Best Practices for Adopting a Dog

adoptme dog edit

October is Adopt-A-Shelter-Dog Month. Here are some steps you should consider before bringing a new four-legged friend into your life:

  • Choose the right breed: When you are adopting, be sure to study the breed before you make a final decision. You may have an idea of your favorite dog in mind, but this does not mean it is the correct breed for your current lifestyle. Research the breed and the lifestyle the dog requires before committing.
  • Be logical, not emotional: When you visit a shelter, make sure you are visiting with a clear and logical state of mind. It can be upsetting when you see dogs and cats in need of homes at your local shelter, therefore making you want to adopt several. Be clear with your choice and do not make an abrupt or spontaneous decision based on the emotions at the shelter.
  • Foster before you adoptFostering a dog can give you the experience of owning a pet, without the 100% commitment. This is a great trial run to see if you have the time and energy for an animal and it can also be beneficial for the pet as well.
  • Benefits of fostering:
    • It will help the animals transition from shelter life to home life
    • Fostering creates a safe environment for puppies to grow up before joining a forever home.
    • Fostering helps socialize the animal better with a family and home environment
    • The local shelter will be able to gather information about the animal in order to place them in the correct home when the time is right.
  • Level of responsibility: Consider the level of responsibility you are committing to when adopting a pet. If you are a busy person and cannot give your new pet the attention he/she needs, then this is not the right time. If you work 40+ hours a week and get home at late hours, possibly a goldfish would be the best choice right now.
  • Establish a Vet: Once you have adopted a pet, their first vet visit should be 2-3 days after their adoption.  Plus, you will need to determine whether you are located close to a vet in case of an emergency.
  • Consider an adult dogAdult dogs will not give you that new puppy experience, although they have their benefits as well. They can require less exercise if they are older and may be mellower with their energy levels. They most likely are already house broken and trained, which will save you time as a new pet owner.
  • Prepare your houseMake sure your house is puppy or dog proofed before you bring them home. Clean up any small items that your dog can swallow and remove any sharp items that your new pet may step on.
  • Shopping spree time: Before bringing your new dog home, make sure you have all of the supplies needed beforehand (find supplies here):

-  Leash & collar

- Bowl

- Food

- Toys

- Bedding 

dog bed


About Vanessa Unger

Vanessa Unger