Staten Island Animal Hospital
Published: Oct 31, 2012

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Dog adoption is a great way to help a canine in need find a happy home, but it also can make it difficult to get a good grasp on your pet's history, especially if you've adopted an older dog. Here are some tips for adoptive parents who want to make life as easy as possible for their pet, even if they aren't aware of his entire history.

Time for a visit to the vet
First and foremost, you'll need to take your dog to one of the nearby veterinary hospitals for a checkup. A medical professional can give your dog an examination and possibly run tests to assess whether he has any outstanding pet health issues that will need your attention. A vet can also update any dog vaccinations to ensure protection against certain infectious diseases.  Visiting the vet is very helpful for first-time pet owners, as you can get professional advice on dog food and care tips to help your pet adjust to his new home.

It's not all physical
If you don't know your dog’s history, it's possible he may have suffered a mental or emotional trauma that could come as a surprise later on down the line. It's hard to anticipate what these may be, but keeping any eye out for unusual behavior problems like dog aggression can be a key. For instance, if your dog shows fear when going up or down stairs, it may be that he had a bad experience on a staircase at some point in the past. It may take some time to train him to get over this fear, or he may overcome it simply by being in a safe environment. The important thing is to be supportive of your dog and show him that he is secure in your home.

Develop a routine
Dogs are animals who thrive on routine, so minimizing the number of surprises in your dog's life will help him adjust to his new life. Try to schedule walks and feedings at the same times every day, and if possible, make any out-of-the-home commitments, like work, as stagnant as possible. Dogs in a new home will benefit from extra care and attention, so be sure to monitor your dog's progress as much as you can in his first weeks with you.


Specialty Care

Sometimes sick or injured pets need the care of a veterinary medical specialist. When that happens, VCA specialty hospitals work closely with the general practitioner veterinarians who refer cases to us in order to provide seamless veterinary care to your pet. When your pet is facing any kind of serious illness or injury, our specialty referral hospitals will provide the compassionate and expert care your beloved pet needs.

Our goal is to make sure that when you and your pet are in need that you have access to board certified specialists who are up to date on the very latest developments in their field. In our state of the art hospitals, our specialists also have access to the most sophisticated diagnostic and treatment tools and techniques from ultrasonography and endoscopy to CAT scans and even MRI.

As part of the VCA family, we have over 83 specialty hospitals across the US and Canada which provide referral specialty care, so there may be one near you. Our specialized services include: behavior, cardiology, critical care, dentistry, dermatology, integrative medicine, internal medicine, neurology, oncology, ophthalmology, radiology, rehabilitation, reproduction, and surgery.

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Emergency Care

In case of emergency during normal business hours, please call us immediately. If you have an emergency outside of our normal business hours, please contact a local emergency animal hospital.