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Shoreview, MN


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Minnesota Veterinary Hospital Blog

How to Choose the Perfect Addition to Your Family during Adopt a Shelter Dog Month


Millions of dogs end up in animal shelters every year, often through no fault of their own. Dog owners surrender them to for a variety of reasons, such as divorce, moving, or no longer being able to cope emotionally and financially with the responsibility of owning a pet. The owner may have died suddenly and no one in the family stepped forward to care for the dog. Dogs also get away from their families and can’t be reunited with them without proper identification.


Sadly, at least half of all animals in shelters are euthanized every year because they didn’t get adopted. That is why the American Humane Society started National Adopt a Shelter Dog Month several years ago. The organization hoped to draw attention to the plight of shelter dogs while dispelling myths about them at the same time. This October, you have the chance to give a deserving dog a second chance through pet adoption.


Do Your Homework in Advance to Ensure a Perfect Match


Bringing an older puppy or adult dog home to live with your family isn’t something to do on a whim. It’s important to think about what you really want in a pet to avoid having to return the dog to the animal shelter. For example, a loud and energetic dog may be perfect for a family with several children but not for an older retired person. Your dog will require daily exercise, so make sure you have the time to devote to regular walks and playing games together.


You also need to consider your lifestyle. If you work full-time and no one else is home during the day, choose a dog who won’t suffer extreme separation anxiety in your absence. Also, don’t forget that you will have to arrange care for your new family member when you travel. Since it’s hard to determine a dog’s personality from one brief visit, you should also consider preparing a list of questions for the shelter staff. Some examples include:


  • Reason the dog was surrendered or brought to the shelter
  • His medical history, behavior concerns, likes, and dislikes
  • Whether the dog is good with children, cats, or other dogs
  • Ask for a tour and be sure to spend quality time with any dog you are considering adopting


Before making your final decision, research the costs of food, grooming, toys, veterinary costs, and other typical expenses for the breed. You should be able to fit this into your budget comfortably.


Let Us Meet Your New Pet as Soon as Possible


Although shelter staff examines each dog to ensure she’s caught up on vaccines, we recommend bringing your new addition in for a check-up at Minnesota Veterinary Hospital in Shoreview as soon as possible. One of our veterinarians will look her over from head to tail, observe her behavior, and advise you off any issues. We hope this is only the beginning of a long and satisfying professional relationship as we help you care for your new pet throughout her life.