Shelter Dog Adjustment Tips

April 30th is Adopt A Shelter Dog Day. This is a cause that is truly near and dear to our hearts. Many of our furry patients were once shelter dogs. Awareness of the plight of shelter pets seems to have grown in recent years, which is one positive change we’re happy to see. Of course, going to a new home is a huge change for Fido, and one that can be quite stressful for him. A local Michigan City, IN vet offers some tips on adopting shelter dogs below.


You’ll need to make a run to the pet store for basic doggy supplies. Fido will need food, toys, treats, a leash and collar, a harness, grooming supplies, bedding, and waste baggies. It’s best to wait until you know what pup you are getting before you go shopping. You’ll need to consider your canine pal’s size, breed, age, and health when choosing products.

Coming Home

Before bringing Fido into the house, take him for a long walk. This will help him burn off some nervous energy and just reset a bit. He’ll also be more at ease if he has an idea of what’s around him.

A Safe Space

Get Fido settled in a quiet, comfy spot with a good bed and lots of toys. How you set things up depends a lot on whether or not you have other pets. If you do, you’ll need to keep them separated for a while. Make introductions slowly and carefully, and keep a close eye on things. Ask your vet for more information. Your new pooch may sleep a lot at first: that’s just to be expected.

Doggy Schedule

Our furry buddies tend to feel more secure when they’re on a set schedule for things like walks, meals, and playtime. Get Fido started on his new doggy routine right away.

Tail Wags

Dogs are all unique individuals, with their own personalities. Some pups will immediately bond with you. Others need time to warm up. Don’t force things: just focus on offering great care. Treats are a great way to build trust. While we generally advise against going overboard, it won’t hurt to spoil Fido a bit during this important phase. You’ll have that tail going before you know it!

Do you have questions about caring for a shelter dog? Contact us, your Michigan City, IN veterinary clinic, today!

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