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Adopting a dog from a shelter is a loving gesture that requires patience and a little extra care.

Dogs that have lived in shelters may have suffered, so care must be taken when approaching them.

Why should you adopt a dog from a shelter?

Adopting a dog is an act of generosity. This decision benefits both the family that takes in the new four-legged friend and the dog himself.
Dogs living in shelters have often experienced abandonment. For them, therefore, finding a family is an opportunity to grow up happy and loved. Fido will repay the gesture with his unconditional affection and all his gratitude, becoming an irreplaceable source of companionship, especially for the elderly.

How to adopt a dog from a shelter

Before adopting, you should know a few things.
First of all, only people of legal age can adopt a dog from the shelter. Before adopting, you have to answer a questionnaire about your lifestyle and sign a document where you commit yourself to meet the animal’s needs.
Adoption at the kennel can be free of charge or subject to a fee of 100 to 150 euros, which includes the cost of vaccines, microchipping and sterilization.

What to consider

The choice of the type of dog to adopt must take into account the:

  • lifestyle of the new family
  • size and space of the house
  • amount of time you have available
  • whether there are other animals in the house.

These factors are decisive in determining whether to adopt a puppy or an adult dog, a small dog, a medium-sized dog or a large dog.Two volunteers with a dog in a refuge before the adoption

Dealing with an adopted dog

A dog adopted from a kennel is often distrustful, as he may have experienced traumatic events during its life. It’s therefore important to approach him with due care. 

Local associations and kennels have volunteers and professionals who can be of great help to you. They know their animals well and will therefore be able to give advice and precise information about the health conditions and character of the dogs. 

Spend a lot of time with him

A dog adopted from a shelter can be frightened by many things, such as other animals, people or loud noises. It is therefore important to be patient and gradually expose them to life outside the house, without ever forcing or coercing them.
Adopted dogs often have a closed, shy attitude towards their new pet parent. Fear of being abandoned again can initially prevent them from sharing and letting go.

In order to establish a solid relationship with them it is therefore necessary to give them the space and time to get used to our presence. They will approach you when they feel ready.
It is also best to avoid stroking, especially on sensitive parts of the body such as the ears, as they may take this as an aggressive gesture. 

In order to gain the confidence of your newly adopted dog, you can spoil him with small gifts right from the start, so that he associates our presence with positive emotions.
Especially in the early days, you should spend as much time as possible with your dog. Playing together and teaching your dog basic commands are activities that will help you to establish a normal emotional relationship.New pet parent with her puppy adopted in a refuge

Getting the house ready

Before the new member of the family arrives, you should prepare the house properly. The dog will have to get used to smells, people and noises calmly and it will take some time before they become familiar.

Then it is necessary to think about the dog’s space. Firstly, place the kennel in a quiet part of the house where the dog will not be disturbed and where he will have free access to water and toys. It is just as important that the dog continues to eat the same food that he ate in the kennel, trying not to alter mealtimes. Any change in his diet should be made gradually. Dogs are very habit-forming animals, so it is advisable to create a routine early on.

Walking the dog

You must be respected when walking your dog. The use of a collar or harness and a leash is essential to avoid running away. Your adopted dog may not be used to walks and may not recognize your commands. In order to encourage your dog to listen, you should give him snacks from time to time so that he focus on the commands you give him and not on his surroundings.Adopted dog and his new pet parent during the daily walk

Adopting a dog that has lived in a shelter is a gesture of generosity that will bring you joy and give your furry friend a home and family in which he can live happily.

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