Dog Adoption – useful advice to owners
Written by: Anastasia Spevakina
Decision to save dogs, taking them home from a shelter, is very commendable. For some animals it’s literally saving, because the shelter is not a resort with comfortable conditions and carefree life. Most of private shelters are overcrowded, and shelter dogs are not worse than those, who were lucky enough to find loving and caring owners. Simply, they became hostages of someone’s cruelty, indifference and irresponsibility. Taking dogs from the shelter doesn’t mean making their life happy and comfortable, that’s definitely not enough. It’s important not only to have good intentions, but also to have a will to solve dog’s problems.
What you need to know, taking the dog from the shelter
First of all, you have to understand that shelter dogs are not blank sheets of paper, where you can write everything, what you want. Most likely, these dogs had series of unpleasant, terrible and traumatic events. It could be death of the owner, moving, loss, betrayal. If the dog also had to wander before coming to the shelter, you can only guess what he had been through. Beatings, persecution from other dogs, hunger, etc. All these experiences will affect behavior of the dog.
Before Dog Adoption
Ask shelter workers how the dog communicates with other animals, if he is aggressive or can trust people. You should also check his previous medical examinations.
How to treat the shelter dog at home
Do not bother and do not put pressure on the dog! Not being used to so much attention, the dog can start to panic and react aggressively, so give him a chance to calm down and look around.
It may take some time. Some animals are more ‘open’ and sociable, and others can need a couple of weeks or months to feel “at home”. Do not rush things and do not try to be a friend to the dog forcibly, endlessly stroking him and hugging. If you have kids, explain them that the dog needs a rest and his own corner, where he will feel safe.
Dogs from shelter can look healthy, but it doesn’t mean they shouldn’t be taken to a veterinary clinic. Minimum of medical analysis includes medication to fight with all the parasites, and as addition, analyzes on skin diseases and thorough examination of the ears. It’s desirable to bathe dogs, taking them home from the shelter, but it should be done with caution. If you don’t have relationship of trust with the dog, bathing can be very stressful for your new pet.
Formerly homeless and shelter dogs often have problems with cleanliness. Don’t be afraid of this, because the dog could just not know how to clean himself. You have to be very patient to teach the dog cleanliness. Watch the reaction of your pet and never use force. Try to replace the physical effects with other irritants and simulators, such as food, for example. Be kind, caring, but firm and persistent. The dog must understand that he can trust you, and you are the leader, who can take care of him.
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