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Practical Advice for Adopting a Dog

If you are thinking of adding a dog to your family, consider adopting your new best friend from an animal shelter or humane society. You'll not only get a good feeling from helping a homeless pet, you'll get an outstanding companion. Many fantastic dogs end up in shelters through life circumstances that have happened with their original owners, and the staff at these organizations carefully check the animals for sound health and good temperament. In addition, some shelter animals have had the benefit of training to develop good manners while they've been waiting for a new home.

You can find just about any age, size and breed of dog at an animal shelter. From entire litters of puppies, to young dogs, to older housebroken dogs too.

When a new dog first arrives, shelter staff carefully evaluate it for physical and behavioral soundness. They make note of quirks, and work with specialists to eliminate negative behaviors. Most shelters even have adoption counselors who interview potential adopters to understand their needs and lifestyle so they can make the perfect match.

Bringing your newly adopted dog home is exciting for you, but may be a little overwhelming for her. Keep her on a leash as you take her from room to room, giving her plenty of opportunity to sniff. It's a good idea to make your first stop on this tour a stop at the dog's bathroom area. The excitement of a car ride and coming to a new place can give her the need to empty her bowels or bladder.

It's important to understand that Dogs are creatures of habit. So the sooner you establish a firm routine, the more comfortable your new dog will become in her new home. Always feed her in the same spot and at about the same time each morning. You'll find she grows to anticipate "what comes next." For example, if you always feed her after you bring in the newspaper, you'll notice she becomes very excited when you open the door to step outside. Dogs catch on quickly.

Related information and resources for this article can be found at: http://www.mypetanimals.com/artic les/200506/adopting-a-dog/

? 2005, Kathy Burns-Millyard. This article is provided courtesy of The Pets & Animals Shopping Network. You may publish it at no cost, as long as the links are left intact, made live, and this notice stays in place.

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