If you have been thinking of getting a new dog, have you considered adopting a dog from a shelter? The obvious choice people make, when considering a new dog is to go to a specialized dog breeder. A good dog breeder will be able to sell you a puppy that has been checked for genetic problems, diseases, etc. and will very often provide you with a high-quality pedigree dog that should be free from problems that plague a lot of dogs.
This route is ideal for a lot of people but of course, will come at a price. There is an alternative – adopting a puppy or adult dog.
I will admit that the pedigree route has been an option our family has usually followed. I always had the mindset that at least with a purebred dog you were assured of size, disposition, and pros and cons about the breed. At the same time, my heart always broke whenever I would see a homeless dog at a shelter. But, whenever it came time to get a dog, I always went back to buying a purebred.
Then, along came Denver. We weren’t even in the market for adding a fur-child do our family.
But, that face! Who could resist? We couldn’t. He was stranded on our road during a holiday weekend. We rescued him with intent to send him to the shelter when they opened on Tuesday. All it took was less than 48 hours, and he had stolen our hearts.
Adopting your paw-mate Dog at animal shelters
There are lots of dogs that are without homes at animal shelters or humane societies. These animals are often a victim of circumstance. Either an owner has died, or an older adult cannot cope anymore. Sadly through no fault of their own, they have ended up homeless. Adopting a dog may be an excellent way to offer a loving home to one of these dogs.
A lot of people are concerned that they may end up with an unhealthy dog, or a dog that may be aggressive by getting one from a shelter. Most animal shelters will check a dog for good health and good temperament, so if there are any problems, they will tell you about them. Also, a lot of shelters offer in-house training to increase the chances of a dog finding a new home which is perfect for everybody!
The best way to go about adopting a dog is to pay a visit to your nearest animal shelter. Explain to the staff there, what kind of dog would suit you and your family. Bear in mind that if you have small children, getting a large dog may not be a good idea. Similarly, if you have an apartment, maybe think about getting a little dog that doesn’t require vast amounts of exercise. A bit of forethought before you arrive will make finding the perfect dog for you that much easier.
Tips for when bringing home an Adopted shelter dog
When you bring your new dog home, try and imagine things from his perspective. Your new dog has probably been through a lot in the past so bringing him to yet another new home may well be overwhelming. The best thing to do is keep him on a leash at first, and gradually introduce him to your home letting him sniff each room until he has a feel for his new surroundings. Also, take him for outside potty breaks if he has been on a long car journey with you.
Once he has settled down, allow him to walk freely off the leash inside your home (not outside off the leash yet). This will give him a chance to find ‘his’ spot. By this, I mean his favorite place. We all have a favorite place where we like to rest; dogs are no different. If you bought a new dog bed or blanket for your new arrival, this might be the place to put it. He will naturally go to that spot so having a comfy new bed there will help her settle in.
Your new dog may be very quiet for the first few days but don’t worry; this is part of the settling in process. After a short while, your dog will be a fully settled in as a new member of the family.
Adopting from an animal shelter is a great way to get a new companion and an excellent way to make a new and happy future for your dog.
Have you adopted a dog from a shelter? Do you have any stories to share about your adoption experience? I would love to hear them!
Kim Steadman (and Denver)