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Adopting A Shelter Dog Checklist

October 3 2022

October is Adopt A Shelter Dog Month! We’re happy to help support this great cause. Many of our canine patients were once shelter pups, but are now beloved and happy pets. If you’re considering adopting a shelter dog, read on! A Westminster, MD veterinarian suggests some things to put on your to-do list below.


If you know what Fido was eating, get that same brand to start. Otherwise, choose something that’s appropriate for his breed, age, and size, and start with that for now. Talk to your vet before making changes. Treats, of course, are also a must. Ask your vet for specific advice.


It’s important for Fido to be able to sleep comfortably. Orthopedic beds are great for seniors and large dogs, while smaller pups may prefer beds with raised sides. It’s also a good idea to get your canine buddy a crate. 


You’ll definitely want to fill Fido’s new toybox. Pick up a variety of different toys. It’s always fun finding out what a pup likes best!

Grooming Supplies

Fido will need pet shampoo, pet wipes, and a good comb or brush, one that’s appropriate for your pet’s coat length and thickness. Also on the list? Nail clippers and doggy dental supplies.


A good collar or harness is very important. Get a sturdy leash, one that will hold up if Fido suddenly gets scared or excited and tries to bolt. (Note: Retractable leashes can be great in some situations, but they can also be dangerous at times. You don’t want to use these near busy roads, or around other dogs.)

ID Tags

One of the first things you’ll want to do is get Fido’s tags updated. Microchipping is also a must. If you want to err on the side of caution, consider getting GPS-equipped tags.


Fido will need a good set of dishes. You may also want to grab some collapsible ones for travel.


Waste baggies are a definite must. Pick up an enzyme-based cleaner for stains. We recommend getting a good first-aid kit as well.


Don’t forget to get your place ready! Check your fencing and gates, and remove or secure anything that could be dangerous, such as small/sharp objects, toxic plants, and chemicals.

Do you have questions about your dog’s health or care? Contact us, your Westminster, MD veterinary clinic, today!