Choosing to adopt a dog isn’t a one-person decision.

It’s a life-changing decision that must involve your family. Remember that adopting a dog is a lot different compared to purchasing one. Dogs that are sold in pet stores are raised by a breeder, wanting to gain profit. Meanwhile, dogs in adoption centers are either rescued or sheltered. Adopting them is your way of giving them a second chance, ensuring a new and better life. Regardless of the differences, both buying and adopting a dog are life-changing decisions that must be thoroughly thought out. 

If you’ve chosen to adopt a dog into your family, your first goal is to get them to optimum health. Some adopted dogs tend to be more malnourished and sick as they may be rescues or abandoned. It’s your responsibility not only to take care of your newly adopted dog, but also to accept them, as well as their traumatic experiences. Therefore, you should prioritize getting them back into a much healthier state. 

So, before you go right into playing with your adopted dog, here are some tips to help get your adopted dog to better health:

Take Them To A Vet

Shortly after you’ve adopted a dog, the first step you ought to take is to go to the veterinary clinic. Suppose you or the adoption center doesn’t have much information about your dog’s breed, health history, or vaccinations. In that case, the best person to put all these questions to is the vet.

The vet can do a full body exam of your dog, schedule them for vaccinations, and, basically, answer all your questions. Don’t forget to ask your vet for recommendations about the right dog foods for the type of dog you have, including other nutritional and supplementary needs. Moreover, ask your vet for some tips to help you build a closer relationship with your adopted dog.

Purchase The Right Dog Food

It’s essential that you consult a vet first before purchasing any dog food. Remember that dogs differ in their nutritional needs due to factors such as breed, age, weight, and energy levels. 

Aside from that, you also need to know how to read dog food labels. This will make it easier for you to purchase high-quality dog food instead of those that are full of fillers, artificial additives, food coloring, and artificial flavoring.  These artificial substances can be dangerous to your dog and could lead to obesity, digestive problems, or behavioral issues.

So, take note of the dog food provided by your vet, or you can also visit organic dog food stores with various organic protein-rich food options, just like Native Pet .

Give Your Dog Enough Personal Space

You may be wondering how this is related to getting your adopted dog back to health. But, the thing is that being adopted and transferred to a new home, getting exposed to new people, is a roller coaster for the dog. Just like humans, dogs also need their time to adjust to everything around them.

So, during the first few days or weeks of having your new dog at home, avoid hovering around them too much. Instead give them ample space to roam around the house and familiarize themselves with every single detail. Don’t forget to set aside a particular space or corner that’s exclusive for your dog, where they can’t be bothered by anyone.  

Failure to give your dog enough space and time to adjust will cause them to feel stressed, lose their appetite, and develop behavioral problems. All of these can potentially hinder you from building a beautiful relationship with your dog and could negatively impact their health. So, for now, be patient with your dog and let them do what they like. As long as they know where you put the food and water, then everything will be all right.

Take Your Dog Out

When it comes to adopted dogs, it’s not a one-size-fits-all. Some dogs can adjust pretty quickly after a week, while for others, the adjustment period can take weeks or even months. 

A dog’s adjustment has to do with their personal history. Suppose after a few weeks, you and your adopted dog are starting to feel warm towards each other. You now notice that your dog sometimes sits with you on the couch or approaches you at the door when you get home. These types of dog body language are signs that your fur baby is starting to adapt well to their new life with you. This can also be your go-signal to begin taking your dog out and working on getting them back in shape.  

You can start by taking your dog out in your yard and simply walking them around. The next day, you can go a step further by taking them out for a 15- to 30-minute walk around your neighborhood. Over time, they’ll get used to the physical activities, and they’ll be more proactive and enthusiastic towards doing more activities with you.  

Establish A Routine

Experts say that routines are best built over time and must be started as early as possible. But, trying to establish a routine right away on the first day with your adopted dog may be too overwhelming, confusing, and stressful for them.

When creating a routine for you and your dog, it’s best to start slow and begin with their mealtime schedule. Later on, you can start setting a daily walking schedule with your dog once they’re finally comfortable around you. A fixed routine helps your dog feel more relaxed towards you and the new environment by reassuring them that everything is finally going well for them.

The Bottom Line

Adopting a new dog can be exciting, but it comes with major responsibilities and a lifetime of commitment. So, before adopting a dog, make sure you’re well prepared to go through the tips mentioned above. Don’t hesitate to consult your vet for more details about a better and easier transition for you and the adopted dog.  

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About the author

Juanito Cruz is an animal rights advocate. He has a background in animal husbandry and worked in various veterinary clinics and affiliated with several animal organizations. Juanito has pets, including two rabbits, a parrot, and a dog named Bochy.