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Helping A Shelter Dog Adjust

October 15, 2023

October is Adopt A Shelter Dog Month! Quite a few of our canine patients were adopted from shelters, with more joining their ranks all the time. A local Coral Springs, FL vet offers some advice on helping Fido get settled in this article.

Provide A Routine

Going to a new home is a huge change for Fido. That change can actually be a bit overwhelming, especially when you take into account the added stress from being in a shelter. Sadly, many shelter dogs are also recuperating from neglect or abuse. Others may be missing their prior owners. One thing that can help your dog feel more comfortable is starting him out on a steady routine for things like walks, meals, and playtime. That stability is very important! 

Schedule A Veterinary Appointment

One of the first things you’ll want to do is take Fido to meet his new vet. Many shelter dogs are fixed and current on vaccines and parasite control. However, it’s important to have a thorough exam, as well as any recommended tests.  

Do Some Breed Research

Most shelter dogs are mutts, but thanks to doggy DNA tests, you no longer have to guess at Fido’s family tree. DNA testing is beneficial for more than just satisfying your curiosity, and finding out why your pet has a Pomeranian’s head on a Pug’s body. Many breeds are prone to certain health conditions. Finding out if Fido has an elevated risk of developing any specific issues can be very useful!  

Be Patient

Start Fido out in a quiet room, such as a spare bedroom. Provide all the requisite doggy musts, such as bedding and toys, and just let him get settled. Your pooch may sleep a lot at first, as he’s getting over the stress of being in a shelter. That’s normal! Give him the time he needs.

Err On The Side Of Caution

Fido may have quirks or phobias you don’t know of yet. For instance, he may be terrified of storms. Or, he may be absolutely obsessed with chasing squirrels. Thorough petproofing is a must. When walking your dog, be sure you have a sturdy leash.  

Let Love Bloom

It’s a truly beautiful experience seeing a shelter dog thriving with love and great care. That may not happen overnight, though. Be patient, and use only positive reinforcement. Offer lots of safe toys and treats, and talk to your pooch in a friendly voice. You’ll have that tail going in no time!

Do you have questions about your new dog’s health or care? Contact us, your Coral Springs, FL pet hospital, anytime!

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