Adopting a dog “The secret to a successful Adoption” Part 11
Is Your Dog in Good Condition?
Asking the breeder for a health certificate is a good start. You also need to know what the health certificate covers. At its best, the dog should have been checked by a veterinarian to ensure his overall good health. He should be free of any illnesses and health conditions. The dog you adopt needs to have the range of immunizations appropriate to his age. The de-worming treatments suitable for his age must be done before you adopt him. All of these factors go into adopting a dog that is in ideal condition.
A good breeder will also provide a written guarantee of the dog’s health and condition when you decide to adopt. Depending upon the particular breeder, this can include an agreement to refund your money or exchange the dog for a different one. These guarantees are usually valid for a specific length of time.
Even if the breeder has given you a health certificate, it is still a good idea to have your new dog checked by your own veterinarian. There are two important reasons for this. First, it will provide you with the peace of mind of knowing that your new pet is completely healthy. Second, it will help you to develop a relationship with the veterinarian.
Choosing a good veterinarian must be on your list of things to do when preparing to adopt a dog. If you do not already have one, you need to find the one who is best suited to you and your new pet. A good veterinarian will not object to you touring his facilities, and will be glad to answer your questions.
As you and your veterinarian will be in each other’s lives for your pet’s sake, a good rapport is not only useful, but essential. As you probably chose a family doctor by selecting the one you were comfortable with, the same is true when choosing a veterinarian for your dog. Interacting with you in a polite, professional manner is a positive sign. Understanding that you have many questions, and is willing to take the time to answer them, is another.
If you have the opportunity to observe the veterinarian and his staff with other animals, it can be very helpful. You can see how they treat the animals, and how they interact with them. The veterinarian and his staff who routinely show kindness and true concern for their patients are the ones you can trust with your new dog. The veterinarian or staff who shows impatience or other lack of interest should be avoided.
The veterinarian you choose should either be available for emergencies, or provide you with the information on another veterinarian to contact. While few are on-call around the clock, you need to know what to do if an emergency occurs after-hours, on weekends, or holidays.
Your veterinarian should provide you with all of the details you need for your dog’s ongoing good health. This includes letting you know when your pet needs to have his immunizations updated, the best way to deal with any health concerns, and how to avoid unnecessary health problems. The veterinarian who shows a sincere interest in your dog is the best choice.
While your dog’s physical health and condition make for a successful adoption, his psychological condition is equally relevant. Although a good breeder keeps his dogs psychologically fit, your new dog may come with attitudes or behavioral problems that you had not considered when you adopted him. This is another reason why visiting your dog before you adopt him is a good idea, if it is possible. If not, you may need to rely on the breeder for complete honesty about these issues.
Even a dog who has been treated well and taken care of properly by his breeder can be difficult. He may be moody, aggressive, or even depressed. Adopting him and bringing him into a new environment can increase these kinds of problems. When you know about them in advance, it can help you to take his special needs into consideration. You might decide to adopt a different dog entirely, or make adjustments for your new dog to fit better into your home and be more comfortable.
The physical and psychological condition of your new dog can mean the difference between a successful adoption and heartache. You want the best dog you can find, and to be assured that all reasonable precautions have been taken for him to have a long, healthy, happy life. The small amount of time which you invest in being sure he is in good condition will benefit both your dog and yourself for many years to come. Life with your new friend will be the wonderful experience you are looking forward to.
Adopting a dog “The secret to a successful Adoption” Part12 (Is Your Dog in Good Condition?) will be on what’s on Dartford. Tomorrow.
Credit photo: Hilary Halliwell
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