If you’re considering opening your home to a dog, open your heart to the idea of adopting. When you adopt you might be saving a life (and it just might be your own). Every time you take a new companion home, the organization can accept another animal to treat and care for.
Each year, approximately 1.5 million U.S. shelter animals are euthanized annually. This number has declined from approximately 2.6 million in 2011. This decline can be partially explained by an increase in the percentage of animals adopted, and an increase in the number of stray animals successfully returned to their owners.
Whether you’re getting a dog from a breeder or adopting from a rescue or shelter, we all want dogs to live happy, healthy lives, so here are five tips to help you and your new friend make a smooth transition:
1. Head to the vet
Be sure to head to the vet to establish a record of the dog’s health and shots, which is important for the upcoming years you get to spend together.
When you pick up your new companion, make sure to have an ID tag with your phone number on it so they immediately have an extra measure of safety.
Be sure to ask your veterinarian if your pup is microchipped. You don’t want your dog to get lost and be sent to the wrong person. If they are, you can change it your contact information. If the dog is not, you might want to look into microchipping, as it’s a great way to keep track of your dog.
2. Get the supplies before the dog
It’s important to have the necessities, like a leash, crates, beds, food, and bowls. Some items, such as the collar, might depend on the size of the dog you end up getting, but it’s best to have the house ready before the dog comes home. You’ll also want to have treats and toys to support the transition into their new happy life, and help them get settled into their new home. Look for treats and chews that are all-natural with high-quality ingredients, like real duck and beef, without any fillers, preservatives, or dyes.
3. Give some loving space
The change in environments, from shelter or foster home to your house, is stressful to most pets. It’s necessary to designate a safe space where they can escape a situation when they feel anxious. You may notice some symptoms of anxiety, including a lack of appetite or loose stool, but this is normal behavior for the adjustment period. Your dog may even hide under furniture or be hesitant to leave a particular room. Supplements containing ginseng and vitamin C can help naturally support your dog’s ability to deal with stress, without sedation.
When your pooch is feeling more comfortable with you, it is important to set aside time to bond with them. Petting them and speaking in a soothing voice will show your pup he is safe and loved.
4. Routine, boundaries, and rules
All pets want to know what to expect from you, but dogs especially crave routine. Consistency with training, feeding, and playtime is essential.
Training your dog will start the first moment you have him. Take time to create a consistent vocabulary list of commands, praise, and correction everyone will use when giving the dog directions. This will help your furry friend to learn his commands more quickly.
5. A healthy diet is important to consider
Although they do like variety, dogs don’t adjust as easily as we do to major changes in diet, so you want to make a good decision on your adopted dog’s diet right from the beginning. A quality diet that best resembles the dog’s ancestral diet (loaded with quality meat and natural ingredients) will support healthy digestion, keep the coat itch-free and shiny, and maintain healthy joints. Natural canine supplements, can improve just about any feeding regimen, to support not only their physical health, but their mental and emotional health, too.
Be flexible and sensitive to the adjustment period. Your new companion will love you for their whole life, and will appreciate your kindness, support, and love.
Thank you for adopting. Happy #NationalAdoptAShelterPetWeek
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