What to Do After Adopting a Dog

happy dog in grass

October is National Adopt-a-Dog Month. It is an appropriate time to get a new pet that needs a home. The first few days of adopting a dog can be exciting. However, do not forget a few vital things that will help your dog settle in.

These first days will set the pace for the rest of the time your pet will be with you. So amid all the excitement and joy of bringing a dog home, remember to do the following.

Prepare Your Home

Before bringing your pet home, prepare it. Preparation is similar to baby-proofing your home. It is wise and safe to do this for the dog and yourself. Walk around your home and put away items that may harm your pet. Keep items that are precious to you away from places they can reach. Otherwise, they can chew or break them.

If you live with other animals, make sure their vaccinations are up-to-date. It will keep you and your pets safe. If you have cats, create a dog-free area where the cats can retreat. They will need this space to acclimatize to the new arrival.

Assign a Space for It

As you have put some space aside for the existing pets, create a private space for the new arrival. It will make the dog feel safe and see this area as its resting place. You can visit it here but keep other pets and kids away.

Gather Supplies

Make sure that you have the basics. These include a collar, leash, food bowls, and water bowls. Get them toys, treats, a dog bed, grooming supplies, and a pet gate. These things will make the dog feel comfortable and safe as you bring them into the home.

Get a Good Veterinarian

Establish a relationship with a good vet. They will help you as your dog settles into the home. Soon after adoption, you can take the dog for a baseline health check. The evaluation will help the vet establish if the dog is up-to-date with its vaccinations. If it is not, work with the vet and schedule the vaccinations. Ensure you note the days and do not miss any appointments.

Spaying or Neutering

Spaying and neutering benefit the dog, your family, and the community. It helps protect the dog from severe health problems. For your family, you will not have to contend with unwanted puppies. Sometimes, it becomes hard to get families to adopt them.

For the community, spaying and neutering can reduce behavioral issues. They are less likely to become aggressive, so there would be fewer cases of dog attacks and aggression.

Get the Right Diet

With the help of your vet, get to know the appropriate diet for your dog. However, transition slowly into the new diet. Otherwise, you may cause stress, gastrointestinal upset, and diarrhea. Provide the dog with the same food it was receiving at the shelter.

At the same time, combine it with the new dog food. Gradually reduce the old dog food until you switch to it. Be mindful and keep your dog healthy as it settles in and feels at home.

For more information on adopting a dog, contact Chaparral Veterinary Medical Center at our Cave Creek, Arizona office. Call (480) 595-8600 to schedule an appointment today.