How to Adopt the Perfect Pooch
Are you entertaining the idea of adopting a dog to love unconditionally? As they say, there’s no time like the present! The perfect pup awaits at your local ASPCA, Humane Society or private adoption agency. Let us first give you some tips to ensure that you find your dream canine. We solemnly swear that by following these guidelines you will make your adoption process as happy and as smooth as can be.
Where To Find The Perfect Pooch
There are several ways to find adoptable pets in the Austin area. Some agencies provide better services than others and the adoption fees will vary. Animal shelters are a good place to find a puppy or an adult doggo because each animal is evaluated based on its behavior and physical health, and are often provided with the necessary medical care and vaccinations. If you find a dog that you love but it has yet to be spayed or neutered, the animal shelter will most likely provide or facilitate this service for you. Here is a list of our recommended non-profit animal shelters:
Animal rescue groups, including breed rescue groups, are an excellent way to find your new best friend. Breed rescue groups usually foster animals through the homes of volunteers. This environment has proven to provide more stability and be more beneficial to the animals than a shelter. When people foster dogs in their homes, it lowers the cost for the shelter and allows the animals to have emotional stability, physical and mental stimulation, and a safe place to stay until they find their forever home.
Breed rescue groups target specific breeds such as pit bulls, rottweilers, greyhounds, great danes and more. These particular breeds have difficulty being placed in a home because of the stereotypes that they possess. In reality, however, these breeds are lovable and compassionate pets who are deserving of a loving family. Below are some excellent Central Texas non-profit breed-specific dog rescues.
There are a few things to avoid when adopting a dog. Some dog owners accidentally allow their dogs to have puppies. While it may seem like a kindness for the owners to give away the puppies, you most likely will not be receiving reliable information about them. Even if you feel as if you are getting the best information, this type of pet adoption does not encourage responsible pet ownership.
Adopting A Neighborhood Stray
Across the globe, stray dogs can be found aimlessly wandering the streets in search of food, water and shelter. Oftentimes, the neighborhood stray will end up in a shelter, abused, hit by a car or worse. For us animal lovers, our first inclination is to scoop them up and bring them home. There are a few factors that should be considered before you bring your stray home.
There is no way of knowing the history of the animal’s behavior, health or home life. If you happen upon a stray, the best option is to adopt it through a shelter or rescue group.
While choosing the right dog for your family, you will have to consider a number of factors. Breed (or apparent breed mix) is important, as many landlords, gated communities and municipalities may prohibit specific breeds. Additionally, the size of your dog can effect your living conditions considerably.
Be aware that some dogs do not have a high tolerance for extreme heat or cold. Some breeds are also more prone to health problems than others. Interestingly enough, studies have shown that mixed-breeds may be more genetically healthy than purebred dogs. It is encouraged to do research on a variety of breeds to find the one that will best fit into your family’s lifestyle.
What To Do At The Shelter
When you pick your pup you should spend some time getting acquainted with one another. The more time you spend with the dog prior to adoption the better. Ask if you are able to take them out of the hectic shelter environment and into a calm outdoor area. This will allow you to get a better sense of the dog’s personality. A dog that hides in the corner at the shelter may be very social and friendly at home. Alternatively, a dog that jumps on you and licks your face may be more aloof at home.
The more time you spend with the dog, the better sense you will have of his or her personality. If you adopt a dog from a shelter, you will have to take it home to see how it behaves before you are sure that you have found a good fit.
Remember that all dogs are under stress in a shelter. Therefore, their true personality may not be apparent in this setting. If you already have a pet at home, ask the shelter if you can introduce them in a safe place in order to observe their interaction – but only after you have become acquainted one-on-one.
Try to learn as much about your potential new pal’s background as possible. Shelters and rescue groups often have limited information, but you can sometimes make reasonable assumptions. For example, if the dog has a limp it may be indicative of a past injury. This traumatic event may (or may not) affect his or her personality. When you get your pet home, give them time to settle into their new life. Then, try out a few basic obedience commands like “sit”, “down”, “come” and “stay”.
At Bed and Biscuit Austin, we have a great deal of experience training adopted and rescued dogs. We know that they may have special sensitivities to a kennel environment and/or individual special needs. Please share this information when you bring your dog to us for boarding or day care and we will incorporate it into your dog’s care.
In general, adopting a dog has many advantages. Most adoptable dogs (but not all) are mixed-breeds which may be more genetically stable than purebred dogs. They are also very unique with their own individual blend of characteristics. Adopting a dog is a wonderful way to help reduce the epidemic of homeless animals by providing a loving home for one of them.
If you would like more guidance in adopting a dog, contact one of our trainers at Bed and Biscuit Austin for advice. As always, we’ll be happy to help!