10 Must-Ask Questions Before Leaving Your Dog at a Shelter

Oct 3, 2023

We totally get it – life can sometimes throw curveballs that make it tricky to take care of our furry besties around the clock.

That's where animal shelters and pet hotels come to the rescue! But before you drop off your precious pup at the shelter, it's time for a mini Q&A session that'll leave both you and your dog feeling confident about the decision.

So, grab a dog treat (or two) and let's dive into the 10 must-ask questions before leaving your pup at a shelter.

1. What's the Scoop on Daily Activities?

We all know our dogs are full of energy, so you'll want to know how the shelter plans to keep your dog busy. Are there playgroups, walks, or interactive toys involved? The more tail-wagging fun, the better!

2. How Are Medical Emergencies Handled?

Let's face it – health hiccups can happen. Make sure the shelter has a clear plan for dealing with medical emergencies. Are they connected with a vet? Is there a 24/7 hotline? How will they contact you?

You'll want your pup in safe hands, always.

3. Can I Send a Little Something from Home?

Your pup's favorite blanket or toy can be a source of comfort during their stay. Ask if it's okay to send along a familiar item to make their transition easier. A blanket or a t-shirt with your smell on it will help your dog settle better.

4. What's on the Menu?

A dog's gotta eat! Ask about the type of food they provide and if they can accommodate special diets. Some pet shelters and hotels will allow you to bring your own food so that your dog doesn't get an upset stomach from a sudden change in diet.

5. How Do You Match Dogs for Playtime or Bedtime?

Social butterflies or lone wolves, every dog has their own play style. Find out how the shelter pairs dogs for playtime to ensure your furry friend is making BFFs, not frenemies.

Same goes for bedtime: will you dog be sharing their room with another pet? or will they be getting the royal suite?

6. Can I Check-In for Pupdates?

Being away from your fur baby can be tough. Ask if the shelter offers updates – like photos or quick texts – to ease your heartache and let you know your pup is doing great. Some places even offer 27/7 remote camera access directly to your dog's room!

7. What's the Staff-to-Dog Ratio?

The more, the merrier! A lower staff-to-dog ratio means more attention and care for your pup. Don't be shy to ask about how many caretakers are on duty and how much time they spend with your dog daily.

8. Are Vaccinations and Flea Control a Must?

Health is wealth, even for our furry friends. Ensure the shelter has a policy for vaccinations and flea control. A clean and healthy environment is a happy one!

9. How Do You Handle Behavioral Quirks?

Every dog has their quirks – it's what makes them special! Make sure the shelter is open to working with your dog's unique traits and behaviors, so they have the best experience possible.

10. Can I Visit Beforehand?

Scoping out the scene can put your mind at ease. Ask if you can take a pre-stay tour of the shelter. This way, you'll get a feel for the place and whether it vibes well with your pup's personality.

Leaving your dog at a shelter doesn't have to be a tearful farewell. Armed with these questions, you'll be able to ensure that your pup's stay is as comfy and cozy as possible.

Remember, you're doing what's best for your pup and sometimes, that means entrusting them to the capable hands of a shelter. So, give your dog a little pat on the head, tell them you'll be back in a jiffy, and embrace the peace of mind that comes with knowing you've asked all the right questions.

Your dog will be giving you those sloppy kisses and tail-wagging welcomes in no time! 


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The Doggy Grub blog is dedicated to helping dogs and their owners achieve happier, healthier lives, changing the way we feed our dogs one bowl at a time! If you would like to know more about our fresh food head to Doggy Grub

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