Mike Sagman serves as the president and CEO of Clicks and Traffic, an online media company that operates The Dog Food Advisor, a public service website. Mike Sagman founded the website in 2008 after the loss of his beloved poodle-terrier mix Penny, and he supports efforts to help dogs. Individuals and families thinking about adopting a shelter dog may want to consider the following tips:
1. Focus on temperament over breed. Some people have their hearts set on a certain breed or type of dog before even setting foot in the shelter. However, this does not ensure that the dog will fit your living situation, as some require more exercise, training, and grooming than others. Talk to shelter staff about the dog’s temperament and individual needs before making a decision.
2. Introduce everyone prior to the adoption. Many shelters recommend introducing the entire household to the dog before filing any paperwork. If you already own a dog, it’s important to establish whether it will get along with its new housemate. Ask the shelter about arranging a meet-and-greet between the dogs, and introduce them one at a time if you own more than one.
3. Acquire dog care basics in advance. Essential items include toys, a collar, and a leash. Ask the shelter about the dog’s chewing habits when selecting toys.
4. Pet-proof your home. Pet-proofing your home means stowing items that can pose a health threat and securing those that you don’t want the dog to chew on. Puppies are especially curious and may chew on whatever they find. Items that you should secure include shoes, electrical cords, garbage bins, and household chemicals. Sit on the floor to give yourself a better idea of those items that are within your dog’s reach.
5. Engage the entire family. Ensure that everyone in your household understands their responsibilities for the dog’s care and participates in training. Establish clear rules in advance.
Editor Mike Sagman shares the tragic story that inspired him to create The Dog Food Advisor website.