September 15, 2023 3 min read
Are you considering opening your heart and home to a shelter dog? If so, you might be wondering how to adopt a shelter pup. It may seem daunting at first, but the process is quite simple. The key is finding the right fit for your family. Here’s how to get started.
It’s best for both you and your new best friend to prepare your home before their arrival.
Your new pup will undoubtedly be stressed and nervous when he first comes home. Set up a safe space for him to hang out. Dog-proof the area and block off entrances and exits with baby gates if necessary.
Even if your new dog was housebroken before, it’s possible they’ll still have an accident while adjusting to their new space. Choose an area of your home with easy-to-clean floors, just in case.
Imagine trying to stuff an Alaskan Malamute into an apartment? Or leaving a sociable Bichon Frise home alone all day? These little guys go crazy when they don’t have company!
With that in mind, it’s important to sit down and think about what kind of dog will fit with your home and lifestyle. Most shelters and rescue groups are happy to help with this. In fact, they’re already one step ahead of you.
When you go to adopt a pet from a shelter or rescue, you‘ll usually be asked to fill out a questionnaire about your life and family. The shelter staff will also perform behavior analyses of each pet to try to find the best fit for your family. If you need a slower pace, consider adopting a senior pup.
The Internet makes finding a new pup easy. There are half a dozen large websites that list available rescue dogs in your area. And most city or county shelters have online directories where you can browse available pups.
You can also visit your local shelters and rescues — and we highly recommend it! You have a better chance of running into “the one” if you go in person. Just be sure to check the shelter’s rules beforehand. You may need to make an appointment, although many will allow walk-ins to come say hello.
Another great way to get to know shelter pups is to volunteer. Sign up to help out your local rescue on the weekends. You’ll get to know the animals and will be better acquainted with all the dogs when you’re ready to adopt.
Once you find a dog you’d like to adopt, you’ll fill out an application. If you found the dog online, you’ll usually be asked to come to the shelter for a face-to-face introduction. The shelter may also send someone out to your house to perform a home inspection or request photos of your home/yard and other spaces where the pup will be.
An adoption fee is typically required and this may include vaccinations, spaying or neutering, dewormer, microchips, and more. Be sure to find out what is included and if your pup needs to come back in a few weeks for additional vaccinations.
Visiting a shelter can be a difficult move for the tenderhearted. You’ll probably see lots of animals hoping for a new home and you certainly can’t take them all with you. But adopting a dog can be one of the most rewarding experiences of your life.
Not quite ready to take the plunge and get a new pet? You can still help while enjoying your own favorite morning treat. When you buy anything at Grounds and Hounds 20% of the profits goes to support rescue missions.
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