Adopting a New Dog
Adopting a new member of the family can be a difficult but rewarding process. Many people are overdetermined to adopt only a puppy. Keep in mind that a puppy is a basket of unknowns. You can tell if it’ll be a small or large adult, but you may not be able to predict whether it will weigh 40 pounds or 80. Grooming requirements may vary over time and genetic problems may not be exhibited until adulthood. Adopting an adult dog lets you skip some of these issues, plus most are already housebroken.
Before going to the shelter, research the breeds you’ll consider. Know that many wonderful dogs may be mixed and may exhibit behaviors of both breeds. Read the dog’s reaction to meeting new people, see if they respond with affection or fear. Be wary if the dog shows aggression of any type.
No matter what type or age of dog you adopt, know that there will be some difficulty and surprises ahead. Many dogs may have a short-term problem, such as an ear/skin/respiratory infection and may already be under treatment. You will have to provide some level of training, whether if the dog has never been on a leash before to having some degree of separation anxiety. If you already own other pets, make sure the shelter dog doesn’t have a history of aggression with cats or dogs. If you have young children, choose a dog that has a more laid-back personality, one that can handle sudden yells/screams and hair pulling.
Above all, keep in mind the chemistry between you and the dog. Just make sure that the affinity is mutual and not wishful thinking. Adopting a new animal is an emotional experience but can result in a love that lasts a lifetime.
Please call Copper Hill Animal Clinic at 661-296-8848 to schedule an appointment.
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