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Adopting A Shelter Dog: Day One

April 15, 2023

April 30th is Adopt A Shelter Pet Day. This is a pretty important holiday for many of our furry freinds. We have quite a few canine patients that were adopted from shelters. Of course, that Gotcha Day may very well be the biggest day of Fido’s life. It’s important for things to go smoothly and for your new pup to get started out on the right paw in his new life. A local New Albany, IN vet offers some advice on that all-important first day in this article.


You’ll need to get some things ready before bringing your canine companion back home. A trip to the pet store is definitely in order. Fido should have toys, treats, food, dishes, a leash and collar or harness, a crate, a tie out line, grooming supplies, and a first-aid kit. You’ll also want to do some petproofing. Remove or secure anything that isn’t safe for your new pooch. That includes toxic plants, small or sharp objects, plastic bags and ties, chemicals and medication, and wires or cords. Ask your vet for specific advice.

Coming Home

We would advise taking Fido for a walk when you get home, before bringing him indoors. This will let your furry companion get an idea of his surroundings. He’ll also be able to work off any nerves or excess energy he has. Plus, it will give him a chance to process what’s happening. 

Settling In 

Depending on your household setup, you may want to put your four-legged friend in a quiet back room for the first few days. This will give him a safe, comfy spot where he can just relax, settle in, and get used to the sights, smells, and sounds of his new home. Fido may sleep a lot that first night. This is completely normal. The shelter environment is very scary and stressful, so pets often just need time to decompress. 


Normally, we caution against spoiling Fido with treats. However, if there ever was an exception to this rule, it would be during that first week of adoption. Offer small servings of high-quality snacks. This can go a long way towards helping your furry buddy realize that he’s landed in a safe, loving home. 

Do you have questions about your shelter dog’s diet, health, behavior, or care? Contact us, your local New Albany, IN pet hospital, anytime! 

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