guide to dog adoption

Your Guide to Dog Adoption

You have decided to adopt one of the millions of dogs waiting for a home. The big concern now is how to get ready for your new arrival. Here are some tips to make the transition more enjoyable.

1. Get Your Home Ready. Dog-proofing your home is important and can be life-saving. This includes making sure that there are no toxins such as rat poison, slug bait or antifreeze accessible to your new dog. Make sure trash is secure. Pick up clothing and small toys or other objects that may be accidentally ingested by the new dog. Hide exposed electrical wires to prevent injury commonly caused by chewing on the cords. Ensure other dangers are stowed way such as medications, poisonous plants and ashtrays. Check your fencing – is it secure? Are there any places your new dog could get through?

2. Get Your Supplies. Make a list of things you need for your new dog. Bedding, food and water dishes, food (check what he has been eating to start with), treats, crate, safe toys, toothbrush and paste, leash, collar, grooming supplies, and any pet-specific cleaners.

3. Plan for the “What If”. Prepare your medicine cabinet for an emergency. Make a first aid kit. You never know when an emergency may happen. Items should include emergency veterinary phone numbers, tweezers, gloves, gauze, tape, thermometer, hydrogen peroxide, sterile eye wash, antiseptic and antibiotic ointment. Mediations that are beneficial to have on hand include diphenyhydramine (Benadryl®), hydrogen peroxide and aspirin. Only use medication as recommended by a veterinarian. Keep this emergency kit with your other emergency items.

4. Plan the Right Time. Make sure you have time to spend with your dog when he first arrives at your home. Friday is often a good day to bring your pet home – the two of you have the entire weekend to get to know each other.

5. Have a Family Discussion. Discuss how the dog will be cared for, trained and develop general “House Rules.” Care includes feeding, grooming, exercising and walking. When will this be done? Who will do it? Training is a very important issue to discuss as a family. The MOST important aspect of training is consistency. What are the house rules for your dog? It is best to decide as a group upfront. Consider discussing the following questions: What and when is the dog fed? Where does he sleep? Does he get treats – if so what? Will you go to dog school or training class with your dog?

6. Get His History. When you pick your new dog, obtain as much history as you can. This will come in use later if problems arise and to know what he needs. Ask questions that include: