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Saturday, November 09 2019
4 Ways to Help a Shelter Dog Feel Relaxed and Welcome at Home

Every single year, about 6.5 million companion animals enter U.S. animal shelters across the country. Of those companions, about 3.3 million are dogs, and 3.2 million are cats. Unfortunately, about 670,000 dogs and 860,000 cats in shelter services will be euthanized in shelters as staff struggle to make room for incoming pets.


That’s why so many pet parents go to shelters looking to give their special companion a forever-home. Of course, living in a shelter for however many days or years can have adverse effects on a dog, which is why shelter dogs should be approached with a special empathy and patience that will help them feel right at home.


How to Welcome a Shelter Dog

If you’ve just brought home your new best friend from the shelter, you might be wondering how you can set a scene that is as comfortable and welcoming to them as possible. You’re going to be a great pet parent!


It’s important to remember the dog was in a confined cage, next to other dogs, listening to snarls, barks, yelps, cries, and a slew of other noises for the duration of their life. They were not cuddled on the couch or talked to as they fell asleep. They are used to a rough life many of us don’t even want to think about, which is why they need to decompress when they adjust to their new lifestyle.


How can you help a shelter dog? Follow these tips:


  1. Be Patient: The world can be overwhelming outside the confines of a shelter. There will be stimulants, sounds, smells, and noises that potentially scare your pet. Since this dog, if found on the street etc., was probably not properly socialized, the shelter dog will also need extra time adjusting to people and potentially other pets.

       Additionally, a shelter dog will eat their food very quickly. They have learned to be protective of their
       meals, or else lose them to other shelter dogs. They will eventually learn that meals are a regular
       occurrence in their lives.


        Lastly, they may not sleep on their new pillow or bed because most times, they were used to
       sleeping on the concrete floor. It doesn’t mean they hate their bed, be patient with them.


  1. Rational Discipline: Although some pets will come with psychological trauma and bad habits from their past, it’s still important to exhibit firm discipline to correct their behavior. Of course, reading your pet and following their lead is key, as well as working with a professional dog trainer that can help you break the cycle.


  1. Prepare for Health Problems: Many shelter dogs have lives we know nothing about. Therefore, their charts might not be 100% accurate regarding their health, even their age. Prepare for the time and fees associated with keeping your dog healthy (if you’re afraid you can’t shoulder veterinary costs our nonprofit can help).


  1. Minimize Loud Noises/Flashes: While your dog adjusts and decompresses, the less “ruckus” in your house, the better. Your dog will be happy and healthy in no-time; they just need some time to relax, close their eyes, soundly sleep, and discover they are somewhere new, safe, and made just for them.


Healthy Canines

Dogs all over our country are in need of their forever home. If you’re afraid to get a pet dog because you don’t have the funds to support their medical expenses, please read more about our nonprofit today. We want to make it a reality for you.


Posted by: Alexandra Fasulo AT 07:09 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email

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