Bringing home a new dog from the shelter is one of the best things you can do to save lives. However, there are certain things to keep in mind before bringing home a new dog from the shelter. Below is a list to help you and allow you to prepare for your new furry family member!
Where Will the Dog Go for Medical Care?
In addition to taking your pet to the animal clinic for routine medical visits, it’s critical to find an emergency veterinarian as well. During routine visits, your pet will be checked for overall health and receive vaccinations, deworming, and diagnostic tests. During emergencies, they’ll need specialized care to ensure their health is maintained.
To help you find the right animal clinic, ask friends and family for recommendations or look online for reviews. Make sure to research their policies and services to ensure they’re a good fit for your pet’s needs.
You can also ask your pet insurance carrier for a list of vets in the area. In addition, if you have a certain breed, research vets who specialize in that breed, as they will be able to provide the best care for them. For instance, some vets might specialize in Doberman pinschers while others may specialize in German shepherds.
Do You Need a Specially Trained Service Dog?
If you have a disability or mental health condition and are looking for a service dog, it’s important to consider if the dog has specific training. Service dogs require more intensive training than regular pets and must be certified by an accredited organization. They can provide assistance with everyday tasks, such as opening doors, carrying items, or providing emotional support.
However, most shelter dogs are not specifically trained for service work. If you’re looking for a service dog, it’s best to contact an organization that specializes in service dogs and follow their process for obtaining one.
Research Your Dog’s Breed
If you’re planning on adopting from a shelter, it’s important to research your dog’s breed and create the most suitable environment possible. Research any potential issues the breed might have, such as allergies or specific health problems.
Knowing your pet’s breed will also help you better understand their behavior and personality. Some breeds are more active than others, while some may need more attention than others. Knowing this information ahead of time can make the transition much easier for both you and your dog. In addition, if you have your heart set on a certain breed, you can ask the shelter ahead of time to inform you if there are any surrenders of that breed. Most shelters have a waitlist that will inform you when a certain breed is available.
What Supplies Will You Need?
Before bringing home a dog from the shelter, you’ll need to invest in pet care supplies. One of the most important things you’ll need is dog food. Depending on your pet’s age, there are a variety of foods available that cater to different life stages. In addition, you’ll need to slowly transition them to the new food over time. Ask the shelter to provide you with the exact name and brand of your dog’s current food. You could also ask for a free bag to help you transition your dog without spending money on another bag of dog food.
You’ll also need to purchase toys, bedding, and grooming supplies like brushes, shampoo, and nail trimmers. Additionally, you may want to invest in items such as a leash and collar or harness for walks. For puppies, a crate with a divider is a great option to help them feel safe and potty train them over time. Toys are great for helping provide mental stimulation and can be used to teach them basic commands.
Will Your Home Be Comfortable for a Furry Friend?
In addition to investing in toys and supplies before bringing home a dog from the shelter, you’ll need to ensure your indoor air quality is comfortable for your new pet. One of the easiest ways to do this is by investing in a good air purifier. Look for one that has a HEPA filter, which can help remove mold, pollen, and other allergens. Additionally, you should vacuum your carpets often to reduce the amount of pet hair and dander.
Lastly, you’ll want to make sure there’s enough space in your home for a furry friend. If you have a small apartment, you might want to consider getting a smaller breed or even a cat. Additionally, make sure to puppy-proof your home by putting away any small items that could be chewed or swallowed, and make sure poisonous plants are not accessible.
Is Your Home Pest-Free?
While pests might seem like nothing but an annoying nuisance, they can be incredibly dangerous for your pets. It’s vital to get the help of pest control services before bringing home a dog from the shelter. These professionals can help identify and remove any pests that could potentially harm your pet. They will also set up treatments to keep your home free from future infestations. Some pests can carry harmful diseases, so make sure to look for a pest control company that has experience in dealing with pet-related infestations. For instance, rodents and fleas can be especially dangerous for dogs, so hiring a professional to eliminate them is the best option.
Follow these steps and hiring an exterminator before bringing home a dog can ensure your pet is comfortable in your new home.
Do You Have a Dogsitter?
A pet boarding service is a great way to ensure your dog is getting the love and attention they need even when you’re away from home. Before bringing home a dog from the shelter, look into pet boarding services in your area and ask the shelter for recommendations.
A boarding service, as the name suggests, is a facility that provides temporary care for pets. Professional pet boarding services usually provide 24-hour supervision and plenty of activities to keep your pet happy and healthy while you’re away.
Additionally, it’s important to find out what vaccinations and medical care your pet needs before bringing them home from the shelter. The boarding care facility you choose should provide care for these medical issues and might require certain vaccinations, like rabies, before they can care for your pet.
Do You Need a Fence?
If you have a backyard, you might need to install a backyard fence before bringing home a dog from the shelter. A local fence company can help you find the right fencing material and design to keep your pet safe and contained. Different types of fencing materials can provide different levels of security, so make sure to ask the professionals for their advice. Mesh and chain-link fences are great options that provide plenty of airflow while still keeping your pet contained.
It’s also important to train your pet to stay within the boundaries of the fence before bringing them home. You can do this by using a leash and positive reinforcement techniques.
Bringing home a dog from the shelter is an incredibly rewarding experience, but it’s important to keep them safe by installing a fence beforehand. It’s best to stay away from electric fences, as they can be dangerous for your pet and are not recommended. With the right fence in place, you can help ensure your pet is safe and won’t run away.
How Much Time Do You Have to Spend With Your Dog?
Dogs love spending time with their owners, so be sure you have enough time each day to devote to your pet. Before bringing home a dog from the shelter, consider how much time you can spend playing with them and providing mental stimulation.
It’s important for dogs to get regular exercise, so make sure you can take them for walks or playtime at least once per day. If you’re away from home often or don’t have much free time in your schedule, it might not be fair to bring home a pet right now. Dogs need companionship and socialization in order to stay happy and healthy. Before bringing home a dog from the shelter, It’s best to wait until you’re able to provide your pup with the attention they need to socialize properly. Unfortunately, little socialization can lead to behavioral issues and aggression.
Do You Have Young Children?
If you have young children in your home, it’s especially important to consider how the new pet will interact with them. Some dogs may be better suited for homes with children than others. Before bringing home a dog from the shelter, ask if they can provide information about their temperament or history with young children.
It’s also important to supervise any interactions between your pup and your kids until you’re sure there won’t be any issues. Teaching both your children and pet how to behave around one another is key to a healthy relationship.
For instance, certain dogs who have been abused or who are overstimulated might need to first learn to be comfortable around children before they could interact with them.
Do You Have Any Allergies?
Another important factor to consider before bringing home a dog from the shelter is allergies. Dogs can cause allergic reactions, especially in people with asthma or skin sensitivities. Before you decide which pet to bring home, talk to your doctor about any allergies you might have and if they will be exacerbated by having a pet.
If you find that you’re allergic to dogs, there are still plenty of other pets out there that could become part of the family. Consider fishes, lizards, or hedgehogs as potential options for allergy sufferers.
In addition, certain dog breeds shed little or not at all, including poodles, doberman pinschers, and bichon frise. These breeds might be a better choice for people with allergies than other shedding dog breeds.
Do You Have the Financial Resources to Care for Your Dog?
Caring for your pet is an ongoing responsibility that requires both time and money. Before bringing home a pup from the shelter, it’s important to make sure you have enough financial resources to cover the cost of food, supplies, vet visits, and more. It’s also important to consider how much room you have in your budget for unexpected costs like emergency medical care or grooming services.
Certain dog breeds will need more medical costs than others. For instance, if your pet has a medical condition or is a brachycephalic breed (dogs with short muzzles, like pugs or bulldogs), they may require more frequent and expensive vet visits than other breeds.
Before bringing home a dog from the shelter, save up at least a couple thousand dollars is always a good idea to pay for upfront supplies, food, and any unexpected medical costs your pup might incur in the future.
Would a Different Pet Be Better?
For some families, caring for a dog might not be possible right now. Whether you’re low on funds or don’t have the time to train or care for your dogs, it might be best to consider other options. Depending on your living situation, you might find that a different pet such as a cat or small animal would be better. Tropical fishes might also be a good option for a more low-maintenance pet.
When deciding which type of pet is best for you, consider how much time and energy you can dedicate to your dog. For instance, certain dog breeds, such as retrievers, require lots of exercise. If you can’t provide them with the physical and mental stimulation they need, a different pet or low-maintenance dog breed might be a better option.
Bringing home a dog from the shelter is a great way to give an animal in need a second chance at life, but it’s important to consider all of these factors before making the decision. It’s essential to ensure that you have the resources, time, and patience needed to make sure your pet has a happy and healthy home.