Talking With Pet Doctors

Are You Adopting An Older Dog?

by Christy Adams

If you have a great deal of experience with dogs, you probably already know everything you need to know about older dogs. however, if this is your first experience in being a dog owner, you might need some pointers. If you adopted an older dog from an animal shelter, that is one lucky and blessed animal. As time goes by, you will probably discover that it is actually you who is the lucky and blessed one. Here are some things to consider as you progress with your new family member.

Find Out As Much As You Can From The Very Beginning - If the animal shelter had possession of the dog because it was a stray animal, you'll have to rely on information that the shelter gives you. However, if the dog came to the shelter from a previous home, that might mean that there is a lot of information you can get that will help you in taking care of the dog. For example, is the dog comfortable around other people? Will the dog do well with children? Find out what kind of food the dog has been eating and if the dog has any medical problems. 

If you got the dog at a shelter, it probably already has all of its immunizations. However, you'll still need to find out when the dog needs to return for additional shots. And, of course, if the dog is on medication, you'll want to continue that regimen. 

​How You Can Give The Dog A Great Place To Live - Think of your new pet as a child who has never been to your home before. At first the dog might be a little confused. Give the dog time to get to know you. That is especially true if the dog has not been treated kindly in the past. You'll need to earn your dog's trust. Establish rules gently. For example, if the dog isn't allowed on the furniture, play with him or her on the floor close to the furniture where your family usually gathers. If the dog tries to join you, say on your sofa, scoot down and gently massage it, praising it for not jumping up again.

One of the most important things you can do is to establish yourself with a veterinarian that works at a twenty-four hour animal hospital. In fact, if you establish yourself in that type of hospital, there will probably be the opportunity to meet different veterinarians that take their turn at working during the night. When your dog needs things like immunizations, of course you'll have the luxury of taking it to the vet during your waking hours. However, if the dog gets sick or gets hurt during the night, you'll be glad that you have already established a relationship before there is an emergency situation. And, if you work odd-hours, you'll probably be especially grateful that you can take your dog into the twenty-four animal hospital at any time you are not at your place of business.