Special Considerations for Shelter Dogs

     Choosing to add a pet to your household takes careful research and planning. A pet requires more than adequate food, water, and shelter. This is an important decision so take your time before deciding to bring a cat, dog, or any small animal into your home. 
     Having a pet is a long-term commitment.
     Your pet will be with you for many years, so you must think carefully and seriously before choosing to become a pet owner. Pets bond deeply with their humans and will quickly become a member of your family. Adopting means making a life-long commitment which may last 10-15 years for a dog and perhaps 15-20 years for a cat. Some birds and reptiles have even longer lifespans!
     Caring for this animal must remain a priority even when your life changes. Consider your pet(s) when you redecorate your home, take a new job, move to a different city or decide on changing your family status.
     Pets depend on you to look after their health and safety. Proper veterinary care, healthy food and fresh water, toys and other items are needed for their comfort and welfare.

9 things to know before adopting a cat


1)  Find a nearby veterinary clinic where you can take your cat for routine care and health examinations. Take note of the clinic’s hours and find an emergency clinic for after-hours illnesses or injuries. 

2)  Place a litter box in a quiet, easily accessible spot that also offers privacy for your feline friend. If you adopted a kitten less than six months old, use only non-clumping cat litter. Litter often sticks to their fur and feet. That could lead to digestive and intestinal problems if your kitten ingests any litter while cleaning themselves.  

3)  Invest in quality stainless steel or ceramic food and water dishes. Cats need plenty of fresh water daily, so keep your pet’s water dish full of fresh, clean water. 

4)  Nutrition is very important to keep your cat healthy, so selecting high-quality cat or kitten food is a must. Typically, kittens should be fed three to four small meals a day. Most adult cats should be fed once or twice daily. Talk to your veterinarian to determine how often and how much to feed your cat. 

5)  Grooming tools, such as a brush or comb, are important to help keep your cat’s coat healthy. 

6)  Cats love toys and activities that keep them stimulated and active. If you purchase any toys that contain yarn or string, be sure to supervise your cat at play. Ingestion of these materials can cause serious, and sometimes fatal, intestinal damage.  

7)  A scratching post is recommended, as clawing is a natural and normal behavior for cats. Choose a scratching post that is tall enough that your cat can fully stretch out when scratching. Cats typically have a preference for what substrate they enjoy scratching, so find out if your cat likes carpet vs. rope vs. burlap as a scratching post.  

8)  If you plan on letting your cat go outdoors while supervised, get a breakaway collar, harness, leash, and identification tag, as well as ensure your cat is microchipped as a permanent form of identification. It’s important to keep in mind that there are many dangers outdoors for cats. Indoors is a safer option; however, if your cat enjoys some outdoor time, consider building a ‘catio’! 

9)  Lastly, spay or neuter your furry friend! Spaying or neutering your pet can help reduce the number of unplanned cats and dogs that end up in animal centers. 

Being a cat parent is a rewarding experience. We wish you and your new feline friend all the best as you get to know each other! 


     Shelter dogs are special creatures – they may have come from a very difficult situation and need lots of love and patience.

     Most come in as strays, so we do not know anything about their background. In addition, they may:
Have never walked on or seen a leash.
Have never spent time in a crate.
Have never had a regular meal.
Have never had to potty outside or learn where to potty.
Have never had a dog bed or the safety of a home.
Have never had consistent human interaction.
     For many, they are learning or relearning everything.
They need consistency, routine, training, grace, and lots of love.
     There is no crate-trained, potty-trained, walk-on-leash-trained, house-trained shelter dog. You will have to invest time and energy toward creating positive routines and consistent expectations.