Adopting A Dog In Canada
Unfortunately, some people adopt a dog without thinking it through. When you adopt a dog he or she is with you for a lifetime.
One of the reasons people give up dogs is that they don’t understand what goes into taking care of a dog. They visualize a pet based on unrealistic expectations that they might have.
Now, if you feel like you’re ready to take on the challenge or you just can’t, in your good conscience, let an animal go back to the shelter, we recommend you read this list first. We’ll be talking about the red flags that you can’t afford to ignore.
So, you can’t just go out there with a blind eye. The key here is to make sure that you and the dog are a match. Anything less than that isn’t worth it. In this article we will dive into everything you need to know about adopting a dog in Canada before you take the next step.
1 – Misinformation
Many shelters and rescue centres in Canada provide you with a whole list of information so people can learn about the pet they want to adopt. However, not all shelters are always forthcoming and only give out positive information.
If you want to make sure that both your needs and those of the pet are met, ask about any behavioural issues before you adopt. The more information you have at hand, the better you can plan.
You don’t want to take a pet only to realize, a few days later, that you can’t handle his or her behaviour and won’t be able to return it because of the contract.
2 – No Pet Info Sheet
At the very least, you should ask for a detailed pet profile. This way, you get an idea of the animal’s character and determine if it’ll be able to fit into your life. In some shelters, there’s a form that asks for:
The name and age of the pet
If it has been spayed/neutered, and if not, when is that scheduled to happen
A list of known health problems with treatments provided
Whether they’ve had any behavioural issues
This’ll allow you to get a good picture not only of the dog you’ll be getting but also its background and why it ended up at a shelter.
3 – The Shelter or First Home is in Poor Condition
Unfortunately, many shelters and homes lack funds to provide dogs with proper care. They tend to overcrowd too many dogs in a small space, which is not only cruel for them but dangerous too.
Don’t be tempted to adopt if the shelter or house doesn’t look clean and well-kept. (And if you do see terrible conditions, report them to the SPCA.) The more these animals are left alone without human contact, the harder it’ll be to socialize them once you get home.
4 – Absence of a Medical Record
If you adopt a dog from a shelter, rescue center, or even the original owner, one of the first things you should do is ask for medical history. If they can’t provide you with any medical records for the pet, that alone is a definite red flag.
This usually indicates that the shelter or owner doesn’t bother doing vaccines or other preventative care. While this isn’t dangerous in itself, it could lead to serious health problems in the future.
Some Canadians adopt dogs purely because of the goodness of their hearts. They don’t mind taking in an animal who’s sick or has behavioural problems because they want to give them a fresh start.
Adopting a dog is one of the best things you can do and helps bring joy to someone who has had a few false starts in life. We highly encourage you to think about adopting under the right circumstances.
Whenever in doubt, research and information is key to ensure that you get the right fit when adopting a dog in Canada. People who run shelters are often overworked (and definitely underpaid) so they might not always think of questions you should ask. It’s important to take any adoption slow and not rush any decisions. But once you do find that perfect fit, it will feel like a match made in heaven.