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How to Prep for Adopting a Pet

Are you considering adding a new dog to your family? Adoption is a great way to go, giving a worthy pet a much-needed home. Adopting a dog can be highly rewarding, but it’s not always a simple process. If you’re considering opening your home to a dog through adoption, here are some tips to help you through the process with ease.

1. Buy the Right Supplies

Make sure you have all of the tools on hand to keep your dog safe and comfortable. A collar, leash, food, and water bowls are essential but don’t forget about toys, treats, a bed, a crate, and a baby gate. If your dog is going to need house training, pick up some enzymatic cleaner for those occasional accidents.

2. Prep Your Space

Next, make sure your home is puppy proof! Even if you are adopting an adult dog, you will want to make sure there are not too many items out that could be tempting to chew. You won’t know until you get your pet home if she is a chewer or not. Check for problems like toxic house plants or cleaning chemicals in reach of the dog that needs to be addressed. If you want some areas of your home to be pet-free areas, set up the necessary barriers. Finally, create a private place your pet can go while adjusting to your home. A dog crate is actually a great option, as it gives your pet a safe haven when the attention of the family is a little overwhelming.

3. Choose the Right Breed

Before adopting, take some time to research the breed that would work best for your family. For example, if you have small children at home, you may not want a tiny dog which is easily injured by curious hands. Many breeds, like Jack Russell Terriers, are highly active and smart, and they need the right training and attention to avoid getting into mischief. Have some knowledge of basic dog breeds in mind when you head to the shelter, and choose a dog that fits your lifestyle well.

4. Know the Requirements

Every shelter has its own requirements for adoption. Many will require that the potential family and any pets you already have to participate in a face-to-face meeting before you can take the dog home. Some will require a vet reference. Learn the requirements before you head to the shelter, so you don’t fall in love with a pup only to learn you are not eligible to adopt.

5. Plan the Homecoming

Make sure you time bringing your pet home strategically. You want to bring him home at a time when someone can be home with him for a few days. Whether this is a weekend or a time when you take a few days off, this can help ensure a successful transition from shelter dog to house pet. Bring someone with you when you pick up the dog to ensure that he is not uncomfortable with the car ride.

6. Visit the Vet

Within the first week of bringing home a newly adopted dog, visit your vet for a thorough health check. If your pet is due for any vaccines, have them done. This will ensure your pet gets off on the right paw for life with your family. Are you in need of a vet? Reach out to Village Vet of Urbana and make an appointment for your new pup!

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Frederick County’s

Most Trusted Animal Hospital

Adamstown | Ballenger Creek |
Brunswick | Frederick | Green Valley |
Hyattstown | Mt. Airy | New Market

Learn More