Maybe you are thinking about adopting a dog from a shelter. What questions should you ask? What should you look for?
Here are some tips to help
1. What is the animal’s background? Most shelters try to provide some background information on animals that come in. Was this dog in a home? If so, what were the problems? Has the dog been around other pets? Has the dog been around kids? Does the dog have any history of fears (e.g. fear of men)?
2. If there is a knowledgeable shelter manager, what is their opinion on that particular dog? Do they believe it will meet your needs? Do they have any concerns about the match? For example, shelter personnel may advise against certain placements. Some dogs may not be recommended in homes with kids or cats if they have concerns about the dog’s temperament. They generally have a lot of experience, so be sure to take their advice seriously.
3. Are health records available on the dog? Have there been any medical issues with the dog? Is the dog on any medications? When did this dog get his or her shots? When was it spayed or neutered? When are the next shots due?
4. Does the dog appear healthy? Is he bright and alert and wagging its tail? Is his food bowl empty or full? Does he have water available? Toys? Is he clean and dry? Is there any evidence of diarrhea on his bottom? Is he playful?