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How Should I Prepare to Adopt a Dog?

How Should I Prepare to Adopt a Dog?

There’s something special about knowing that a new dog is about to join your family. It can be a very exciting time, but there’s also a lot to consider before adopting a new dog. You want to make sure your dog gets off to a healthy start in his new home. Let’s review the basics for a smooth transition.

Review Medical Records

When you and your family members have picked the dog you want, you’ll want to find out whatever you can about the dog’s medical and health history.  Regular reviews of medical records are critical even after your pet has been in your family for some time, so these key questions will help guide you when you first adopt. Are all the vaccinations up-to-date? Has a spay or neuter been performed? It would be ideal if you can get a copy of the dog’s medical records, including any laboratory tests that have been conducted.

Determine the Best Dog Food

Nutrition information is important, too. What has your pet been fed? Once you know, you can purchase the same food, which will help make mealtime at home easier. Note, if you need to change your pet’s food, do this slowly over time, to avoid the chances of your dog developing an upset stomach or refusing to eat the new food.

Ask Questions About Training and Behavior

The shelter or breeder will be a great resource for learning about your dog’s past habits and routines. Ask them questions such as:

  • Has your pet been house-trained?
  • Is your pet used to being in a crate?
  • Does your new pet have any favorite toys or treats? 

Establish a Partnership with a Veterinarian

It’s important to have your pet examined by your local veterinarian shortly after you bring him home to make sure he is healthy and up to date on preventive care. An Optimum Wellness Plan® can help manage this health care. These plans are packages of preventive care that include services such as comprehensive exams, routinely recommended vaccines and unlimited office visits. Learn about Banfield's Welness Plans for dogs and puppies.


Related Resources

If you have any other questions about adopting your new dog, please feel free to browse through our Pet Health Resource Library, or check out some of the links below.