Nine Dog Health Questions to Ask at the Animal Shelter

You should always ask a series of important dog health questions before you take on the responsibility of caring for a rescue dog. While the vast majority of rescue dogs are mentally stable and physically healthy, some may have been abused or neglected in the past, or they may have suffered from any number of illnesses. Here are nine health questions to ask at the animal shelter.

The Most Important Health Questions to Ask the Shelter

While all dog health questions are important to ask at the shelter, some should be at the very top of your list. These include:

  • Has the dog received any medical treatments since he came into the shelter? If so, what were the treatments and what were they for? This will help determine if you may have to deal with certain conditions or illnesses in the future.
  • Do you know the dog's breed or breeds? This will help determine what types of conditions the dog is predisposed to.
  • Has the dog been spayed/neutered? Important to know if you do not want your pet to reproduce.
  • Is the dog up-to-date on all of his vaccinations? Rescue dogs are typically up-to-date on their vaccinations, but this is a good question to ask if the dog has just arrived and the shelter wants you to foot the bill before the adoption.
  • Does the dog require any medications? This will help determine if you will have to devote extra time to caring for the pet.

Other Important Health Questions About the Rescue Dog

You should never leave a shelter with any rescue dog unless you also ask about the pet's mental health status. You should ask:

  • Does the dog have any behavioral issues? Did his owner give him up because he was dangerous or had serious behavior issues? This could be a problem if you have small children or other pets in the home.
  • How long has the dog been at the shelter? If more than six months the dog may be suffering from mental distress.
  • Does the dog play well with other dogs? This is important if you have other pets in the home.
  • What is the dog's personality like? This will help determine if the pet is right for your family environment or lifestyle.

If you are well informed about the dog's physical and mental condition, you will better equipped to select the right dog for your lifestyle.