Make Sure You're Ready for a Commitment
Understand that you are entering into a commitment when you adopt a pet. To help you determine that you're ready to enter into that commitment, you can:
1) Consider why and when you're adopting. For example, if you've just lost a beloved pet and are trying to replace them immediately, you may want to take a pause. Cesar doesn't recommend bringing dogs into a mourning environment. Give yourself some time to grieve and recover before you bring in a new family member.
2) Make sure everyone in your household is comfortable with bringing the animal into the family (that includes any current pets!) and is clear on their role with the animal.
3) Once you get to the shelter and are meeting dogs, take the dog(s) you're considering for a brief walk to get an idea for their energy and demeanor. This helps you select a dog with compatible energy and not overcommit.
Once you've selected your dog and bring them into your home, remember...
Rescue dogs have been taught their behavior and—in most cases—can be re-taught. Look at the re-teaching experience as an opportunity to get to know your new dog better.
Dogs are quick learners, but they need you to show them consistency throughout this process so they can figure out what you're asking of them. Have patience, but make sure you are correcting bad behaviors from the start.
Practice setting rules and boundaries and enforcing them calmly. Soon enough, you and your dog will begin to speak the same language.
Customize Your Quote
Take Your Rescue to the Vet
And of course, make sure your new pet is physically and mentally healthy so they can comfortably transition into their new life with you.
Many shelters will give dogs the basic vaccinations and wormings, but taking them in for an initial exam gives you a better understanding of their overall health and establishes a relationship with the vet.
If you're embarking on a new journey with a rescue, remember that SPOT covers them, too! We love seeing animals go from the shelter to safe and protected homes.