Dog adoption tips


Adopting a dog is a wonderful experience. Before deciding on the pup, know which one best fits your lifestyle. Think about your own activity level and find a pup that will compliment it! Whether you’re happy to fall in love with a senior dog, or think you’re better suited for a young pup, be sure to tell the shelter so they can find the perfect match.

The adoption process is one that requires time and patience but is so worth it in the end. Ask yourself and the shelter empowering questions about what to know before adopting a dog, so that you get exactly what you’re looking for in your new furry friend relationship.

From health history to behavioural needs, here are some questions to ask when you’re adopting a dog:

  1. Why is this dog in a shelter? Knowing why the dog ended up in the shelter (abandonment, stray, rescue) will help you to understand the animal’s potential emotional needs and what they’ll require of you.
  2. Where was the dog found and in what condition? A dog who was surrendered by an owner may be in a different physical condition than a stray found on the street.
  3. Has this dog been adopted before? Unsuccessful adoption attempts in the past may be because the dog is happiest as a solo animal - this will be useful information if you have other pets now or in the future.
  4. Is this dog housebroken and/or leash trained? Do you have the bandwidth to housetrain and/or leash train a dog? Understand your abilities as a new owner before falling in love with an untrained pup!
  5. Does this dog require special medical attention? Some people find rehabilitating animals to be therapeutic, while others may find it overwhelming. Knowing what you’re capable of will help you and each shelter dog to find their perfect match!

It is a legal requirement for dogs to have a collar and tag giving the owner’s name and address in a public place. Puppies must be microchipped before leaving a breeder/rescue centre.

If you are going away and cannot take your dog, boarding kennels can be booked a long time in advance. In addition, they will need to see an up-to-date vaccination record.

Exercise is essential to your dog’s well-being, both on- and off-lead walking. You can teach an old dog new tricks, so investigate training classes in your locality – vets’ practices, rescue centres and dog wardens will have details.