If you have a soft spot for dogs, you probably don't like seeing them in large numbers in shelter cages.
If you're about to adopt a shelter dog, there are some important things you should consider before taking the plunge.
There are many dogs in shelters
France counted over 37,000 adoptions in 2020 - it is the European country with the most abandoned pets, with a peak just before the summer vacations.
The end of the lockdown and the return to normal activities has resulted in a significant number of surrenders.
Each dog is unique
They do not all have the same history, the same experience, the same character. One shelter dog may have more difficulty than another on a particular subject, and vice versa. Talking to the shelter staff will help you identify the main challenges of each dog.
They are monitored by a veterinarian
The vast majority of shelter dogs will have passed their medical check-up and will never be put up for adoption until their health and behavior is deemed fit. Most dogs are spayed or neutered, otherwise and for puppies, the shelter will ask for a deposit until the dog is old enough to undergo this procedure.
You will find at the shelter dogs considered dangerous
Pit Bull or Staff type dogs frequently arrive at the shelter because they are judged dangerous and aggressive, often in an unfounded manner. Aggressiveness is not in fact a trait linked to the breed, nor to the personality of the dog. Unfortunately, this does not stop the arrival of these dogs in shelters. In fact, these dogs have been given the title of least likely to be adopted once they arrive at the shelter.
Adopting a dog is less expensive than buying from a breeder
Shelters will ask you for an adoption fee and sometimes even offer a free donation in case of emergency. However, you must keep in mind the costs associated with the adoption, food, visits to the vet, etc.
Dogs don't necessarily arrive in a shelter because they are bad
The main reason for surrender is related to a change of environment, a change of job, or a move of the owners. The portion of dogs abandoned for bad behavior is actually extremely low.
They need time to adapt
To his/your new environment! Even more so if the dog is an adult. Although they are certainly happy to have left the cages of the shelter, they need time and patience to discover their new home.
You don't want to awaken the trauma in them
Being in a new family, in a new environment, is stressful enough for them; you don't want to add to it. Save your enthusiasm for later before starting new activities with your dog. Your dog needs to be comfortable in your home and with you first before adding unnecessary stress to his daily life.
A common trait is separation anxiety
While this is not a trait unique to shelter dogs, it can be a common problem for dogs adopted from shelters. Some dogs have a very difficult time with confinement and may experience anxiety when left alone. Leaving the dog with occupying games, music or even TV can help them feel less lonely when you are away. The important thing is to show them that you will come back every time.
Shelter dogs can be destructive
Some will be trained, some will not. In any case, they don't know your rules when they arrive. Giving your dog too much freedom at the beginning can lead to damage in your home. Being stricter from the start will allow you to ease up once your new dog is used to your rules.
Shelter dogs can have a positive effect on children
Although a dog should always be supervised around children, adopting a dog as a family can have a positive effect on children. Having a dog around can have beneficial effects on a human's physical and mental health!
You become a hero
By giving a new life to a suffering dog, you are demonstrating an incredible act of compassion and generosity - you can be proud!
See you next time on The Pets Ark !
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