Tips for adopting a dog

Are you ready to adopt a dog?

When adopting, you agree to take care of a four-legged friend for the rest of their life.

Below are some tips to help you make a paw-fect decision:

Personalities are important

Just as we each have our own personality, so do dogs. Adoption counselors can offer advice to help you match the dog’s personality with your own. If there are young children in your home, a puppy may not be your best bet. According to the ASPCA, you may want to consider adopting a medium-sized dog over five months old.

Choose a veterinarian

Choose a veterinarian in advance and schedule a visit for the first few days after the adoption. You’ll want to take any medical records you received from the adoption center during your first visit. Don’t forget to have your new friend spayed or neutered.

Prepare everyone in the house

Make sure everyone in the house is ready to have a dog before they come home. Visiting the shelter or animal control facility should be a family affair. When adopting a new dog with existing pets in the home, discuss with the adoption center how to do a proper introduction.
here are a few tips on how to successfully introduce two dogs, and HERE how to introduce dogs to cats. Go slow when introducing your dog to new friends and family. It can take several weeks for a pet to relax in a new environment.

Establish a schedule

It’s a good idea to establish a schedule of family members who will help care for your new dog, including walking, playing, feeding, and grooming.

Socialization is key

Socialization is the key to a happy and confident dog. All puppies must be enrolled in a puppy class where a portion of the time is spent in supervised play with other dogs.

Manners lesson

Basic manners classes can help adult dogs hone their skills or learn new ones. But be patient, training often takes time.

Budget for the expenses of a dog

Budget for the short and long term costs of a dog. Any pet is a liability, and there is a cost associated with that. Stock up on supplies before the dog arrives – Dogs need leashes, collars, ID tags, etc. Be prepared so your new dog can start feeling at home right away. Here is a general list of ASPCA dog supplies.

Protect your home against dogs

Make sure your home is safe before adopting. A new dog will quickly teach you not to let things drag on. Close your trash cans tightly, beware of dangerous decorations during the holidays. Keep toxic foods, plants unsuitable for pets, and dangerous household items out of paws’ reach.

Emergency plan

Be sure to include your new pet in your family’s emergency plan. You probably have a plan in place to get your family to safety in the event of an emergency. Adjust this plan to include your pets. Add the phone numbers of your veterinarian and the nearest 24-hour veterinary hospital to your “in case of emergency” call list.