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Things You Need for Adopting a Dog

Updated on July 25, 2013

Are you ready?

Adopting a dog is a big decision. You need to make sure you are ready for the responsibility of a pet before you adopt. People who do not take into consideration all that is required of them before adopting a pet end up overwhelmed, and the pet often ends up back in the shelter.

Before you adopt a dog, think about how much time you are willing to put into your new pet. Certain breeds require more time and energy than others. Make sure you do research on different breeds before you pick out your pet. When you got to the shelter, ask about the pet's behaviors. Some dogs may have special needs and could present more of a challenge than you are ready to handle.

Pets are not cheap. They need food, toys, shots, etc. Make sure you are financially ready for a pet. Dogs need yearly vaccinations, and it is smart to keep them on heart worm and flea/tick medicine. They also get sick. If this happens over the weekend and you have to make the unfortunate trip to the emergency room, you will be spending some money.

Decisions to make before you adopt

So you have decided you have the time, financial resources, and overall desire to adopt a dog. There are several more things you should consider before rushing to the adoption center.

  • Where will your dog sleep?
  • Is the dog allowed on the furniture?
  • What will you do with your dog when you leave the house?
  • What vet will you use?

If you allow the cute little puppy to sleep your in bed with you, it will be very difficult to convince the 10 month old not so little puppy that it is no longer allowed. If your dog is a digger or likes to chew things up you must dog proof your backyard before you leave your dog alone there. This is also a sign that your dog needs to be taken on frequent walks or activities. No one wants to pay to have cables lines replaced after their dog dug them up and destroyed them. Obviously you can't foresee all the situations you might find yourself facing with your dog and prepare for them, but having some rules in place will make life easier for you and your new pet.

Where to adopt a dog

There are multiple national and local pet adoption agencies. I have adopted all of my dogs through the Humane Society. They have branches in most major cities. In Lubbock, they have a foster system so dogs do not have to live in a shelter while they wait to be adopted. Pet Finder is another great way to find pets up for adoption. Pet Finder allows you to search for specific breeds of dogs. People also list dogs in the classifieds that are up for adoption. Many pet adoption agencies will charge a fee when you adopt your dog. This is well worth the money because usually the dog will be up to date on shots and will already be spade or neutered.

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Adopting your dog

When you adopt your dog, find out what kind of food it has been eating. While this may not be your brand of choice, get a small bag and slowly wean your dog onto its new food. This will make your dog's adjustment into your home a lot easier. Be patient! A dog that is house trained may have a few accidents simply because it is in a new environment. Try to get your new pet's medical records so you know about any medical issues and when you need to get their next set of shots.

By keeping these things in mind, your dog should have a much smoother transition into your home, and you will both be happier. Last but not least, pets adopted from a shelter can be some of the most loyal and happy animals that you find.


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    • Angela Brummer profile image

      Angela Brummer 5 years ago from Lincoln, Nebraska

      Awh I would love to see an updated pic.

    • brenda12lynette profile image

      brenda12lynette 5 years ago from Utah

      Thanks Angela! I need to update them. The little yellow lab mix in the top picture has grown a lot since then!

    • Angela Brummer profile image

      Angela Brummer 5 years ago from Lincoln, Nebraska

      Great hub! Information and nice pics!

    • brenda12lynette profile image

      brenda12lynette 5 years ago from Utah

      Thanks, weestro! and I agree completely!

    • weestro profile image

      Pete Fanning 5 years ago from Virginia

      There's nothing worse than when people adopt a puppy only to return in months later because it's too much trouble or they don't have time. Great Hub, voted up!

    • brenda12lynette profile image

      brenda12lynette 6 years ago from Utah

      Thanks! The two in the top picture are mine and the bottom one is a foster we had.

    • Millionaire Tips profile image

      Shasta Matova 6 years ago from USA

      These are great ideas about adopting a dog. You definitely have to think through a decision as big as this one. Cute pictures too!