October is a big month for dogs connected to ASPCA. This month they are working extra hard to convince potential dog owners that adopting a dog could be the best decision you could ever make! We have come up with a few tips to bear in mind when researching pet shelters, and to help out along the journey to finding your new member of the family,
- Not all shelters are the same, so it is important to do your research. Some shelters do thorough temperament testing for all dogs, and match potential owners’ personality profiles with the dogs. While all dogs should be fully vaccinated before adoption, ask the shelters what behavior testing they have done on a dog before adopting them out, and for details of the dog’s behavior in the shelter.
- Be prepared for anything: Consider what traits you are looking for in a dog before you visit the shelter, though do not discount every dog that does not fit all of your requirements. Part of the excitement of adopting from a shelter is the variety of personalities and sizes a shelter holds. Remember also that the dog sees you as a stranger at first, so don’t be offended if the dog is more interested in the shelter worker – to them they are family!
- Be patient: it takes time to get to know each other. Don’t expect your dog to warm to you straight away. Be consistent and stick to your new schedule which will make it easier for both of you. Try bonding activities such as walking together and playing gently inside.
- Head to a vet: Make sure you get your dog checked at a vet clinic soon after adoption. If the dog changes behavior a lot, ask the veterinarian for a positive – reinforcement trainer recommendation.
- It is also worth noting whether the shelters are kill shelters or not. Kill shelters will euthanize the dogs if they have exceeded the maximum time limit in the shelter and have not been adopted. Adopting a dog from these shelters will literally save their life.
Enjoy your new pet! Adopting a dog is a life changing decision for both you and the dog. You have the power to change a dog’s life forever, give them a second chance at the life they deserve, and to enjoy it to the full, rather than behind metal bars. Do it the right way and you can set yourself up for success with your newest member of the family.