10 Things You Should Know About Shelter Dogs

Adopting a dog is an incredibly rewarding experience. Not only are you welcoming a new furry friend into your home, but you’re also saving a life. If you’re considering adopting a dog, you’ll likely be visiting your local animal shelter.

While shelters are full of loving animals waiting for their forever home, it’s important to understand that these dogs often come with their own unique set of challenges.

In this article, we’ll cover some things you should know about shelter dogs before bringing one home.

1. They May Have Behavioral Issues

Many shelter dogs come with a history of neglect or abuse, leading to behavioral issues like aggression, anxiety, and fear. It’s important to have patience and compassion with your new furry friend, but also to seek professional help if needed.

2. They Might Need Extra Training

Some shelter dogs may not have been trained or socialized properly, leading to unruly behavior. Consider enrolling your new pet in obedience classes to help them learn basic commands and socialize with other dogs.

3. They May Have Medical Issues

Unfortunately, shelter dogs are often not given the best care before arriving at the shelter. Be prepared for potential medical issues and consider adopting a dog with pre-existing conditions if you’re able to provide the necessary care.

4. They Need Time to Adjust

Going from a shelter to a new and unfamiliar home can be stressful for any dog. Give your new pet time to adjust, and be patient as they settle in.

5. They May Be Older

Many pets in shelters are older, as they are often given up by their owners later in life. While puppies are cute, don’t overlook the benefits of adopting an older dog who may be calmer and easier to care for.

6. They Could Be a Mix of Breeds

Many shelter dogs are mixed breeds, which can provide a unique and lovable personality. Embrace the unpredictability of mixed breeds, as they can be both physically and mentally diverse.

7. They May Be Spayed or Neutered

Most shelters require dogs to be spayed or neutered before adoption. This helps control the pet population and can also have health benefits for your new furry friend.

8. They Need Love and Attention

Many shelter dogs have been abandoned or neglected, and crave love and attention. Make sure you’re able to provide enough time and attention to give your pet the love and care they need.

9. They May Have Separation Anxiety

Dogs who have experienced abandonment may have separation anxiety when left alone. Crate training, toys, and leaving the radio or TV on when you’re away can help alleviate this issue.

10. They Will Love You Unconditionally

Despite the challenges that may come with adopting a shelter dog, these animals will show you an immeasurable amount of love and affection. By giving a shelter dog a second chance, you’ll be rewarded with a loyal and loving companion for life.


Adopting a shelter dog is a wonderful way to bring a new furry friend into your family and save a life.

While these animals may come with their own set of challenges, with patience and compassion, you’ll have a loyal and loving companion for life. Remember that shelter dogs need time to adjust, may have medical or behavioral issues, and crave attention and love.

With these tips in mind, you’ll be well on your way to giving a shelter dog the second chance they deserve.

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