Amy Cook
Last Updated

You are considering adopting a pet because you want to give an animal who needs love and care home. But have you ever thought about what it means to be responsible for that animal? You can’t just bring your new family member home without understanding the responsibility that comes with caring for them. Here are some things to consider before making this commitment!

  • If more than one dog is in the house, will they get along well enough not to fight over food or space?
  • Does your current living situation allow pets?
  • What kind of veterinarian do you want for your new family members?
  • How much time can you commit each day/week towards feeding, walking, playing with, bathing and cuddling your new pet?
  • What is the shelter’s policy on contact visits, and how will you adjust to living with an animal who has been socialized in a group setting?

During the first few weeks after adoption, it may take some time to get used to each other if you haven’t spent time around dogs before or if they’ve been cooped up in a shelter for months; they may not always know how to act. For instance, your new dog might not understand that you don’t want them chewing on your shoes while you’re at work, and the only way they’ve ever seen someone sit down is to put their head in somebody’s lap. Be patient with them and learn their body language. Suppose they are growling, baring their teeth or backing away from you. In that case, you should establish yourself as the human’s alpha leader before trying anything else.

This will help your new dog start to understand that you’re in charge and not them.

Contact Visits

If the shelter is allowing contact visits with your potential new fur-ever friend, ask the staff if you can spend some time with them to get to know each other better. If there are other dogs in the room, it may be difficult for your new dog to adjust to life outside of an enclosure. This way, you can see how they interact with others and fit into your family dynamic. Contact visits also give you a better idea of what their personality is like. If they are friendly with other dogs, it could be expected that they will have the same disposition towards humans.

If there are multiple dogs in your house already, see how they interact with each other during the contact visits with your new dog. Do they seem to get along? Are there clear cut leaders and followers? If there are apparent dominance issues, contact the shelter about enrolling your new dog in an obedience class.

Any good family should have a routine, including your pets! Make sure you factor in their daily activities like feeding, playing, walking and bathing before adopting a pet. Not to mention that it will be a great bonding experience for you all!

If you have never had a dog before or if they have been cooped up in a shelter for months, the adjustment period may take some time. Your new pet might not understand that you don’t want them chewing on your shoes while it’s just your slippers at hand, and this is the only time they’ve ever seen someone sit down is to put their head in somebody’s lap. Be patient with them and learn their body language. If they are growling, baring their teeth or backing away from you, establish yourself as the human’s alpha leader before trying anything else. This will help your new dog start to understand that you’re in charge and not them!

During the contact visits, you can get to know your potential new fur-ever friend better. You can see how they interact with others and their personality. If they are friendly with other dogs, it could be expected that they will have the same disposition towards humans. Of course, if there are any disagreements between dogs during the contact visit, the shelter staff will intervene. You can also ask if you can bring your dog(s) along during these visits, so they start to get used to each other.

If all the dogs seem to get along, this is a good sign.

Contact visits give you a better idea of what their personality is like. If they are friendly with other dogs, it could be expected that they will have the same disposition towards humans. Of course, if there are any disagreements between dogs during the contact visit, staff will intervene.

Along with contact visits, make sure you take into account the daily activities of your new pet, including feeding, playing, walking and bathing before adoption! Not to mention that it will be a great bonding experience for all of you.

Contact visits and bringing your current pets give you a better idea of how the new dog will feel in your environment. This will also help you decrease the amount of time spent on adjusting.

Of course, even if they don’t like each other right away, with continued opportunities to get to know each other, they may come around! And if not, don’t be discouraged. Suppose you decide to adopt from a shelter. In that case, it’s expected that the staff will have their opinion of who is best suited for who and sometimes will add you to the waiting list of someone who has just lost their pet.

Conclusion

If you’re interested in adopting an animal, contact your local shelter about whether or not they allow contact visits. Worrying about this beforehand could save you a lot of heartache and money that would be spent on trainers or other behaviourists!

Contact visits are not only a great way to get to know your new “fur-ever” friend; it is an excellent way for your other pets to get used to each other. During the contact visits, you can see how they interact with each other and their personality. If they are friendly with other dogs or cats, this could be expected that they will have the same disposition towards humans. If there are disagreements between animals during the contact visit, shelter staff members will intervene. You can also ask if you can bring your dogs along to get them used to each other!

Suppose all of the animals seem to get along and have been tested for compatibility with one another. In that case, this is a good sign that they will be able to live peacefully together.

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