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7 Important Dog Adoption Tips

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Dogs are fun and exciting pets, but adopting a dog can be overwhelming, especially for first-time dog owners. Below, we’ve compiled a list of things that will make your life easier once you bring your new pet home.

1.   Ask for an assessment of the dog’s health and behavior

An established shelter will provide health and behavioral assessments. Be sure to ask for it if it’s not provided. Most shelters take time to analyze the personality and energy levels of every dog they are putting up for adoption. If the energy levels of the dog don’t match that of your household, the adoption may not work out. For instance, if the dog likes to run around and you live in a smaller urban home without much room, you may want to consider another pet.

2.   Gather essential supplies

Before you bring your new pet home, gather essential supplies that will make them safe and comfortable. Essential supplies include grain-free dog food, water bowls, ID tags, leash and collar, toys, and grooming supplies and treats. A dog bed and kennel are also necessary. A dog kennel acts as a safe space where the dog can rest as it adjusts to its new home.

3.   Prepare your home

Before your cheerful pup comes home, it is important that you prepare your home. Put away items that may be harmful to your curious little pet and those things that you don’t want to get chewed.

4.   Don’t switch your dog’s food immediately

When picking up your dog, remember to ask when and what the dog used to be fed. You should replicate that schedule for a few weeks before you start to gradually switch to the schedule and brand that you want to be feeding your pet regularly. This helps to avoid gastric distress.

5.   Begin training immediately

Even if your pet were previously housebroken, it would still require a little housetraining. A new environment with new people, new sounds, and new smells can throw even the most housebroken adult dog off-track. Thus, you will want to train your dog and introduce new rules immediately.

6.   Get your dog checked by a vet

Typically, shelters and breeders have documentation about the care your pet has received. However, it is still important to establish a relationship with a vet and get a basic health assessment.

7.   Adopt your dog on a weekend

It is crucial that you spend time with your new friend when you first bring them home. If you are going to be a working pet parent, take a day off if possible. During this time, put your dog in the part of the house where you want them to be staying when you are not home. As a test, practice leaving and coming back after a few minutes. This way, your pet will get used to seeing you go and know that you will always return.


Shelters and rescue centers are filled with millions of thousands of dogs in need of loving homes. If you are considering adopting a dog or adding one to your family, consider these tips to make the process easy.

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