Going through the
Adopting a dog does not end and begin with picking your future
best friend at an animal shelter or a rescue group. It's more than giving a homeless dog a home either. There are
plenty of things that go into the adoption process, which could define your long-term relationship with the dog you
want to adopt.
This is purely according to your preferences. Dog owners, in
general, have their hearts set for a specific type of dog or a specific breed when planning to adopt. Some have
their eyes on purebreds, others are comfortable taking home mutts or mixed breeds. There are many, however, who
don’t have a particular idea of what dog to adopt.
As guide, there should be at
least three characteristics that you should look for in a dog. First, are the things that you want in the dog you
are to adopt. Second, are the things that you want but can definitely live without. And finally, the unacceptable
characteristics that you don’t want your future dog to have.
For would-be owners who want to
be very specific with the type of dog they would adopt, the following characteristics could help with
identifying the best dog that would match their preferences:
Breed – Purebred or mutt?
Size – Big, midsize, small, or little?
Activity level – High-energy or low-energy?
Grooming and maintenance – High-maintenance or
Exercise needs – Plenty or not so much?
Age – Puppies, adult or senior?
You can do no wrong if you categorize the available dogs in
the rescue homes or animal shelters under these criteria.
Source Of The Dog
There are, in general, three places from where you can adopt a
dog – from an animal shelter, from a breed-specific rescue group, and from general rescue group. Animal shelters
often serve as temporary shelters for dogs that were rescued from the streets. Rescue groups, meanwhile, house dogs
in home-like settings where the dogs are observed and taken care of.
The best way to go about adopting a dog is to pay a visit to
your nearest animal shelter. Explain to the staff there, what kind of dog would suit you and your family. Bear in
mind that if you have very small children, getting a large dog may not be a good idea. Similarly if you have an
apartment, maybe think about getting a small dog that doesn't require vast amounts of exercise. A bit of
forethought before you arrive will make finding the perfect dog for you that much easier.
Research your prospective sources beforehand. Most of them
have websites which can provide a great deal of information about their available dogs. Also, check their actual
facilities. These should provide clean homes, safe environment and loving treatment for the dogs. If the facility
seems suspicious, leave it and check out the next.
Applying For Dog Adoption
Although there are hundreds of dogs that need new homes, most
organizations don’t just allow their dogs to leave their facilities without first requiring you to undergo the
formal process of adoption.
The majority of rescue homes and animal shelters have policies
that require you to apply for dog adoption. They do this to ensure that their dogs don’t end up in the wrong hands.
Fortunately, it is not hard to get approved.
During the application process, ask for the fees you have to
pay. Most organizations charge more or less $100 for their dogs. If they charge more, be suspicious.
Bringing the New Dog Home
Your long-term commitment with your new best friend begins
once he steps into your door. The first few weeks after the adoption process are expected to be rough as the dog
adjusts to his new environment. Once you have established a bond with the dog, you can gradually start training or preparing him for a life ahead
that is shared with you.
When you bring your new dog home, try and imagine things from
her perspective. Your new dog has probably been through a lot in the past so bringing her to yet another new home
may well be overwhelming. The best thing to do is keep her on a leash at first, and gradually introduce her to your
home letting her sniff each room until she has got a feel for her new surroundings. Also take her to relieve her
bladder outside if she has been on a long car journey with you.
Once she has settled down, allow her to walk freely off the
leash inside your home (not outside off the leash yet). This will give her a chance to find 'her' spot. By this I
mean her favourite place. We all have a favourite spot where we like to go, dogs are no different. If you have
bought a new dog bed or blanket for your new arrival, this may be the place to put it. She will naturally go to
that spot so having a comfy new bed there will help her settle in.
Your new dog may be very quiet for the first few days but
don't worry, this is part of the settling in process. After a short while your dog will be a fully settled in new
member of the family.
Adopting from an animal shelter is a great way to get a new
companion and a great way to make a new and happy future for your dog.