Are you thinking about getting a new dog? We’re just as excited as you are about your potentially new companion! So, now that you’ve decided that you’d like to add a new pet to your family, the next question boils to down logistics. How do I go about finding this dog? How do I usher them into the family and how do I take care of them?
According to the ASPCA, There are nearly 6.5 million animals cycling through animal shelters every year. Some of these animals find homes, although many do not. Adopting a dog helps take the dog out of the shelter and into a new home.
Although there are some fears about shelter dogs, we’re help to help debunk the myths. You can teach an old dog new tricks (or specifically, behavior) with enough training, love, and compassion. Shrimp, a shelter dog that was adopted by a member of the Luna Journal team, was extremely nervous and shy. After some time and a fair amount of training and love, Shrimp has really came out of his shell and is an active member of his household. He’ll snuggle, socialize, play, and much more.
Finding the Dog
At Luna Journal, we’re huge fans of The Shelter Project. The Shelter Project is a non-profit that helps aspiring pet owners find a shelter dog that’s a perfect match for them. Their web search is free to use and helps you find pets local to you that are looking for their forever home. In fact, you can even search for a specific shelter if you know of one that really resonates with you! Once you’ve found a dog that you’re interested in, you can contact the shelter directly from The Shelter Project’s website.
The Shelter Visit
Once you’ve contacted the shelter and expressed interested in a specific dog, they’ll likely try to get you to schedule a visit. Some of the dogs may be kept at the shelter, but others may currently be in foster homes, so try to be flexible with your schedule for the visitation.
The visitation is a great chance to introduce yourself (and the rest of your family) to your new potential family member. You should talk to the shelter to see if there are any requirements or suggestions on how many people to bring. A lot of shelters will recommend bringing any other pet’s that you have so that you can see how your current pets and the new dog will interact. It is extremely important to make sure that your new family member can get along with your existing family, so if the shelter can’t let you bring pets with you on your first visit, try to schedule a follow up to do so.
So you’ve had your shelter visit and you’re convinced that this new dog is the one! Congrats! Almost all shelters will have you fill out paperwork and registration information for the pet as part of the adoption process, but the specifics here really depend on local legislation and the shelter’s own practices. Some shelters may be very “by the books” but others may be lenient. Shrimp, the dog that we mentioned above, had his adoption fee waved with a donation of any amount to the shelter.
Once you’ve adopted your new dog, make sure to give them time and space to adjust to their new home. It is extremely tempting to pick them up, swaddle and cuddle them, but its usually best for the dog to explore the house on their own. If this is your first pet, you’ll want to set up their food bowl, water bowl, and possibly a bed for your new pet. Finally, it never hurts to have a few toys available for the dog to play with.
If you’re ready to start your search for a dog, please click here to search The Shelter Project’s website to find local dogs in need of a home.