October 3, 2023

Finding Your Furever Friend: A Vet's Take on Dog Adoption🐾

You're likely to come across numerous heartwarming stories and advertisements celebrating the bond between humans and dogs this month, and for good reason. October is officially "Adopt a Dog" month, a time to recognize the joy and fulfillment that adopting a canine companion can bring to your life. At Countryside Veterinary Services, we're enthusiastic supporters of dog adoption, and we're here to guide you through the exciting journey of welcoming a new furry friend into your family. In this blog, we'll explore the myriad of dog adoption benefits, from saving lives to finding your perfect match. We'll also delve into the essential considerations every prospective dog owner should be aware of, emphasizing the critical role your veterinarian plays in ensuring your new companion's well-being. Join us in celebrating this special month and the loving connections formed through dog adoption.


Why Adopt Versus Buy?

Adopting a dog is a heartfelt choice for several reasons. Firstly, you're giving a loving home to a pup in need, and there's no greater feeling than knowing you've changed a dog's life for the better. Secondly, adopting from a shelter or rescue organization often means you're saving a dog's life, as many of these animals are at risk of being euthanized due to overcrowding. Plus, you'll be supporting the fantastic work these organizations do. Adopting takes business away from pet stores, who largely get their puppies from puppy mills, which treat animals poorly. Adopting can be more cost effective than buying. And if you don’t have the time to train a puppy, you can always adopt a trained dog.


What Things Should You Consider When Adopting?

  • Lifestyle Match: Take a moment to evaluate your lifestyle, including activity level, living situation, and family members. Consider what type, size, and energy level of dog would be the best fit for your daily routine.
  • Long-Term Commitment: Dogs are loyal companions for many years, so be prepared for a long-term commitment. Ensure that your future plans, such as moving or traveling, can accommodate your furry friend.
  • Allergies and Health: If you have allergies or specific health concerns, research hypoallergenic breeds or consult with your veterinarian to find a suitable match.
  • Training and Socialization: Understand that adopted dogs may come with varying degrees of training and socialization. Be patient and willing to invest time in helping your new friend adapt to their new environment.
  • Financial Responsibility: Dogs require ongoing care, including food, vaccinations, grooming, and regular vet visits. Make sure you're financially prepared for these responsibilities.


Choosing the right breed of dog to fit your lifestyle?

Selecting the perfect canine companion isn't a one-size-fits-all endeavor. Just like choosing your favorite pair of shoes or deciding on the ideal car, finding the right dog breed to suit your lifestyle takes careful consideration. Whether you're seeking a family-friendly furry friend, a low-energy companion for a busy work schedule, a hypoallergenic breed, or a four-legged fitness partner for your active lifestyle, making an informed choice is key.


Family-Friendly Breeds:

  1. Labrador Retriever: Labradors are known for their friendly and outgoing nature. They are excellent with children and make great playmates. Ensure you have the space for their energy and exercise needs, as Labradors are active dogs.
  2. Golden Retriever: GoldenRetrievers are gentle, intelligent, and affectionate dogs that typically get along well with kids and adults alike. Regular grooming is required due to their long, dense coat.
  3. Beagle: Beagles are friendly, curious, and good with children. They have a playful nature and adapt well to family life. Be aware that Beagles have a strong sense of smell and may follow their nose, so secure fencing is essential.
  4. Bulldog: Bulldogs are known for their calm and easygoing demeanor. They are great for families looking for amore low-energy pet. Keep in mind that Bulldogs may be prone to certain health issues, so regular vet check-ups are essential.
  5. Collie: Collies are intelligent and loyal dogs. They are often good with children and can be trained easily. Collies require regular exercise and mental stimulation.
  6. Poodle: Poodles come in various sizes (Standard, Miniature, and Toy) and are known for their intelligence and hypoallergenic coats. They are versatile dogs that can adapt to different family sizes and living spaces.
  7. Boxer: Boxers are playful, energetic, and protective dogs. They can be excellent companions for active families. Early socialization and training are important for Boxers to ensure proper behavior.
  8. Bichon Frise: Bichon Frises are small, cheerful, and affectionate dogs. They are well-suited for families living in smaller spaces. Regular grooming is necessary to maintain their fluffy coat.
  9. Shih Tzu: Shih Tzus are friendly, adaptable, and good with children. They enjoy being part of family activities. Their long, silky coat requires regular grooming.
  10. Mixed Breed Dogs: Mixed breed dogs can make wonderful family pets. They often combine the best traits of different breeds.


Breeds well-suited for working lifestyles:

  1. French Bulldog: French Bulldogs are small, low-energy dogs that enjoy lounging around the house. They're affectionate and adaptable to apartment living.
  2. Basset Hound: Basset Hounds are known for their calm and easygoing nature. They don't need vigorous exercise and are content with daily walks.
  3. Cavalier King Charles Spaniel:These small dogs are friendly, gentle, and adaptable. They do well in apartments and are satisfied with moderate exercise.
  4. Chihuahua: Chihuahuas are one of the smallest dog breeds, making them ideal for small living spaces. They require minimal exercise and can keep you company throughout the day.
  5. Greyhound: Despite their reputation as racing dogs, Greyhounds are couch potatoes. They enjoy short bursts of exercise but are otherwise calm and low-maintenance.
  6. Shih Tzu: Shih Tzus are affectionate and adaptable dogs that don't need excessive exercise. They enjoy spending time indoors with their owners.
  7. Boston Terrier: Boston Terriers are friendly, small dogs that are well-suited for apartments. They require only moderate exercise and enjoy playing indoors.
  8. Pug: Pugs are small dogs with charming personalities. They're content with moderate exercise and thrive in a variety of living situations.
  9. Dachshund: Dachshunds are small, curious dogs that adapt well to apartment living. They require regular walks but aren't overly energetic.

Remember that even low-energy breeds require daily exercise and mental stimulation.Hiring a dog walker or enrolling your dog in doggy daycare can help ensure they receive the attention and exercise they need while you're at work.Additionally, consider adopting an adult dog, as they often require less training and can adapt more easily to your schedule.


Hypoallergenic Breeds:

These breeds typically produce fewer allergens, making them a more suitable choice for allergy sufferers. Some popular hypoallergenic breeds include the Poodle, Bichon Frise, Maltese, Shih Tzu, and the Portuguese Water Dog. These dogs often have hair rather than fur, which reduces shedding and allergen distribution.However, it's essential to remember that no dog breed is entirely hypoallergenic, and individual reactions may vary. Regular grooming and maintaining a clean-living environment can help minimize allergic reactions while allowing you to enjoy the company of your furry friend.


When you decide to open your heart to a shelter dog, you may not always find a purebred pup that matches the exact breed specifications you had in mind.However, don't let that deter you. Many shelter dogs possess the traits and characteristics of specific breeds, and you can often inquire about dogs with a particular breed in their lineage. While these lovable mixed breeds may not come with a pedigree certificate, mixed-breed dogs often have fewer genetic health issues, making them a wonderful and resilient addition to your family.So, keep an open mind when visiting your local shelter.


What Do You Need When Adopting?

Before bringing your new pup home, make sure you have the following essentials:

  • Food and water bowls
  • Collar, leash, and ID tag
  • Comfortable bedding or crate
  • Quality dog food
  • Toys and chews for mental stimulation
  • Grooming supplies
  • Pet insurance
  • A trusted local veterinarian


What You Should Know About Your Newly Adopted Dog and the Vet You Choose

When you adopt a dog, understanding their history and health is crucial. Here's what to consider:

  • Health Records: Request all available health records from the shelter or rescue. This includes vaccination history, spaying/neutering information, and any known medical conditions.
  • First Vet Visit: Schedule your dog's first vet visit within the first week of adoption. Your vet will perform a thorough examination, update vaccinations, discuss preventive care, and address any concerns.
  • Behavior and Training: Pay attention to your dog's behavior and consult with a veterinarian or professional trainer if needed. Early training and socialization are key to a well-adjusted pup.
  • Regular Check-Ups: Maintain regular vet check-ups to ensure your dog's ongoing health and happiness. Your vet will recommend preventive care tailored to your dog's needs.
  • Emergency Preparedness: Know where the nearest 24/7 emergency veterinary clinic is located in case of unexpected health issues.



How does one go about adopting a dog?

The dog adoption process typically involves several steps to ensure that both the dog and the adopting family are a good match. While the exact process can vary depending on the shelter or rescue organization, here's a general overview of how dog adoption typically works:

Visit Shelters or Rescues: Visit local animal shelters or rescue organizations to meet the available dogs.Spend time interacting with the dogs to get a sense of their personalities and behaviors. Ask questions about the dog's history, medical records, and any known behavioral issues. Be honest about your expectations and lifestyle to find a compatible match.

Countryside is a supporter of Walton Pets, a Volunteer-run page featuring the urgent Dogs and Cats available for adoption and rescue at the Walton County shelter. http://www.waltonpets.net/

Complete an Adoption Application: If you find a dog that you're interested in adopting, you'll need to fill out an adoption application provided by the shelter or rescue. This application typically includes information about your living situation, experience with pets, and how you plan to care for the dog. Some organizations may require references or home visits as part of the application process.

Interview and Screening: The shelter or rescue organization may conduct an interview or screening process to ensure that you're a responsible and suitable pet owner. They may ask about your previous pet ownership experience and your plans for the new dog.


Meet-and-Greet: If your application is approved, you'll have the opportunity to meet the dog again, and sometimes this includes introducing the dog to other family members or pets. This step allows you to assess the dog's behavior and compatibility with your family.


Adoption Fee and Agreement: Most shelters and rescues charge an adoption fee, which typically covers the cost of vaccinations, spaying or neutering, and sometimes microchipping. The fee may vary depending on the organization. You'll be asked to sign an adoption agreement or contract that outlines your responsibilities as a pet owner, including providing proper care, medical attention, and a loving environment. Once all the necessary steps are completed, and both you and the organization are satisfied, you can finalize the adoption. You'll receive the dog's medical records and may need to schedule additional vaccinations or medical care.

BringingYour New Dog Home: Prepare your home for your new dog's arrival by having food, water, bedding, and toys ready. Gradually introduce your dog to their new environment and family members, ensuring a smooth transition.



Conclusion 🏡🐾

So, whether you're considering adoption or have already welcomed a new dog into your home, remember that you're making a difference in a pup's life, and we're here to ensure your journey together is filled with health, happiness, and wagging tails! Join us in celebrating this special month and the loving connections formed through dog adoption. Don't forget to share your adoption stories with us. Happy Adopt a Dog Month, everyone! ❤️🐕

 #AdoptADogMonth #VetsCareForAll #NewBeginnings