Adopting a Shelter Dog From the SPCA, Is It Worth It? Part 1

BlueJeanStarred Page By BlueJean, 18th Apr 2012 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Guides>Pets>Adoption & Rescue

Shelter animals are like diamonds in the rough- all they need is a caring family willing to provide consistent training and love, to make them sparkle again. What are the benefits?

Benefits of Adoption:

• You’re providing a frightened and homeless dog a chance to start over again in a forever home.
• The cost is usually less than buying a dog at the local pet shop or breeder.
• Getting an adult dog cuts out the many months of demanding puppy stages.
• Many shelter animals have wonderful temperaments; they just need someone who will consistently show them tender leadership.
• Adopting an adult dog will give you a clear picture of their size and personality traits.
• Many shelter dogs are already potty trained, and some even have basic commands learned.

Considerations to Keep in Mind

There are a wide variety of dogs available at your local SPCA and the good thing is; they are all waiting for a forever family to love them as their very own. However, there are some considerations that you should keep in mind before you begin your dog hunting adventure.
It is time to make an assessment of you and your family’s lifestyle.
• Are you and your family active and on the go a lot?
• How much time during the day and evening do you spend at home on the average?
• Do you have young children or an elderly person living in your home? If so, consider the breed of dog. A large, strong and active dog may not be the best choice as they can overpower young children and the elderly. Yet, a very small dog may be too yappy and can be easily hurt physically.
• Are you and your family ready to take on the daily care and responsibilities of a dog?
• Will you or your family members be willing to take the time daily to either walk your new dog, or have play time of fetch for exercise?
• Will you set aside money for the cost of veterinary expenses or purchase pet insurance for visits?
You will need to discuss these questions with your family before adoption; as well as do some homework on dog breeds. Now it’s time to begin your search. Once you have found your ideal dog, ask the shelter about your dog’s history and how its behavior was within the cages of other dogs. Here are some helpful tips for your dog’s first week home.

The First Week Home

Since you’ve adopted your dog; it is time to help Rover in adjusting to your home. Be sure to keep your dog on a leash and nearby you for a few weeks until you know their behaviors; and they learn to adjust within your family’s normal patterns.
To avoid diarrhea in the first few days, add some boiled potatoes to your dog’s dish to help their systems adjust to new food. Show them where their food and water dish is, and begin setting a schedule of taking them outside for potty about every two hours. If they do potty in the house, you can assume that they have not been trained. Never hit or yell at them for doing so, but instead, at the moment that they start to squat, firmly say “NO!” and take them outside quickly. Try not to leave anything of temptation for them to chew on like kid’s toys, shoes or clothing nearby. Stay consistent with training and established routines.

Additional Guidelines to Help with Transitioning

One of the first things to do is crate train your new dog. I really cannot recommend this enough, as this helps you to potty train them faster. Purchase the right size of crate for your dog and at the beginning of the training period; don’t place a blanket on the bottom. I had to learn this the hard way! When our dog Tilly came home, she had been used to going potty and sleeping wherever. I could tell that she had never been in a crate before; and it took her about 2 months before she would not soil her blankets or papers. She consistently made short yipping sounds each night while in the crate for many months, but I wouldn’t take her out. I remained consistent, and finally, there came a time when she would walk in her crate on a soft blanket and not soil in it, or whimper at night. She liked the new cozy place of her own.

Make sure to take your new dog to obedience training, if they don’t know their basic commands such as sit, stay, down, come, and heel. Within the first few weeks they need to know what is and is not acceptable in your home. This will give you and your family a peace of mind that Rover is learning manners and adjusting well in obedience. A trained dog is a happy dog!
In summary, take the time to do your homework by thoughtfully evaluating the assessment questions; and cautiously evaluate the breed of dog that would fit best into your lifestyle and family. Once you are prepared, begin the search online. lists the animals that each of the local shelters currently have. You’re able to view the pictures and a brief description and where they’re located. Another good way to find the right kind of dog is to call some of the local shelters and tell them your wish list. Be patient and consistently search, making sure that the dog you and your family picks will be a happy and long-lasting choice. Is it worth it? Yes!


Abandoned, Abuse, Adoption, Breeds, Crate Training, Dog Kennels, Dog Training, Dogs, Forever Family, Obedience Training, Petfindercom, Rover, Shelter, Spay, Spca

Meet the author

author avatar BlueJean
I am currently working my way through college towards an English degree. I love writing and the power of words, especially the written word. I will be writing on a variety of topics.

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author avatar mistyleaf
19th Apr 2012 (#)

Welcome to Wikinut Bluejean. Nice article. Congrats for the star. Thanks.

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author avatar RitaH
4th Jun 2013 (#)

People should adopt more animals than be taking on babies. Eventually they do grow up and grow old so they don't fancy keeping them any longer. A pet is for life not just to be a baby all it's life

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