April is Adopt a Shelter Pet Month! If you’re ready to adopt a dog, we hope you do consider rescuing a pup from a shelter. It’s a beautiful and rewarding experience to give a homeless pooch a second chance at happiness. A Roanoke, VA veterinarian offers some starting-out tips below.
Before bringing Fido into your house, take him for a walk around the block. This will help him reset, and burn off any excess energy he has. Plus, this will allow your canine pal to get an idea of his surroundings.
Normally, we advise against going overboard with treats. However, Gotcha Day—or Gotcha Month—is an exception to that rule. Treats are great for helping win Fido’s trust. Offer extra yummy, high-quality snacks. (Tip: a bit of steak would not be inappropriate.) Use smaller portions, though; you don’t want to upset that furry stomach!
Petproofing is definitely in order! Some of the things you would want to remove or secure include small or sharp objects; wires and cords; anything toxic, such as plants, medicine, chemicals, and lawn/garden products; and plastic bags and ties. Ask your vet for specific advice.
While any dog can run off at any time, those first few months are especially risky. Not only will Fido not necessarily see your house as his forever home just yet, he won’t be familiar with the area, and can easily get lost. Microchips and ID tags are both very important. You may also want to get your furry bff a GPS-enabled collar.
Our canine friends tend to do best on set schedules. Get Fido started on his normal doggy routine for meals, walks, and playtime right away. Lay down any house rules, such as staying off the couch, from Day One.
Dogs are great, but that doesn’t mean they are perfect. Fido may do something naughty, whether it’s chewing your shoes or chasing the cat. Don’t punish him for mishaps: focus on rewarding good behavior. If you notice behavioral issues, contact a professional.
Let Love Grow
Adopting a shelter dog can be a very profound and rewarding experience. You can’t force it, though. Give Fido time to adjust, feel safe, and truly learn to trust you.
Do you have questions or concerns about your dog’s health or care? Contact us, your local Roanoke, VA animal clinic, today!