Adopt a Puppy

6 Mistakes to Avoid When Adopting a Shelter Dog

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by Amie Taylor

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When you decide to bring a dog home, many challenges are involved. From figuring out what kind of dog you want and finding a reputable shelter to adopting them, many moving parts need your attention and consideration. 

That’s why it’s essential to do your research before bringing home any shelter dog. Read on to learn mistakes to avoid when adopting a shelter dog.

1. Don’t Try Too Many Things At Once

When introducing a dog to a new pack, you want to be patient and start at the right pace. It’s usually best to let the dog get used to you before reaching out to them, as they will probably not jump up to greet you when you walk through the door. 

It’s best to start with things like saying hello and walking around the house with him for a while. Only then should you attempt to touch him or pick him up. Rough handling or forcing him to get used to you will end up frustrating both of you. 

This is also true when it comes to feeding, some dogs don’t like being fed at all when they’re young, and if you try to rush it, they’ll get aggressive. Some dogs will get used to it, but most won’t, and they’ll grow up with a strong aversion to it. Therefore, be sure you understand how to cooperate with them.

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2. Don’t Expect Too Much

When you bring a dog home, you take on its whole life. It’s not a one-time deal, and it’s not a race. Dogs have their instinct, just like other animals. 

You must be prepared to dedicate yourself to engaging in that life. While getting out and introducing yourself to the dog is important, you don’t want to rush into it. 

Before having a dog, you must research the breed and choose the best one that suits your lifestyle or home environment. Making the wrong decision can make it challenging to handle your new pet. Having a dog is helpful, but you shouldn’t put too much pressure on it.

3. Know Your Dog Before Adopting

Unless you’re adopting a dog from a shelter or rescue, you won’t have had the opportunity to meet its previous owners. That means you’ll have to make your judgments and come to your conclusions about the dog, but there’s a lot of trust involved. 

If you don’t feel like you understand enough about the dog or are not comfortable with your judgment of it, you’re putting yourself at risk for issues down the road. It’s important to try to get to know the dog, even if you’re not 100 percent sure about adopting it yet. 

You can ask the shelter or rescue to introduce you to the dog and use their judgment as to whether you should meet the owner even if you have to meet the owner and then decide, knowing what you know will be less stressful.

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4. Don’t Force To Get Familiarity 

Dogs are naturally curious and prone to activity but don’t learn as quickly or effectively as people do. If you force your dog to accept you or make them get used to you, they will have a hard time coping with the situation. 

Think of it like this: You can’t force a dog to like you or to get along with you; you can only train them to get used to you. To get them to accept you, you will have to spend quality time together or do some activities they like.

5. Don’t Change Diet Suddenly

In the excitement of adopting a dog, it can be tempting to change its diet as soon as you bring it home, but that’s not the best idea. It’s crucial to remember that dogs, like humans, have particular dietary requirements.

It’s important to maintain their diet, not only because it’s good for them, but also because it’s good for you. Improperly switching your dog’s diet can have serious health consequences. Bad food reactions can be treated, and the dog can be switched back to its regular diet, so it’s essential to ensure you’re feeding them the right things.

There are some risks associated with switching diets too soon. One of the major concerns is that an abrupt diet change could cause digestive issues. If you decide to make a dietary change, try sticking with one type of food for at least three days before making any changes.

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6. Don’t Skip Visiting The Vet

This is important to remember when you bring a new dog home. All dogs should have a wellness check with a vet before they’re taken off. Dogs can develop a sensitivity to a new environment or underlying diseases.

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If you don’t pre-check, your new dog may experience health issues. It’s also good to do their vaccine before bringing it home. It will make them build resistance to diseases. 

 Some dog breeds require very less attention. These low-maintenance dogs are perfect for busy owners who don’t have enough time to take care of them. Besides, they are really household friendly.

Bottom line

When considering bringing a new dog into your home, it’s important to remember that dogs are not like other animals. They are very sensitive and can get frustrated easily. 

While they can be great companions, they’re not for everyone, and you shouldn’t try to make them fit into a human mold. They’ll love you if you take care of your dog and its needs.

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