Do you want to adopt a dog but worried about finding a dog that is the right match for your family? Worried about the dog being good with kids? The right energy level to match your lifestyle? Will the dog have behavior issues?
When you are ready to adopt a dog, you want to make sure you do it right. What is the right way to adopt a dog? Is there a wrong way to adopt? Actually, yes there is. You never want to adopt a dog simply because you feel sorry for it, or because it’s just so cute. Follow these quick tips on how to adopt a dog and you will be on your way to adopting the dog of your dreams.
Dogs that are listed on these websites are not sponsored by Petfinder or Adopt-a-Pet in any way. The websites are just services the rescues and shelters use to easily get their dogs listed online and seen by millions of people.
There are many rescues that choose not to post their dogs on those pet adoption sites. In fact, the rescue organization I volunteer for (Fetch Wisconsin Rescue) chooses to use their own website to list available dogs. They use local events and word of mouth as their source of advertising. Do a quick Google search for local dog rescue near me, and you will be surprised with all your options.
The long story short of it is, do your own research and find the rescue or shelter that best fits your needs. Ask neighbors, friends, and family for recommendations. Look at reviews online. Do they have a license? Are they a 501(c)(3) Non-Profit Organization?
There are even breed specific rescues, so this would be a great option if you want to adopt a particular breed. Expect these rescues to have more stringent guidelines for whom they will adopt out to. But even the humane society will occasionally have a pure breed dog.
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Why You Should Adopt a Dog from a Foster-Based Rescue
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It’s unfortunate but there are rescues out there that are in it just for the money and not for the welfare of the dog. They may have an easier adoption process, but they also adopt out sick dogs and dogs that have not been assessed for behavioral issues.
How do I know? I hear stories every week about people adopting a dog and quickly finding out that the dog is sick and has parvo, is leash aggressive, or other serious behavior issues. This is not to scare you from adopting a dog, it’s inform you that you need to do your research!
Look for a rescue that shares the same values as you do. The welfare of the dog should be the number one priority. Matching the dog with the right family is crucial to a happy dog and happy adopter.
Please be patient. I know the feeling all too well, you decide it’s time to adopt a dog and you want the dog today. But it doesn’t work that way, at least not if you go through all the proper steps. You may be able to head into your local humane society today and bring the dog home, but will it be the right match for you?
If you haven’t asked yourself the important question about what personality type you are and what personality type dog will be a good fit, now is the time to hunker down and figure this out.
Adopting a high-energy dog if you are a low-energy kind of person, you and the dog are going to be very unhappy.
Don’t be afraid to ask to meet several dogs. I realize sometimes this can be difficult when dogs are in foster homes. If you can’t meet them in person, then ask to talk to the foster family on the phone. Take this opportunity to ask all your initial questions before meeting the dog.
In my experience as a foster home, the more questions I answer on the phone, the better prepared the adopters are when they meet us in person. It’s also great that Fetch, WI allows us, as a foster, to write updates for the dogs adoption page. This allows us to document the full personality of each dog, good or bad. I believe in being fully transparent about the dog, this prepares an adopter for everything to expect when they choose our foster dog.Don’t settle for adopting a dog just because you feel sorry for him. I can’t express enough the importance of choosing the right dog that fits your personality and lifestyle.Click To Tweet
While you are searching for a dog, you can start puppy proofing your home if needed. I would hold off on buying food, crate or collar until you know which dog you are adopting. Some dogs may have a special diet and size matters when it comes to crate and collars.
As soon as you have decided on which dog you will be adopting, then you need to go shopping BEFORE you bring him home. You will need some supplies to get started, including food, collar, leash, a name tag, crate, and more. Head over to our Amazon page to see all of the items I recommend.
Do not bring your dog to the pet store on the way home. The dog is going to be stressed enough as it is, he needs time to decompress and not have to worry about meeting new people or dogs.
Yeah! It’s finally the day you get to bring home your new dog! Congratulations, it’s so exciting to start a new life with a new dog. Dogs will bring so much unconditional love into your life, you’ll wonder how you ever survived without a dog.
I recommend you read through our adoption articles so you are completely prepared for any situation that may arise.
Take it slow, give your new dog some space, and enjoy the moment. Take lots of pictures and share on Instagram and make sure to use the hashtag #rescuedogs101 so we can congratulate you personally.
Debi McKee is a dog blogger, foster home, and all-in-all dog fanatic. Debi’s mission is to guide you through every step of your dog journey, from adopting the perfect dog for you and your family, to training your dog and keeping your dog happy and healthy. Sign up for her free resource library of must-have resources, containing valuable downloads to help you in your dog journey.