Adopting a pet from an animal shelter or rescue organization should be exciting, fun, and filled with a sense of adventure. I often wonder how people approach the task of adopting a pet. A good friend recently adopted a dog from the local animal shelter. I was elated thinking my writing of National Adopt A Shelter Pet Day had inspired him to adopt his next-best friend. I could not help being excited and happy for him as he searched for the perfect dog — the dog that would match his energy and enthusiasm for adventure. Unfortunately, his adventure quickly turned to dismay, frustration, and helplessness.
Adopt for Success offers a practical approach to pet adoption. Adoption day can be a joyful and relatively stress free experience. Hobo the Wonder Dog and I suggest the five P’s — Prior, Preparation, Prevents, Poor, Performance. Being prepared on adoption day will create success for you and the new addition to your family.
5 tips for adoption success:
1. Do your homework. Research the breed of dog you want to adopt. Do you want to start with a puppy, middle-aged or senior dog? Each life stage has unique challenges and rewards. Search animal rescues and animal shelters many post pictures of adoptable pets on their websites.
2. Prepare your home. Like the expectation of a human baby the family prepares for months and a pet should be no different. Designating an area to confine your new pup offers a safe area for relaxation without constant monitoring. Having a crate, bedding, food, water and feed bowls, leashes, collars, and time. Yes, time. Introducing a new pet to their new home is important and should not be rushed.
3. Be Perry Mason. Ask questions and get as much information about prospective adoptions as possible. Acquire as much information about where the pet came from, behavior at the shelter, and any medical history when available. Spend time with the animal and get to know them.
4. The big adjustment. Bringing your new family member home is a big adjustment for you and the pet. Taking it slow will give everyone time to explore each other and get to know their new environment. The first few days are awkward for human and animal alike so relax and take it easy. Remember, if you have other animals or small children introduce them slowly and keep it positive.
5. Your frame of mind. Know when the time is right for you. Adopting a pet before you leave on vacation or business meeting is probably not the best idea. Managing your resources and knowing what to expect is equally important. Ask for support from friends and family this is a big decision it is an addition to your family.
Prior preparation prevents poor performance and is the foundation of successful adoption. A new pet is a rewarding experience. Know in the first few days there will be accidents, joys, frustrations, and maybe feeling overwhelmed. The journey is short take it in stride and the dog you save will be the best friend, the companion, the steady, that is always with you no matter what the world throws your way. Life is better with a dog.
April 30 is National Adopt A Shelter Pet Day.
Hobo is a rescue dog out to make a difference in animal rescue and education. Please follow Hobo on Facebook at Hobo the Wonder Dog or contact him at: [email protected]