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Helping Your Shelter Dog Adjust

October 1, 2020

October is Adopt A Shelter Dog Month! If you’re working from home this year, this may be a perfect time to adopt a new pup. You’ll have more time to train and bond with your canine buddy, and help him settle in. Here, a Jacksonville, FL veterinarian offers some advice on helping a shelter dog adjust.


Do some petproofing to make your home safe for Fido. Some of the things you’ll want to address include toxic plants, plastic bags and ties, wires and cords, chemicals, medication, and anything small or sharp. Ask your vet for specific advice.


Get into the habit of playing with Fido every day. This is a great way to keep him fit and entertained. Playing will also help your pooch burn off any excess energy he has. Plus, it will strengthen the bond between you.

Meet The Doctor

A veterinary appointment should be one of the first things on your agenda. While most shelter pups have already been fixed, you’ll need to get your furry pal a thorough exam. Parasite control, vaccinations, and exams are also important. Don’t be afraid to ask questions about Fido’s specific care needs. That’s what we’re here for!

Doggy Luxury

Have everything your canine companion will need waiting for him before you bring him home. You’ll need to get toys, treats, bedding, dishes, grooming supplies, a pet-first aid kit, waste baggies, a leash, a harness or collar, and a tie-out line. We also recommend getting a good crate or carrier. (Fido probably won’t be opposed to having a doghouse, but that’s optional.)

Be Prepared For Bumps

Shelter dogs can make wonderful pets. However, don’t expect perfection. Fido may have some bad habits or phobias that need to be addressed. Be patient, and don’t get upset about mishaps. Consistency is also very important. If you want your pooch to abide by specific rules, such as staying off the couch, start enforcing these doggy laws right away.

Let Love Grow

While some shelter dogs may immediately decide that their new owners are their best friends, others are more timid, and may need time to adjust. Don’t force attention on Fido. Focus on giving him great TLC. Toys and treats will help win his trust. You’ll have that tail going before you know it!

Please contact us, your Jacksonville, FL animal clinic, anytime. We’re here for you!

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