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So you think you want to adopt a dog

Good for you! there are so many dogs in need of loving forever homes in shelters and rescues right now. What do you need to know when you first adopt a rescue dog?

dog in animal shelter
sweet shelter dog waits for her forever home

When you first adopt a rescue dog, it's important to gather as much information as possible to ensure a smooth transition and successful integration into your home. Here are key aspects to consider:

  1. Background Information:

  • History: Understand the dog’s past, including previous owners, living conditions, and reasons for being in the shelter.

  • Health Records: Get a complete health history, including vaccinations, spaying/neutering status, and any known medical conditions or medications.

  1. Behavior and Temperament:

  • Personality: Learn about the dog’s general demeanor, energy level, and any known behavioral traits.

  • Socialization: Determine how the dog interacts with people, children, and other animals.

  1. Training and Commands:

  • Basic Training: Find out if the dog knows basic commands and if they are house-trained.

  • Behavioral Issues: Be aware of any behavioral problems such as separation anxiety, aggression, or fearfulness, and ask for advice on managing them.

  1. Diet and Feeding:

  • Current Diet: Stick to the dog’s current diet initially to avoid digestive issues, then gradually transition to a new diet if desired.

  • Feeding Schedule: Maintain a consistent feeding schedule to provide stability.

  1. Daily Routine and Exercise:

  • Routine: Establish a consistent daily routine for feeding, walking, and bedtime to help the dog feel secure.

  • Exercise Needs: Understand the dog’s exercise requirements based on their age, breed, and energy level.

  1. Safe Space and Comfort:

  • Crate Training: If crate training, ensure the crate is a positive, safe space for the dog.

  • Comfort Items: Provide bedding, toys, and items that can help the dog feel more at home.

  1. Veterinary Care:

  • First Vet Visit: Schedule a vet appointment soon after adoption for a health check-up and to establish a care routine.

  • Microchipping and ID: Ensure the dog is micro-chipped and has an up-to-date ID tag with your contact information.

  1. Patience and Adjustment Period:

  • Adjustment Time: Be patient as the dog adjusts to their new environment. This can take days to weeks.

  • Training and Bonding: Spend time training and bonding with your new dog to build trust and establish a strong relationship.

By preparing thoroughly and being patient, you can help your rescue dog settle into their new home and become a happy and well-adjusted member of your family.

animal shelters are often full of dogs waiting for a home
2 Huskies get to know each other in the shelter

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