Guide to Adopting a Dog From a
Before adopting a dog from a shelter evaluate yourself by asking some questions such as
- Why do you want a dog? Do you want a dog to keep you company and be a loyal companion or do you simply want a
dog just for the simple pleasure of having one?
Dogs found in shelters have been through a lot. Most of them are there because their previous owners ended up
To avoid a repeat of this, before you adopt a dog make sure that you know what you are doing.
- Are you willing to take up the responsibility of being a dog owner and are
you committed to owning a dog?
Owning a dog is a huge responsibility that requires a lot of commitment. Remember as a dog owner the law holds
you liable in case of any damage or destruction your dog may cause.
- Can you afford to keep the dog?
In addition to the cost of adoption other costs of keeping a dog include meals, visits to the vet, dog obedience training, medication
- Do you have the facilities to keep the dog?
If you are keeping the dog outdoors you require enough space to keep your dog and a place for him to sleep
preferably a kennel. Dogs need space to move around. Keeping your dog in a congested backyard will only make him
When you choose to adopt a dog from a shelter it is important that you know that the dog may not be as good as
one from other sources. Dogs in shelters may have physical or emotional wounds that may take some time to heal. Do
not compare the dog with others and expect him to behave like others. Take time to understand the dog and interact
with him before the adoption is completed.
Adopting a dog from a shelter is not straight forward and may take some time. There are papers you have to fill
out and at times the shelter people may come to conduct an assessment to decide whether they will approve the
adoption. In addition, you may be asked to pay some money as the adoption fee.
If you haven’t chosen which dog to adopt, spending time at the shelter is a good idea. Walk around and watch the
dogs as they are fed and during play time. Interact with the dogs to get an idea of their temperaments and
behaviour. In the time spent there you might be lucky to find a dog who you connect with.
Prepare your home for the new dog’s arrival. If this is your first dog then invest in feeding and water bowls.
You may buy a dog kennel, crate or basket for your dog. To help ease the transition ask the shelter people on what
type of food to buy and any behaviour you should be aware of.
Remember that when adopting a dog from a shelter,
nothing is assured. Some of the dogs may display strange behaviour or act aggressive in their new surroundings. Be
understanding and patient. Be sure to ask the shelter people about the dog’s medical history. If the dog is
suffering from any illness, ask the shelter people for information about the illness. The medical history should be
given to the vet who will be treating the dog.
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