To adopt a dog from a shelter - your beginner’s guide
The decision to accept a new family member can be a serious and important milestone in our lives and requires thoughtful preparation for every expectant and experienced dog owner. We need to be more cautious with dogs from the shelter, as they may be affected by traumatic events. Maybe the animal has lost its beloved owner or it has been living on the street and has forgotten how to socialise with humans. Feeding and medical care may have been anything but appropriate in their past lives and in the shelter where the dog lived. Perhaps inferior food was given or has received no or too strong a medication, which can bring a variety of health consequences. A guide to adopting a dog from a shelter – your beginner’s guide.
It is most likely, the rescue dog has been vaccinated freshly, dewormed and possibly treated with antibiotics – this means his body is toned down and needs gentle support as well as patience and attention from the new owner.
Before the dog moves from the shelter
It is advisable to get as much information as possible about the dog. It is not always known to what conditions the dog lived in before arriving at the shelter, but you should always find this out before the dog moves in with you.
- How does he relate to other dogs, cats and humans?
- How was the condition at admission and how is it now?
All of this can be helpful for a good start in your new home.
Good preparation is important: Make the home ready
Before the arrival of the dog, it may be helpful to inform the friends and family as well as the neighbours about the arrival of a dog. To prepare them to be more patient and more understanding, so that everything runs smoothly in the first few days. Set up a comfortable dog shelter in advance and remove dangerous objects such as poisonous plants or exposed cables.
The essential equipment for a Rescue Dog
In addition to the basic equipment you should also prepare in terms of health and nutrition. In order not to over burden the dog, we recommend using natural food and care products. In addition to the chosen food, the following supplements can be helpful – we are happy offer you some advice!
- Carrot granules for acute diarrhoea
- Herbal remedies for pests such as ticks and fleas: Protectopet with geraniol or our organic coconut oil
- herbal blends such as Canis Extra Active or the bio-BARF Herbs Thousand Green to support the metabolism
- Mineral Moor with restlessness in the stomach and for the cleaning of the intestine
- Petflora for a healthy intestinal flora and a stable immune system
- Vermprevet® and Vermcurat® as an alternative to chemical worming treatments
The right food for your Rescue Dog
It is also necessary to consider in advance which type of food will best suit your lifestyle and your pet. Whether you are looking for a healthy dry food, prefer juicy ready meals or swear by BARF (Biologically Appropriate Raw Food | Bone and Raw Food Diet), at Naturavetal you will find 100% natural, species-appropriate solutions to cover all bases. Based on the feeding recommendation, you can calculate the required quantities and get the stock for the first few weeks before the dog moves in from the shelter. The right, high-quality proteins from meat and valuable offal are crucial here – as with the Canis Plus® complete feed.
Healthy Puppy food – A good start
A puppy or young dog up to 12 months of age needs a certain amount of proteins, fats and minerals. Canis Plus cold-pressed dry food is available in 2 formulas for puppies and young dogs – with easily digestible poultry meat or with salmon and millet for the allergic and sensitive dog. This is a high-quality puppy food in optimal composition for the best nutrition. Healthy puppy food – appropriate to the species from the beginning
Food for the Senior Dog
Although your pet dog may be older, it is not essential to feed it less or differently than recommended for adult dogs. The level of activity is crucial – if your dog is still athletic and likes to move, it will need a sufficient amount of high-energy feed. You will find more information in our guide blog.
Moving in - the first few days
It is important that you switch the dog to the new, healthy food immediately, because despite the old habits, the old food should not be mixed with the new. Especially if the dog has previously received inferior extrudated dry food, you must not mix this with the new, cold-pressed variant. At the beginning you give small meals to avoid a possible overstraining. Snacks and treats should be fed only when the dog has become accustomed to the new basic food.
Time to get to know each other
To gain the trust between a human and a shelter dog, it is important that you stay with the dog in the first few weeks. Therefore, we advise you to take a lot of time off or work from home for this period of adjustment. This is so that wrong behaviors can be corrected immediately, and you grow together as a team in everyday tasks quickly. The dog should enjoy a clear and fair education from the first minute, because this measure provides the animal with security. Treating the dog as a human is to be avoided, this only leads to further uncertainty. The insecure dog needs to know who is the boss.
In addition, to give the dog more relaxation, concentration for new things, reassurance and inner strength, you can give our Nervenheld capsules for a short time in stressful situations, as well as longer term, to facilitate the acclimatization. Also, one can e.g. make the annual blast with the early fed nerve hero for the dog more comfortable.
If the dog has diarrhea, you can remedy it yourself. Read on, in our blog post: If the dog has diarrhea: causes and help
The beneficial intestinal rehabilitation for your Rescue Dog
Gut rehabilitation required when changing a diet, it is beneficial for a dog with a weaker immune system or a body depleted of nutrients. However, this can only be recommended if the dog gets as natural as possible feed without synthetic additives. Synthetic substances from the feed and any medications, worming or antibiotics can ultimately affect the “good” intestinal bacteria unfavorably. We recommend a personal consultation with our team of experts, because every dog is different, and we will help you find the optimal remedy. The following supplements aid intestinal rehabilitation:
- Ceolife® made of pure, micro mineralated zeolite powder for gentle purification
- Petflora with lactic acid bacteria: Lactic acid improves cell regulation, works against pathogenic bacteria in the intestinal flora and prevents infections by activating the body’s own defense.
- Mineral Moor: The unique composition of the bog boosts the metabolism, increases the intestinal flora and thus contributes to a better usability of the ingested food.
The first time on a leash
A new dog has no attachment to you in the first days and should therefore be led outside the house only on a leash with a collar or a suitable harness. Otherwise it could come to harm or get into a dangerous situation. In addition, the leash also gives security and “binds” the still-strange animal to you, so that it does not run to every oncoming dog. In this way, you reduce the risk of disease and stress for your four-legged friend. Not every dog has ultimately grown up with other friendly dogs and therefore needs his master / mistress as protector and head of the pack.
To keep it stimulated and focused, give your dog some snacks during the walk so that you are more interesting to your dog than the environment.
Exercise in small steps, with food as positive reinforcement.
The settling in of a Rescue Dog – an exciting experience for both sides
Getting the dog from the shelter and into their new home is an exciting and unique time, which strongly influences the bond between the animal and its new family.
Thorough preparation, consistent education with clear rules and long-awaited stability and attention will help the dog to integrate quickly. Providing a healthy, natural and species-appropriate diet will give him/her after a few weeks, new vitality and a zest for life.
We wish you a long and wonderful life with your new dog and gladly offer you our help and advice. Our team of veterinary practitioners and veterinary specialists, is always happy to assist you with any questions!