D’aucuns pensent qu’adopter un chien adulte provenant d’un refuge n’est pas une bonne idée, car il sera difficile de le rééduquer et il n’est pas garanti qu’il soit capable de s’adapter à sa nouvelle vie.
Pourtant, en plus de faire une bonne action en prenant un animal d’âge mûr, ce geste comporte de nombreux avantages et les adoptions se passent en général très bien. Un certain nombre de conseils et précautions sont néanmoins à respecter pour que son arrivée soit aussi réussie que possible.
Think carefully and prepare everything before adopting the dog
Whatever its origin, the adoption of a new animal is not a decision to be taken lightly. Indeed, welcoming a dog into your home has many implications and it is important to properly measure the impact that this can have on your budget and your lifestyle. We must therefore foresee the consequences relating to the adoption and start by taking into account all the costs incurred: veterinary costs, food, possible care costs, specific insurance for the dog … Make sure you have enough time to take care of your future companion (games, daily outings, education). Furthermore, the decision to adopt an animal must absolutely be taken in concert with the other members of the household or house. Ask yourself the right questions together: is your accommodation suitable for a dog? Do you have a garden, or failing that, a place to walk nearby? What type of dog are you looking for and what temperament is best for your lifestyle? What do you expect from the relationship with this future companion and to what extent is everyone ready to invest to take care of it? Where and by whom will you keep it?
Understanding the pros and cons of adopting a shelter dog
Adopting an adult dog involves “risks” and this is the main drawback. However, each of these drawbacks can be offset by an advantage: you tell yourself that an adult animal has a well-shaped character and will be difficult to “shape”? It’s true, but in return you will have the opportunity to identify his temperament from the first meeting.
Do you think you won’t have the pleasure of educating him the way you want? Yes, there will surely be concessions to be made, but on the other hand you (in principle) adopt an already clean and calmer animal than a puppy! The worst misconception about adult dogs is that there must be “reasons” for abandoning them, because they have a difficult character, bad behavior.
So we tend to think that it will be impossible to (re) educate them. Yet in most cases these dogs are no more problematic than others and it will involve minimal adjustments and temporary difficulties often associated with a period of adaptation. Finally, an adult dog has its final size, which represents a significant advantage in choosing it without risking being surprised!
How to choose on the day of adoption?
It goes without saying that adoptions work by heart. However, there are some points that are good to observe to realize what kind of animal you have in front of you. Take your time and pay attention to everyone’s attitudes. Bring a shelter employee who knows the residents well and can answer any questions you may have. Find out about each animal that could interest you: causes of abandonment, medical history, it’s past if it is known.
Keep in mind that one dog that has suffered trauma or abuse may be more of a problem than another, but that’s not all. Evaluating your temperament (fearful, sociable, playful, reserved …) is essential before making a choice. Do not crack on a whim and ask to meet the animal outside its box, to take it for a little walk. Check if he is receptive to his name, if he seems obedient, affectionate … And of course, take the opportunity to see if the current passes between you and with your family members.
Laying the foundations for a new balanced relationship
Once at home, the reflexes to have been the same as with a puppy. Take care to prepare a little corner of his own with his basket and his belongings (bowls, toys) before his arrival and give him time to discover the house at his own pace. Be patient and avoid reprimands at first because his past may not be well known, and he may have fear or stress reactions.
However, be clear about the rules you want to instill in him, for example the fact of not getting on beds or sofas if you do not want him to do it. Agree with all members of the household to avoid any inconsistency in these rules. Test its cleanliness by taking it out very regularly first, then spacing the outlets little by little.
Do the same for your own outings in order to gradually test its relationship to loneliness. Indeed, some dogs that have suffered abandonment may suffer from a separation syndrome. If you have other animals, do not put them aside following the arrival of your new companion, this could create rivalries.
Finally, make an appointment with your usual veterinarian for a presentation visit and to settle any formalities: health book, vaccines, placement or updating of the chip … A complete health check-up made on this occasion is also strongly recommended.