Choosing to Adopt a Pet
Things to Consider
- Adopting an animal is a lifetime commitment. Depending on the age of the dog you adopt, that may be fifteen years. There will be changes in your life over the lifetime of the dog. Younger people may marry and have kids. Can you handle a dog when you have a two-year old? Hopefully, it’s ‘yes’ and you’ll be ready to adopt!
- Use a crate. We crate train our dogs and unless we tell you otherwise we suggest you continue to crate your new dog until he/she earns inside privileges. Crates are not cruel. Crates keep curious puppies safe and insecure dogs more secure. Dogs must earn the privilege of freedom and this could take weeks, months or never. Some dogs are very comfortable and feel safe in their crates, so it’s fine to keep it that way. Changes can create anxiety. Crates can help.
- Dogs need to decompress! When you first get your new dog, you can expect him/her to be out of sorts for a few days. Moving to a new home is stressful and he/she may be reserved when you get settled. Your dog may pace or whine which are also normal signs of stress in a dog. This should stop once the dog settles in to the new routine. Your new dog may be thirsty and not hungry, so do not be surprised. We recommend a high-quality food.Every dog is different and their reaction to a new home is no different. They may arrive really hyper or really tired. Your dog is completely vetted unless we tell you differently and your dog should see the vet within a week to have a baseline well-dog visit. If you have a puppy, you will likely need to see your vet to continue shots that are age appropriate. The key to a successful transition is to let them ‘chill out’ for a few days. Remember that the dog is in a new place with new smells, new people and a whole new routine. This can be scary for a dog. The dog will figure it out, but dogs like to watch and observe to learn the lay of the land. Most important rule is to be patient and do not expect instant perfection.
- Do NOT leave the dog outside, unsupervised.
- Never open the door to an unfenced area if the dog is in the room and not crated or on leash.
- No matter how well-behaved your child or the dog is, never leave them alone in a room together. If a child bites someone at day care, he goes home with a note. If a dog bites someone, he goes to a 10-day quarantine and then a possible euthanasia. It’s that simple. Don’t put a dog in a situation where he could be at risk. The dog’s life is in your hands.
- Be prepared to train your dog. We work with them from the moment they come to the rescue and you need to continue to work with them. If you experience a behavior issue, we want to hear from you. Most things are easy to address, but some may need a trainer and you need to be prepared to hire one.
- Dogs can be expensive. Dog food for a big dog will run between $75 and $150 depending on brand. Every month, your dog will need heart-worm and flea preventatives. That runs about $35 a month on average. Annual vet visits are expensive. As the dog gets older, vet care gets more expensive. Consider your budget and decide if you can afford a dog.
- Do not feed your new dog around your existing dogs until you know what they will do. Do not put out high value treats with your new dog and your existing dogs. This causes fights. Do not leave out your kid’s toys or your other dog’s toys. This can cause fights and also lead to the untimely demise of your child’s favorite stuffed animal. Do not simply open the door on arrival and walk in with the new dog. Introductions are the key to survival. Do not expect that just because your existing dog likes other dogs that he or she will love the new one.
Have questions or comments? Give us a call: (302) 690-1963