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Hello- I'm looking to start some volunteer work with my local rescue group and their shelter dogs. I know some of the dogs are just out of some pretty rough situations and aren't in the best of health just yet.

My rescue dog at home has already been through his own health recovery when he transitioned from shelter to forever home, so I'd hate to expose him to anything that would harm him. He's up to date on shots and in very good health now.

I look forward to spending time with these needy dogs but I have a responsibility to my own dog to do what I can to keep him in good health so I should be sure that I'm not bringing home any germs, bugs or problems after spending time at the shelter.

Does anyone have any experience/advice?
 

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I've been volunteering at a shelter for over 2 years so I can offer a bit of advice. :)
The shelter should have protocols in place to minimize risk of transferring germs/etc between dogs, so step 1 is to make sure you follow those. For example, if I'm cleaning an area that an infected dog has been in I wear a smock & gloves, and use bleach, dispose of blankets/bedding appropriately, etc.

Next step is to have clothes that you specifically wear to/from the shelter, and put them in the laundry immediately after you get home. Of course, ensure you do this before you touch or interact with your own pets. This includes shoes! We have bleach mats throughout the shelter so my feet are regularly sterilized while I'm there, but you could get shelter specific shoes or sterilize them yourself.

And of course, wash your hands regularly before, during, and after you leave the shelter.
 
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