Adopting a dog from a local shelter is an excellent choice! Before you fall in love with a dog and try to take it home, make sure you know these 5 tips about dog adoption.
Adopting a dog is a huge responsibility, y’all. From the paperwork to the interviews, it can feel a tad overwhelming at first. But, as proud owners of adopted fur babies, I can assure you that you are doing the right thing.
As you prepare for your dog adoption, make sure to read through these tips. They will prepare you for what you are about to experience.
How To Adopt A Dog
Before we get into those tips, let’s look at how to adopt a dog. These steps will vary depending from shelter to shelter. It’s a good idea to ask about the adoption process before you fall in love with a dog.
- Find a dog. You can browse sites like adopt-a-pet and Petfinder. Local shelters and dog rescue organizations post available dogs to these popular websites.
- Go visit the shelter. This is where you meet the dog in person and ask questions about it’s past and behavior to make sure he or she is a good fit for your home.
- Fill out the application. Some shelters and rescues have a lengthy interview and application process, others don’t.
- Pay the fee. The fee can vary but around $200 seems to be average.
- Prepare your home for the dog. Toys, bedding,anti-itch shampoo, snacks, meals, and treats – it’s time to shop!
- Bring your new baby home after your application is approved.
This is just a quick general overview of how to adopt a dog. Be prepared for other steps in the process, as each rescue agency has its own steps.
How Long Does It Take To Adopt A Dog?
This depends on the individual shelter or rescue organization. Some agencies will review your application, take your payment, and send you on your way with the dog all within an hour.
Others might take a bit longer to review the application. It’s not uncommon to have to wait 48 hours or longer in some places.
How Much Does it Cost to Adopt A Dog?
Adoption fees cover the cost of vaccinations, medical care, and food and transportation costs while they are in the shelter. Shelters use this money to help the entire place run. They also use these funds to pay for food for the other pets in their care too.
These fees vary from state to state and even shelter to shelter.
It can cost anywhere from $50-$250 and up. There are even days where shelters run “clear the shelter” events with greatly reduced adoption fees.
Just remember, this doesn’t include the cost of pet food, bed, or collars.
Free Dog Adoption
Since animal shelters rely on pet adoption fees to take care of their animals, free dog adoptions don’t happen very often. But pay close attention to local news and social media posts. Once in awhile shelters will have free dog adoption drives in an effort to raise awareness and help dogs find good homes.
How to Adopt A Military Dog
The military trains and utilizes dogs for things like drug searches and K9 rescue operations. But when these hardworking dogs get too old, they need a good home to which they can retire.
There is always a high demand for young puppies that didn’t make the cut to be a military dog. Sadly, there is less of a demand for older retired ones.
Keep in mind that adopting a retired military service dog is a much longer process. It could take up to two years. There are also very strict regulations you must meet before you can adopt one of them. Applicants have to have a 6-foot fence, no children under 5 years old, and no more than 3 other dogs in the home.
To adopt a military dog, email them here: mwd.a[email protected]. They will contact you with more information.
How To Adopt A Failed Service Dog
There are agencies that invest in dogs, training them to become guide dogs or professional service dogs. Sometimes dogs don’t meet all the requirements. If they aren’t able to graduate, these agencies put them up for adoption and try to find them a good home.
You can find these dogs near you by searching for “career change dogs.” There are lots of organizations you can search for as well. The most popular ones are:
Each organization will have different adoption criteria. Adopting a career change dog is a longer process than adopting a dog from a shelter, so expect it to take longer.
Adopting A Dog Tips
Are you ready to adopt a dog? Before you drive to the shelter or visit a pet adoption day, pay close attention to these tips. The worst thing you can do is adopt a dog and realize it isn’t a good fit for your home.
This is a big decision for you and the dog both.
#1 Ask About the Pet’s Behavior History
The first thing you need to do is ask about the dog’s current and past behavior. Does it have any aggressive tendencies? Is it scared easily? Does it like to chew things constantly?
Always make sure you are able to handle a dog that needs extra attention or training.
#2 Make Sure It’s Good With Kids and Pets
Next, if you have kids or other dogs in the house, ask how the dog does with them. Some dogs were raised completely alone and won’t know how to act.
Other dogs have really high needs. If you have other dogs you might not have enough time or energy to give to it and the other dogs at the same time.
#3 Prepare Your Schedule for a New Dog
Adopting a new dog means introducing it into your home. Even if you are told it is house-trained, it could still have accidents and need to learn how to adapt to the new life.
Before you even think about adopting a dog, make sure you have the time and energy to dedicate to it. Depending on the dog, it could be a full-time job just helping it acclimate.
#4 Make Your Home Dog-Friendly
Do you have everything you need to welcome the dog? You’ll need a kennel, cleaning products for possible accidents. And you will need to get laundry baskets with lids and trash cans that are more difficult to reach.
Just like you have to babyproof a home, you will need to dog-proof it too.
#5 Get the Right Dog For You
Finally, you need to do research and make sure you are adopting the right dog for your lifestyle and home. If you don’t leave the house very often, you should avoid getting a dog that requires lots of runs and walks.
Questions you should ask before adopting a dog:
- How much does it bark?
- What is the activity level of this dog?
- How healthy is it?
- Does it have any phobias?
- Was it abused?
- What kind of grooming will it need?
Dog Adoption – Meet Your Best Friend
Yes, there is a lot to consider before you adopt a dog. But when you find the perfect one for your home and you have time to invest in it, you will find a loyal and true best friend.
If you have any further questions about dog adoption, you can always reach out and ask your local shelter. They are more than happy to help you find the best dog for you, even if that means you aren’t quite ready for one yet.
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Tell us in the comments: have you adopted a pet before? What tips can you share with the community?
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