“Everyone thinks they have the best dog. And none of them are wrong” – W.R. Purche

Man’s Best Friend they say when it comes to dogs and it’s true but many new dog owners choose to have a dog with all the wrong reasons without considering lifestyle, time and money. Choosing a dog is not like buying a soft toy and avoid adopting a dog just because of movies too. A dog requires time and daily walks despite having a compound if living on a landed property. It is also a responsibility for the next 10 to 15 years if looked after properly. Research all factors from lifestyle, time, money and commitment. Once all factors have been thought through carefully then you’re ready!

Process of Adoption

If you have decided to adopt from a shelter or rescuer/fosterer, that is absolutely awesome as you have given a second chance and help lessen the dog population. Remember that the dogs are rescued and have gone through harsh realities outside their world so a lot of patience and understanding is required. The shelter personnel or rescuer/fosterer will fill you with all the important info required from their demeanour, where was the dog found, habits, likes and dislikes, etc.
The process adopting from shelters or rescuers/fosterers is pretty easy. Just answer a simple list of questions, for instance:

Do you live in a condo or landed property

Dogs come in several sizes of small/toy, medium, large and gentle giants. There must be sufficient space for the dog to walk and run. Most medium size domestic adult dogs can be found in shelters and rescuers/fosterers. In Malaysia, dog licenses must be applied so find out from your local council according to your residential address as each council differs.

Do you work full-time or part time and what are the hours

Dogs require daily walks and attention compared to cats so the type of work you do is a huge factor unless you have other people you live with then that’s fine. Also, does your work involve travelling? If so, dog boarding is required and how often. Though there are many Dog Hotels around with high techno facilities like CCTV where the dog parent can view from where they are but it’s important to check reviews and the premise or just look up for a trustable dog sitter.

Are there small children. If so what age

Adopting a dog that needs a home teaches important values to children and it also tells the underlying values and statement of the household. Regardless of age, children require supervision handling especially puppies as they’re fragile and soft as young children don’t realize their strength.

How particular are you on cleanliness, tidiness

All individuals have their own level of cleanliness and hygiene. Aside keeping your house tidy, dog’s bedding, blankets etc require cleaning and washing too. So being tidy and clean is crucial. Daily vacuuming is ideal to suck up all the hair. Dogs will shed fur (hair) like us shedding our hair so it’s good keeping floors and couches clean and dust-free.

Are there other pets in the house

Once you’re a Pet Parent, with 1 pet whether it be a cat or dog, you’ll add another somehow and this is from experience. If you have a cat, the next step would be perhaps a dog you’d adopt and there is no such thing as cats and dogs don’t get along. It takes time for them to know each other and a 24-hour supervision is best for the first few weeks just to monitor that both parties are getting along.

The questions above are just a handful that are asked but there are more depending on the shelter and rescuer/fosterer. The next step is to visit the dog and good to involve the household be present. Once you’ve decided, the next step is a trip to the veterinarian.
Shelters, rescuers/fosterers would have the dog vaccinated, dewormed, de-flea done which is the basic but a thorough health-check is required as you don’t want surprises. A vaccination card is given at the point of adoption and that card must be brought to your veterinarian to check through.

Trip to the Veterinarian

Woofy would be stressed out or anxious sitting in the car or may not be used to car rides so if there are “accidents” like pee, please bear with it as it is a lot for Woofy to go through in a day finally introduced to his/her new forever home, adopted, trip to the vet and finally home but, an experienced veterinarian would know what to do and advise on the necessary check-up. A blood check is done usually to ensure there is no major illness and vaccination card checked. For dogs especially, heartworm is crucial so there are monthly “treats” specifically for it that should be given. At the vet clinic, you can buy the essentials like food and water bowls separately and not the 2-in-1 type, recommended dog food, collar and leash. The rest like toys, bedding for our humid weather can be purchased at pet shops as they have wider choices. Once all is good to go and essentials purchased at least for the first night, it’s the final trip home.

Adapting to Woofy’s New Home

Upon Woofy’s arrival, allow her/him to roam around freely encouraging and following where he/she walks. Woofy will take his/her time to adapt to its new surroundings and also getting to know other pets in the household, if any. This whole process takes between 1 to 2 weeks depending on the dog’s personality. Some who are shy take longer to adapt but some who are friendly adapt pretty quick.

Visit https://rspcavic.org/adoption for more info and handy adoption tips!

Happy Dog Bonding!

This article is courtesy of Pets Corner Sdn Bhd. For more pet care tips, visit www.petscorner.com.my