary care, the tests that are made to check the health of the dogs usually consist of a routine physical exam. Because of that, you need to make sure that you address any health issues early on. It’d be best if you’d take your dog to the vet in the first week of adoption, and make sure they get all the necessary shots. To prevent fleas, lice, and heartworms, make sure you get a quality advocate for dogs so you can rest assured that your adopted pet is healthy, happy, and parasite-free.

Socialize them with your other pets

An important aspect of adding a new pet into your household is establishing a good relationship between them and the other pets you have. In case you’re adopting a stray dog, you can’t predict how they will react to other pets. Therefore, it’s best to take it slow, and gradually get your stray dog used the other animals in your home. In case you’re adopting from a shelter or a rescue, the staff should be able to provide you with enough information about the dog’s personality and behaviours so you’ll be able to decide whether they’re the right fit for you.

Have in mind that you might need to spay or neuter them

While many rescues and shelters have the resources to routinely spay or neuter the dogs in their care, others can’t really afford to perform such procedures. Moreover, if you’re adopting a stray dog or taking in a puppy that isn’t old enough to have the surgery, it’ll be up to you to have them spayed or neutered. When you first go to the vet, ask them about the low-cost procedures in your area and let them suggest several spaying and neutering programs. Doing so will reduce the number of unwanted or the so-called “oops” litters and lower the number of unwanted or stray animals that end up in dog shelters.

Why it’s better to adopt

Because of the ever-increasing demand for purebred puppies, the number of commercial dog-breeding facilities has escalated to such a degree that nowadays, female dogs are being treated as breeding machines rather than living beings that need love and compassion. Breeding for pedigree is seen as the race for profit, one in which the feelings and needs of those who can’t speak for themselves are completely disregarded. Looking beyond the celebrity-driven trend of mass-produced designer puppies and choosing to adopt instead of buying is a significant step in helping fight puppy mills. Besides that, adopting a pet from a shelter or giving home to a stray dog means you’re saving a life – and what could be more fulfilling than that?

There are a number of reasons why it’s better to adopt than to buy a dog, and due to the ever-growing number of shelter animals, people looking for a new addition to their family are encouraged to go to their local shelters to find their new furry friend. Once you’ve found “the one”, use the tips above to ensure you give them a warm and loving home and make their lives so much brighter.

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