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Adopt A Dog Month

October 1 2021

October is an important month for Man’s Best Friend. It’s Adopt A Dog Month! Bringing a new pup into your home definitely qualifies as a major life event in our book. Of course, those first few weeks are absolutely crucial, as they will set the stage for you and Fido’s friendship. For more on supporting adoption, check out “Adopt A Shelter Dog Month“. A Rancho Santa Fe, CA vet offers some tips on adopting a new canine companion below.

Pick The Right Pooch

Our four-legged buddies are just as unique as people. Some are friendly and active, while others are quiet and shy. Don’t just pick the cutest pet you see. Go for the one whose personality and activity level best fits your family and household.


Before bringing Fido home, make sure that your house is safe for him. This means removing or securing things like toxic plants, small or sharp objects, plastic bags and ties, and anything else you don’t want him getting into. Pools can also be very dangerous. Ask your vet for tips.

Vet Appointment

One of the first things on your agenda should be introducing Fido to his new vet. Your furry buddy will need a nose-to-tail exam. He should also be fixed, microchipped, and current on vaccines and parasite control. If any surgical needs are identified or preventative surgeries such as spaying or neutering are needed, learn more about our “Veterinary Surgery” services.

Do Some Research

Our canine companions come in many different shapes and sizes. We think they are all adorable! However, while they all have the same basic needs—food, water, shelter, and veterinary care—the nuances vary from breed to breed. A Great Dane has very different requirements than a Chihuahua! Do plenty of research, and tailor your furry pal’s care regimen to his breed, weight, and health. You’ll also want to ask your vet for advice on things like food, toys, and exercise requirements.

Make A Routine

Dogs are definitely creatures of habit. Get your new canine buddy started out on his new doggy schedule for walks, meals, and playtime right away. Fido will feel more secure on a steady routine.

Tail Wag Activation

Making sure that Fido knows he is loved and safe is very important. While we don’t normally advise going overboard on treats, they are a great way to win Fido’s heart. Petting your pooch can also help, but don’t force it. If your four-legged friend seems nervous, don’t force attention on him. Love takes time to grow!

Our Advice on Adopt A Dog Month in 2024

Why is choosing the right dog important?

Choosing the right dog is crucial because each dog has a unique personality and set of needs that should match your lifestyle, family dynamics, and living situation. The activity level, size, and temperament of the dog should complement your own routine and environment. Making an informed choice helps ensure a harmonious relationship and minimizes the risk of behavioral issues. It’s about finding a compatible companion who can integrate well into your life and whom you can care for properly, ensuring a happy, healthy, and long-lasting bond between you and your new pet.

How do you prepare your home for a new dog?

To prepare your home for a new dog, start by puppy-proofing to remove or secure potential hazards such as toxic plants, small or sharp objects, and electrical cords. Ensure areas like pools are inaccessible to prevent accidents. Create a safe, comfortable space for your dog with a bed, food, and water bowls. Stock up on necessary supplies, including food, toys, a leash, and grooming tools. Schedule a veterinary check-up to ensure they’re healthy and up-to-date on vaccinations. Establishing a welcoming and safe environment helps ease your new dog’s transition into their forever home.

What is the typical adoption process?

The typical dog adoption process involves several steps to ensure a good match between the dog and their new family. Initially, you may need to fill out an application, providing details about your living situation, lifestyle, and experience with pets. Many organizations require a home visit to ensure your environment is safe and suitable for a dog. Next, there’s usually a meet-and-greet with the dog you’re interested in. If it’s a good fit, you’ll go through the adoption paperwork, pay an adoption fee, and receive health records. Some rescues may also offer post-adoption support.

How do you prepare for the emotional adjustment?

Preparing for the emotional adjustment of bringing a new dog home involves patience, understanding, and time. Recognize that your new dog may feel anxious or stressed in a new environment. Establish a calm, welcoming atmosphere and give them space to explore at their own pace. Consistent routines for feeding, walking, and playtime help create a sense of security. Show love and positive reinforcement to build trust. Be prepared for a period of adjustment, and remember that forming a strong bond may take time. Support from a veterinarian or a pet behaviorist can be invaluable during this transition.

How can you introduce your new dog to existing pets?

Introducing a new dog to existing pets should be done gradually and with supervision. Start by allowing them to sniff each other’s scent indirectly, such as through a door or by exchanging bedding. Next, organize short, controlled face-to-face meetings in a neutral area, keeping both dogs on leashes to maintain control. Observe their body language and intervene if any signs of aggression or fear arise. Provide positive reinforcement and treats for calm behavior. Repeat these meetings, gradually increasing their length. Ensure each pet has its own space, food, and water bowls to prevent resource guarding. Patience is key to a successful introduction.

As your local Rancho Santa Fe, CA veterinary specialist, we are dedicated to providing exceptional care for your pets. Please do not hesitate to contact us anytime for assistance!