How to Adopt a Dog
The decision to adopt a dog is not one that should be taken lightly, and it’s not one that should be taken in haste. We don’t want to put you off the idea of adopting a dog at all, but if you are adopting a dog from a shelter or from a rescue centre, there is every possibility that the poor animal has already had a tough time, so what it will need now is stable home and a loving family to take care of it.
Owning a dog is a big responsibility. Your new pet will need to get regular exercise, it will want attention, it will need feeding and, if it gets sick, there will be veterinarian bills to pay as well. On the other hand, owning a dog is hugely rewarding experience, it’s great for children to have a dog around, and you’ll be able to able to welcome a new member of the family into your home. Here’s all you need to know about adopting a dog.
I. Shelter or Rescue
Sometimes, you may be able to adopt a dog privately from a pet owner who is no longer able to take care of their dog, or perhaps the dog has grown too big for the owner’s home, but usually, people adopt dogs from shelters or from rescue centres.
1. Adopting a dog from a shelter
Dog shelters, which are often called dog pounds, are usually run by the city or county authorities, local dog wardens, the police, or charities, and they are where dogs that have been allowed to roam free or abandoned are taken too. Although all of these facilities may be called dog shelters, they are different types of organizations, so the process of adopting a dog will be different for each one.
The process of adopting a dog from a shelter is usually quite straight forward, and the best way to start the process is to visit the location of the shelter. You may, or may not, be asked some basic questions about the details of your housing situation and exercise facilities that will be available for a dog, and about your previous experience with dogs.
Adopting a dog from a shelter is also usually a very quick process. You can normally expect to visit the shelter and leave with your new pet the same day. You will probably be asked to provide some form of photo ID and proof of address, and you are likely to be charged a small adoption fee, which will usually be somewhere between $25 and $125.
2. Adopting a dog from a rescue centre
Rescue organizations often house their dogs in private foster homes or in privately run boarding facilities and they are usually run by volunteers, so the adoption process will be slightly different than that of a dog shelter and it will probably take longer.
You are likely to have to fill in a more detailed application form to adopt a pet from a rescue organization, or they may ask you to contact them by email. You may have to be a bit more patient with rescue centres as well because many of the volunteer staff will probably only work part time for the organization.
When you adopt a dog from a rescue, it is quite likely that a representative of the organization will want to come and visit you at your home and discuss the adoption with you in more detail. That will give them time to make sure that the dog is going to a good home, and it will give you time to find out more about your new pet.
If all goes well, you will then be asked to pick up the dog, or a volunteer may deliver the dog to your home. The adoption fees for rescue centres are usually in the region of $100 to $300, but at least you know that the fees are going to a very good cause.
II. How to choose the best dog for you to adopt
Choosing the best dog to be your family pet is usually a matter of instinct rather than anything else, but you do need to choose a breed that will be suitable for the size of your home and for the amount of space that you have for the dog to exercise.
You will also need to consider the breed carefully if you have young children in the home because some breeds are better with children than others. The best thing to do is to talk to the staff at the shelter or rescue centre and ask them for their advice.
You will need to think about how energetic the dog is going to be and whether or not that level energy is going to suit you and your family. If it’s possible, seeing the dog on two different days before you adopt might help you decide for sure if a dog really will be suitable for your family home.
Most of all, though, it will probably come down to an instinctive feeling the dog needs you and that you can love and care for the dog, so watch out for the wagging tail and the big doggy grin!
III. What you need to know about adopting a dog
When you adopt a dog, the agency that you adopt the dog from will usually provide you with the contact information of veterinarians near your home and provide you with some tips for looking after your new dog. They will also probably provide information about the characteristics of the dog you have adopted and give you any history on the dog that they may have. You will usually get more information from a rescue organization rescue than you will from a shelter, which can be very helpful if the dog has been mistreated in the past because that will help you understand how to treat the dog.
IV. Preparing for the arrival of your new dog
Before you take possession of your new dog, you should make some preparations for your dog’s arrival from the adoption centre. You will need to buy things like a dog bed, a leash, dog food, toys, and a dog collar. You should also check around your home to make sure that anything that could be hazardous to the dog, like poisons, are put safely out of the dog’s reach
V. Getting to know your new pet
When your dog arrives, you will need to take the time to get know your new pet and assess its training needs. Training a dog is extremely important because it will help you keep your dog under control. Spend time with your dog practicing hand signals and the basic commands. You can take your dog to a professional dog trainer, but it is often better if you train the dog yourself, so it gets to know who the master is at home.
VI. Keeping your dog healthy
Finally, as with any pet, your newly adopted dog will need regular visits to the vet to keep them healthy. When you adopt a dog, you should ask the organisation you are adopting it from for the immunization record of your dog. Then you should take your dog to a vet for a thorough check up as soon as you get it. The vet can then check the overall health of your new pet and administer any vaccinations that may be necessary
We hope that you found this guide to adopting a dog useful. Whether you adopt a dog from a shelter or from a rescue organisation, it’s a wonderful thing to do and you will probably be saving a dog’s life. If you can’t adopt a dog yourself, then please do make a donation to your local dog rescue centre, they do wonderful work and they will always welcome a little bit of help.