October is Adopt A Shelter Dog Month. We love seeing dogs get second chances! Many people have found their furry best friends in shelters. That first month is a crucial time, however. Going to a new home is a huge change for Fido! Here, a Scottsdale, AZ vet discusses bringing a shelter dog home.


You’ll need to do some shopping before the big day. Fido will need food, toys, treats, bedding, a leash and collar, waste baggies, grooming supplies, and dishes. You may also want to get a pet first-aid kit ready.


If you have a yard, make sure your fences are secure. Also, check your plants and property for poisonous plants, and remove any you find by the root. (Tip: check the ASPCA website here  for a list.) Some dogproofing is also in order. Remove or secure anything that could be dangerous. This includes toxic plants; chemicals; medications; plastic bags, wires, and ties; wires and cords; and anything small or sharp.

Veterinary Care

Most shelter dogs are current on their vaccinations and parasite control, and many have already been fixed. However, Fido will still need a thorough exam. It’s also a good idea to get professional advice from your vet on your pup’s diet, exercise and care needs. Schedule a veterinary appointment within the first week or so.

The Big Day

Bringing a new pet home is always exciting. Huge changes can be scary for dogs, however. We recommend taking Fido for a long walk before you bring him into the house, to burn off any excess energy. Remember to get pictures of this special day!


If you have another dog, introduce your canine pals by taking them for a walk on neutral ground. (Ideally, this should be done before you finalize the adoption: if your pups don’t get along, you may want to reconsider.) If you have a cat, keep Fluffy and Fido in separate rooms at first. Make introductions slowly. Don’t leave your pets alone together until you are sure they’re getting along.

Tail Wags

Your pooch may sleep a lot in those first few weeks. This is normal! Don’t force attention on Fido: just focus on offering great care. You’ll have that tail going before you know it!

Please contact us, your Scottsdale, AZ vet clinic, for all of your pet’s veterinary care needs. We’re here to help!