How to Adopt a Dog: Our Tips for Success
Now you feel ready to add a new furry friend — a dog — into your family. First, congratulations! However, have you really thought through how to adopt a pet dog? Did you consider all of the important factors? As dog lovers ourselves, we understand how exciting it can feel to adopting a new four-legged friend. You don’t need tame your enthusiasm. However, you must remember to do the research and plan properly to make your adoption story a success.
You need to decide which type of dog you prefer
Although it is great to make the decision to adopt a dog, it’s important to be prepared to allow your dog to live with you. It doesn’t matter if you have your heart set on one breed or another, but it is important that you do your research to find out about the characteristics and personality of each breed so you can decide if it is right. You should also consider the background and personality of your dog. You will need to have an idea of what kind of dog you are looking for before you can adopt one.
Here are some examples to help you decide the best dog-fit for your needs:
- Lifestyle & Flexibility What’s your current lifestyle? What are the changes you’re willing to make in order to adjust to your new lifestyle with a dog? What are the changes you’re not willing to make for your new life with a dog?
- Your Loved Ones – How will your family be affected by the new addition to their lives? Think about children as young as three years old, and people with allergies.
- Size Dogs come as a variety of sizes. Do you prefer a small, medium or large dog?
- Activity level. Activity levels may vary between breeds and dogs. Before you jump, it is important to know how much exercise your pup needs.
- Care and Maintenance: Different breeds of dogs need different levels. What are your time and resources?
Other factors to consider include your budget, prior experience with dogs and openness to special dogs. Breed, age, sociability. personality, housing. You should take the time to do your research before you decide to adopt.
Visit your local animal shelter
It may be tempting for you to buy the puppy at the local pet store, but it’s more beneficial for animals and your community to adopt a shelter dog. Many dogs that end up in pet shelters or rescue centers are abandoned or have suffered a difficult life. Don’t support puppy mills or other unethical operations that often associate with large corporate pet shops. Instead, rescue a dog from a shelter.
To find out more about the shelter and their dogs available for adoption, or to inquire about the adoption process, you can visit the shelter’s site. Ask them if they have any waiting lists that you can add to if you are interested in a particular dog breed. You could also search online for dogs that are available for adoption in the area of your choice.
Get to know your dog.
After you have met a potential dog or made your first visit to the shelter, we recommend the following:
1) Keep an eye on the dog far away
Start by watching them from a distance. You should pay attention to your dog’s behavior, including their body posture, actions, and sounds. Also, consider how they interact with other dogs or humans. Do you feel this dog is a good fit from far? Trust your instincts – Does the dog give off a positive, warm feeling? It’s important to trust your instincts as you’ll spend many years with your dog.
2) Spend some quality time with your partner
Next, bring the dog you are interested in into a separate room. It is best to have a quiet area with no distractions. You can let your dog explore the space by letting him walk around the room. Is he curious? Is he anxious or fearful? You can play with your dog if the dog is outgoing and friendly. If he is willing to chase a ball, or a soft squeaky toys, you can try running away from him. If he doesn’t like toys, run away from him to see if you’re able to get him to play with them. Do you see him interested in playing with your toys? Are you able to tell if he is interested in playing with your dog?
3) Go on an adventure with your dog to explore different areas
You can also take your dog for a walk in other areas. Some dogs behave completely differently indoors and outdoors. Many shelters provide multiple areas for adopters to interact and play with their dogs.
Your furry friend may be interested in another visit
The behavior of a dog can vary depending on how they are feeling, what they were doing before your interaction with them, the hour of day, their energy, hunger level and many other factors. Some dogs might be calm in the morning but crazy in the afternoon. You might find that your dog just woke from a sleep and is now tired. You can check in on the dog several hours later or on another day to see if they are still feeling the same. You can feel more certain that your dog will be a good fit.