So, you want to get a dog. Maybe it's your first, or maybe it's your third or fourth! Bringing home a new pup is always a super exciting time. Who doesn't love more dogs!
First things first, are you SURE you're ready for a new dog? Some things to consider are - do you have time for a new dog? Dogs are pack animals and need tons of attention. Long work hours and hectic family schedules might leave you with less time than you hoped for. Additionally, if you are set on getting a puppy, it can be a full time job to house-train, crate-train, everything-else-train, and chew-proof everything in your home. Puppies are exhausting, and an older dog just might fit into your life better!
Are you ready for all this puppy?
One of the main reasons cited for giving up dogs is 'moving'. Pets are for life. If you'll be moving in the future, please make sure you'll be able to take your dog with you, or have a solid plan for a caretaker that can take your furry family member in and treat them as their own.
Many people like to get a dog for their children, and the best way to teach your children how to be responsible pet caregivers is to be one yourself. Make sure your child is able to understand how to respect the dog's boundaries, and of course always supervise playtime with your pets and your children.
HFP's puppy Stewie with his new mini-owner!
Okay great, you're ready for a new dog! Where do you go to get your new dog? Here at Wilderdog, we always advise to adopt, don't shop, when looking for a pup. Animal shelters worldwide are overflowing with homeless dogs, so why not give them a happy home with your family.
If you've got a specific breed in mind, just know that 30% of dogs that end up in shelters are purebreds. Additionally, many breed-specific rescues exist. There are quite a few online resources to help match you with your future dog. Meeting different dogs in person is great because you're able to interact with them and get a feel for their energy. Head down to your local shelter or go to a rescue's adoption event to meet a bunch of dogs at once. Something to remember, is that a dog might be a bit more reserved in a shelter setting, and will open up his true self once he settles into your home.
Happy girl Sadie is at HFP waiting for her forever home
Finding your perfect dog at a shelter or rescue can take longer than just going out and buying a dog, but we promise it's worth it! Shelters and rescues are often underfunded and completely run by volunteers who want the best for the dogs in their care, so remember to be patient in the process.
Woohoo, let's bring the dog home! The first few days in a new place can be confusing to your new pup, so be sure to give him time to settle in and adjust. Make sure to dog-proof your home and yard - wherever the dog will have access to. Get him microchipped, or update the microchip to your contact info, and get dog tags on him ASAP. Call a trusted vet to get him in for a check up (and to get neutered or spayed, if not already), and look into dog training classes in your area. Introduce new things slowly, and don't expect him to pick up on the habits of your everyday life immediately. Often times, adopters won't see the true personality of their pups for a few weeks or months. Stay patient and positive!
Because dogs are pack animals, they thrive on interaction with humans, and typically, other dogs. Remember that new-to-you dogs should always be kept on a secure leash. Soon enough your pup will be an adventure dog, able to head out on the trails with you!
HFP's former shelter dog Cinco is the best adventure buddy!
For more information about the adoption process, head on over to https://www.heartsforpawsrescue.com/ to read more in-depth articles about everything rescue and adoption!
Here at Wilderdog, rescue and adoption are a huge part of our lives. Our fur-kids were all adopted from local shelters, so we hope to encourage others to adopt their next best friend as well.
We started our 'Purchase for a Pound' program to be able to help out the amazing people running (often under-funded) rescues and shelters. The program is simple - we donate one pound of dog food for every purchase made here on wilderdog.com. Each month we choose a different rescue or shelter to receive the donation. This allows them to free up funds for medical needs, supplies, or even to save a life.
This month our Purchase for a Pound recipient is Hearts for Paws rescue, located in Davis, California. If you're located in Northern California, be sure to check out https://www.heartsforpawsrescue.com/ to look for your next pup to add to your pack!