Adopting an adult dog from a shelter: tips for a successful fostering

  Adopting an adult dog from a shelter: tips for a successful fostering

Adopting an adult dog from a shelter: tips for a successful fostering


Table of Contents

Think carefully and prepare everything before adopting the dog
Understand the pros and cons of adopting a shelter dog
How to choose the dog for the adoption?
Lay the foundations for a new balanced relationship

Some people think that adopting an adult dog from a shelter is not a good idea, because it will be difficult to retrain him and there is no guarantee that he will be able to adapt to his new life.


However, in addition to doing a good deed by taking in a mature animal, this gesture has many advantages and adoptions generally go very well. A certain number of advice and precautions are nevertheless to be respected so that his arrival is as successful as possible.

Think carefully and prepare everything before adopting the dog

Whatever its origin, adopting a new animal is not a decision to be taken lightly. Indeed, welcoming a dog into your home has many implications and it is important to carefully measure the impact that this can have on your budget and your lifestyle. It is, therefore, necessary to foresee the consequences relating to the adoption and start by taking into account all the costs incurred: veterinary costs, food, possible care costs, specific insurance for the dog ...

Make sure you have enough time to take care of your future companion (games, daily outings, education). In addition, the decision to adopt an animal must absolutely be taken in consultation with the other members of the household or the house.

Ask yourself all the right questions together: is your accommodation suitable for welcoming a dog? Do you have a garden, or failing that, a place to walk nearby? What type of dog are you looking for and what temperament would best suit your lifestyle? What do you expect from the relationship with this future companion and to what extent is everyone ready to invest in taking care of it? Where and by whom will you keep it? etc ...

Understand the pros and cons of adopting a shelter dog

Adopting an adult dog comes with “risks” and that is the main downside. However, each of these disadvantages can be offset by an advantage: do you think that an adult animal has a well-formed character and will be difficult to "model"? It's true, but in return, you will have the opportunity to identify his temperament from the first meeting.

Do you think you will not have the pleasure of educating him as you want? Yes, there will surely be concessions to be made, but on the other hand, you adopt (in principle) an animal that is already clean and calmer than a puppy! The worst misconception about adult dogs is that there had to be "reasons" to give them up, because they have a difficult character, bad behavior, etc.

So we tend to think that it will be impossible to (re)educate them. Yet, in most cases, these dogs are no more problematic than others and will be minor adjustments and temporary difficulties often associated with an adjustment period. Finally, an adult dog has its final size, which represents a significant advantage for choosing it without risking being surprised!

How to choose the dog for the adoption?

It goes without saying that adoptions work on impulse. However, some points are good to observe to realize what kind of animal you have in front of you. Take your time and pay attention to everyone's attitudes. Be accompanied by a shelter employee who knows the residents well and can answer all your questions. Find out about each animal that could interest you: causes of abandonment, medical history, its past if it is known.

Keep in mind that a dog that has suffered trauma or abuse might be more of a problem than another, but that's not all. Assessing his temperament (fearful, sociable, playful, reserved...) is essential before making a choice. Do not crack on a whim and ask to meet the animal outside its box, to take it for a short walk. Check if he is receptive to his name if he seems obedient, affectionate... And of course, take the opportunity to see if the current passes between you as well as with the members of your family.

Lay the foundations for a new balanced relationship

Once at home, the reflexes to have are the same as with a puppy. Take care to prepare before his arrival a little corner of his own with his basket and his belongings (bowls, toys) and give him time to discover the house at his own pace. Be patient and avoid reprimands at first because his past is not necessarily well known and he could have reactions of fear or stress.

However, be clear about the rules you want to teach him, for example not to climb on beds or sofas if you do not want him to do so. Agree with all members of the household to avoid any inconsistencies in these rules. Test its cleanliness by first taking it out very regularly, then spacing it out little by little.

Do the same for your own outings to gradually test his relationship with loneliness. Indeed, some dogs who have been abandoned may suffer from separation syndrome. If you have other animals, do not put them aside following the arrival of your new companion, this could create rivalries.

Finally, make an appointment with your usual veterinarian for an introductory visit and to settle any formalities: health record, vaccines, microchip installation, or updating... A complete health check-up done on this occasion is also strongly recommended.

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