If you have been thinking of getting a new dog, have you considered all the options available to you? 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 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.
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 elderly person cannot cope any more. Sadly through no fault of their own, they have ended up homeless. Adopting a dog, may be a great 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 you will be told about them. Also, a lot of shelters offer in-house training to increase the chances of a dog finding a new home. Which is great 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 very small children, getting a large dog may not be a good idea. Similarly if you have an apartment, maybe think about getting a small 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.
When you bring your new dog home, try and imagine things from her perspective. Your new dog has probably been through a lot in the past so bringing her to yet another new home may well be overwhelming. The best thing to do is keep her on a leash at first, and gradually introduce her to your home letting her sniff each room until she has got a feel for her new surroundings. Also take her to relieve her bladder outside if she has been on a long car journey with you.
Once she has settled down, allow her to walk freely off the leash inside your home (not outside off the leash yet). This will give her a chance to find ‘her’ spot. By this I mean her favorite place. We all have a favorite spot where we like to go, dogs are no different. If you have bought a new dog bed or blanket for your new arrival, this may be the place to put it. She 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 new member of the family.
Adopting from an animal shelter is a great way to get a new companion and a great way to make a new and happy future for your dog.