Dog Adoption Tips

Adopting a dog is a beautiful way to give a rescue or shelter animal a new, loving home. People often have good intentions when bringing a new pup into the house, but they don’t always consider all the details of raising a dog and its commitment. For this reason, animal owners end up backing out of being a down owner and dropping it off at the local shelter. Please consider adopting from a shelter or rescue center before going to the local pet shop or searching online for a family pup.

Points to Consider Before You Adopt a Furry Friend

Before you begin the adoption process, carefully consider some points. Taking the time to process all the details will ensure a stress-free transition for you and your new pup. The below tips will help you consider the finer points of adoption and what it entails for you and the animal.

A couple meets a potential dog they will adopt into their home. Read about tips to make a rescue shelter adoption successful for you and the dog here.

Energy Level

There are many different breeds of dogs with a specific energy level. Knowing what you can handle is essential for giving the pup a happy home they can thrive. If you cannot physically exercise a dog with high energy levels, you may want to consider breeds such as Pugs or Bulldogs. If you love being physically active and on the go, a Border Collie or Jack Russell Terrier would be a great fit.

Your Lifestyle

Take a look at your work schedule, would your hours away from home prevent you from spending adequate time with your adopted pup? Is your schedule so busy that you will not be able to go for walks, spend time playing and exercising, or taking the dog to necessary veterinarian appointments? Do you frequently travel for work or leisure? Once again, you will want to consider the breed you choose and the average lifespan it will live. Dogs can live over ten years, and you need to be prepared to take on the responsibilities of ownership for that entire length of time.

Your Future

Think about your future goals or desires. Do you want kids or wish to get married? Do you anticipate a job or schedule change at your current place of employment? Many dogs will end up at shelters due to circumstances like these changes, and some adjustments are unforeseen. However, if you are at a place where you can predict ahead of time an event that could disrupt the adoption process, you can maybe choose another time when it makes more sense to bring a furry friend into your home.


How stable is your home right now? Do you have a move coming up? Is one of your children headed to college? Dogs need time to adjust and settle into their new environment; if you know some changes are soon, this may not be the right time for you. Consider adopting after you’ve settled into your new home. Doing so can alleviate much stress and frustration for you and the pup.


Are you in a position to provide for all the needs of your new dog? Vet bills, quality food, treats, toys, leash, collar, dog bed, etc., are all investments you need to be prepared to make. Dog owners don’t need to be rich by all means, but you will be investing in the life of your pup, so it’s essential to plan accordingly.


Do you have a baby or small children in your home? Young ones do not understand boundaries as you teach this. Take into consideration the type of dog you adopt and make sure its demeanor is gentle, calm, and patient around kids.

Home Environment

What is your living situation? Do you live in an apartment? If that is the case, you will need to inquire with your landlord if dogs are allowed, breed restrictions, and if there’s an additional pet fee. It would be a good idea to see if there are other animals in your apartment building and consider how you want to interact with them. How is your apartment laid out? Do you have enough space that allows for the pup to move around freely? A German Shepherd might not be a good fit for you for smaller quarters.

Other Pets

Do you already have pets in your home? How will they respond to another animal in the house? If you have other dogs in your family, you will want to consider the breeds and how they will all get along with each other.

Pet Hair and Slobber

Do you enjoy an immaculate home that is clean at all times? Do pet hair and slobbery surfaces bother you? You might want to consider the breed you choose or be ok with the fact that you will be cleaning up after your pet daily.


Dogs will act differently in the shelter than they will at your home. Take time to observe the pup outside of his kennel, how he runs outside, how he gets along with other dogs and children. You may need to do some training based on your observations, but don’t let that stop you from adding a new furry friend to your family.

Tips for a Stress-Free Adoption

Once you’ve thought about all the nuances of pet adoption and are ready to move forward with the process, you can start considering other details before making a final decision. Dogs are adopted all the time, and the goal for everyone involved is a seamless transition.

A woman hugs an older dog she adopted from a shelter. Rescue organizations and shelters have a range of dogs from young to old available for adoption.

Trust the Experts

Please Communicate with the staff and get their opinion on the behavior and mannerism of the dogs. Ask the shelter staff to help you select the best canine. They know the pup well, which is a service they are happy to offer because they want a successful match.

Multiple Visits

We recommend that you not adopt a pup the first time you meet. Take time to visit the shelter more than once. Spend time with the dog to see if you could be a good match. Play with it and see how well it listens. You can start to build a bond before adoption day, and the transition can be much smoother.

Age of Dog

There are different stages of dogs that can be a factor when you are ready to adopt. Of course, the puppy stage is cute, and they are adorable, but keep in mind that you will need to train more often and consistently.

A senior dog is getting to the point in their life when they are slowing down and might not have too much time left. An adult canine has been trained and still has plenty of energy and desire to play. Consider your lifestyle and how that comes into play with the age of the furry friend you plan to adopt. 

Choice of Breed

As stated a few times before, choosing a breed that matches your lifestyle, home environment, energy level, and more are essential to successful pet adoption. If you are adamant about a particular type of dog you would like to bring home, you may need to check around with a few shelters or rescue organizations to find one. 

Don’t settle because you are anxious for a furry companion, but we encourage you to be open to the experts’ suggestions. The staff at shelters have insight into all sorts of breed knowledge.

About ‘Cesar 911’

On “Cesar 911″ (“Cesar to the Rescue” internationally) the world’s most loved dog behaviorist, Cesar Millan, rescues neighborhoods terrorized by badly misbehaving pooches. Each week,

Read More »

Posts In Rescuing a Dog


The Benefits of Volunteering at a Shelter

When you volunteer at a shelter, you are changing the lives of lost and lonely animals. You’re preparing them for an exciting new chapter in their lives. Some may never have known the true touch of a tender heart. Stepping in to make a difference will touch yours in a way you never imagined.