Adopting an Adult Dog
Adult dogs are usually house-trained and have some basic obedience skills. There are many rescue organizations for purebred dogs, so if you have your heart set on a particular breed of dog, search the internet for a rescue organization that specializes in that breed. Some people even choose to become a foster home for a rescue organization, temporarily housing rescued dogs while they await a permanent home. This may require the commitment of seeking out veterinary care and dealing with some issues from the previous situation the dog was in, but not always is that the case. Sometimes, people simply cannot keep a dog anymore for reasons such as financial hardship, illness in the family, or even moving to a place where a dog is not welcome. Fostering dogs is a wonderful way to be a positive influence in the lives of many pets, but it must be understood that the dog will be placed in a new home. Rescue organizations usually require an application, including references. If you are selected to be an adoptive home, you will probably have a home visit from some of the volunteers of the organization. If all goes well, you will be receiving your new companion shortly.
Another option is adoption from a humane society or an animal shelter. Often, the history of these dogs is not known unless provided by the individual who surrendered the dog. This can be a problem, but not if you are aware of it. These dogs may have health issues or behavioral issues that can be worked out with your veterinarian and a trainer.
A third option for adopting a mature dog is a retired breeding dog. Many breeders will spay or neuter their breeding dogs when they no longer wish to breed them, and will place them in adoptive homes. Many beautiful purebred dogs are placed this way.
Ask your veterinarian for help in locating the perfect adult dog for you. Many veterinarians have clients who may need to find a new home for a beloved companion.
When you do bring your new companion home, make sure to ease the transition. Offer your new friend a private place to sleep, such as a kennel box or a bed set up in a quiet corner. Make sure to ease the dietary transition by providing the same diet your new companion is used to. If you want to feed a different brand of food, make the transition over one to two weeks to avoid gastrointestinal upset. Never let your new dog outside without a leash or a fenced yard. It will take some time for your dog to adjust to the new environment you are providing. He may wander off and be unable to find his way home. Have your veterinarian give your new pet a check-up soon after bringing him home. Adult dogs can bond with you and be as special as a puppy would have been without some of hardships of raising a puppy.
Please note that this information does not replace onsite, professional, veterinary care. It is solely for educational purposes. Your pet's medical condition should be evaluated by a veterinarian before any medical decisions are implemented. If there is a potentially life-threatening emergency involving your pet, take your pet to a veterinarian or veterinary facility immediately.
Veterinary Technical Services Department