If you have heard about the thousands of dogs that get euthanized every year because the shelter couldn’t find an owner, and you want to help by adopting one, you’re doing a wonderful thing.
What’s happening in shelters around the country is nothing short of a tragedy, and we need more people like you. With that being said, shelter dogs are not like other dogs and are often victims of trauma, which brings a whole set of challenges.
You also have to know that you won’t necessarily get to pick the perfect dog and will have to deal with what you get.
Let’s take a look at some of the things you should know before you pick up a dog from a shelter.
It’s Going to Cost You
Even if you can get a shelter dog for free, you will still have to pay for health costs, food, and other things like insurance and accessories. This is why you need to assess your finances before you adopt to tell if you can actually afford a dog of any kind.
It’s estimated that owning a dog could cost you anywhere from $125 to $824 per month. The costs will depend on the type of food you feed them, how much you pay for healthcare, and services like dog walking and grooming, etc.
So, if your budget is already tight as it is, you should think twice about rescuing a dog as you don’t want to take them back to the shelter because you can’t afford them.
Healthy Eating Habits
You also have to know how to feed a dog properly before you even think of taking one home. You especially have to know about the foods you should never feed a dog as some foods can be extremely toxic to them.
You may have heard that things like chocolate can be harmful to dogs, but did you know that many fruits and vegetables could also be dangerous for them? Something as benign as an avocado, for instance, could give your dog severe diarrhoea.
This is because it contains a toxin known as persin which can cause all sorts of gastrointestinal issues for dogs.
Mangos are another fruit you should be careful with, but not because of toxins. It has more to do with the composition of the fruit and possible choking issues. If you’re wondering can dogs eat mango, you should check out Native Pets.
You won’t need to ask the question of can dogs eat mango ever again after reading their informational article on the subject.
You’ll learn exactly why mangos and other similar fruits should be avoided by dogs and how to feed mango to your dog safely.
Shelter Dogs Often Have Behavioural Issues
As you may or may not know, a lot of shelter dogs have suffered trauma both at the hand of their previous owners and during the time they were at their shelter.
A shelter can be an extremely stressful and traumatic environment for a dog, and you’re the one who may have to help them once you get them home.
This is why you shouldn’t assume that you and your pet will bond automatically, or ever. There are some cases where shelter pets never get along with their owners and they have to take them back. This can be a sad event, but there’s often no other option.
You will have to let your dog adapt to their new environment and you should have a space set up for them before you bring them home. It could be an empty guest room, garage, or closed-off basement, for instance.
You also have to get them used to you being absent. Start by leaving the house for a short period of time. Once they get accustomed to you leaving for short periods, you can start leaving for longer periods. It’s also very important that you make things as casual as possible.
Do not look back when leaving the house and do not attend to them immediately when you come back. This will allow them to become independent.
You should also know that shelter dogs are not always the best option for first-time owners or people with children specifically for that reason.
They might lash out when being rubbed the wrong way or become disoriented in a new house full of strangers. Starting with a shelter dog might be a little bit too much for you even if you live alone, so think twice before adopting one if you’ve never dealt with dogs before.
These are all things that you need to know before you pick up a dog from a shelter. This could be the best thing that anyone has done for them, on the condition that you’re a competent and responsible owner.