Adopting a Dog – Everything You Want to Know

A Guide to A-DOG-ting

 Adopting a dog is a worthy choice and brings the wonderful benefits of canine companionship. But before you take the leap, there are some serious considerations.

Who Will Care for Your Dog?

As its owner, you will be responsible for your dog’s food, shelter, companionship, exercise, and physical and mental health for the rest of its life. Your family can help, but the bark stops with you.

Does a Dog Fit Into Your Lifestyle?

Feeding, grooming, exercise, and play are daily needs that must be considered in caring for a healthy, happy dog. But think about the following:

Do you have the time to provide care and attention for Fido? Are there any restrictions on pets where you live?

Do you have easy access to areas where a dog can exercise?

What are you looking for in a dog – jogging or hiking buddy, cuddly lap dog, or high energy friend?

What are you looking to avoid in a dog – boisterous, noisy, requiring intensive grooming?

Adopting a dog

Should You Look for a Puppy or an Adult Dog? What Size of Dog Should You Get?

Puppies require additional time for housetraining, socialization, and obedience training, as well as more frequent feeding, exercise, and supervision. Older dogs are often already housetrained, know some basic commands, and usually adapt well to a new home. Larger or high energy dogs require more space and may be harder to maintain in an apartment or condominium.

Can You Afford a Dog?

Dogs need high quality food, proper housing, mental stimulation (e.g., toys, play time), and regular visits to a veterinarian for preventive care. Pet health insurance is available to help defray unexpected expenses.

Where Do You Find a Dog?

We strongly encourage adopting a rescued dog. However, if you are stuck on a purebred dog, it can be obtained from reputable breeders. Both mixed-breed and purebred dogs can also be obtained from animal shelters and rescue organizations. is the best place to search.

What Should You Look for in a Healthy Dog?

When choosing a dog, pick one that is active, friendly, inquisitive, and not afraid of you. A healthy dog has clear, bright eyes; a clean, shiny coat; and does not appear thin, overly fat, or show signs of illness.

What Must You Do to Prepare for Your Dog?

Prepare an appropriate place for it to eat and sleep and have ready accessories such as collar and leash, ID tag, and food and water bowls. Be sure to pet-proof your home to prevent injury to your dog or damage to your possessions. Schedule a veterinary examination to assess the health of your new companion as soon as possible to ensure it receives the appropriate vaccinations and any needed health care.

If you choose a puppy, be prepared for several weeks to months of housetraining and some initial medical expenses for wellness exams, vaccinations, and sterilization. Plan your puppy’s arrival when there is sufficient time to socialize and housetrain him or her.

Puppy Tips

Eight to 10 weeks is an ideal age for a puppy to move to a new home. When possible, meet the puppy’s parents; their temperaments are often good indicators of what the puppy’s temperament will be. Proper socialization of puppies has a big impact on their behavior later in life. See:

Other Important Information

Never purchase a puppy from any pet store. No matter what they tell you, all pet stores are supplied by puppy mills, which are appalling places that over-bred dogs and treat them terribly. For more in- formation on why you should never shop at a pet store, visit