In our article about identifying reputable dog breeders, we briefly touched on the popular #AdoptDontShop movement. While our stance in that article may seem like we do not support it, we do view adopting a dog as a very good option for dog owners!
With around 3 million new dogs entering shelters every year, it is important that those who are looking to get a dog look into adoption before purchasing. While some people will portray adoption as something that always ends up working out perfectly for all the involved parties, this is not always the case.
Luckily for you, we are going to provide some valuable tips that ensure your adoption process goes as smoothly as possible.
What to Consider
Before going into the adoption process, it is important to know what you are looking for in your furry companion. The last thing you want to do is adopt a dog that is not compatible with your lifestyle, or for you to not be compatible with the needs of your new dog.
Things to think about:
How active am I?
How much free time can I dedicate to a dog?
What do you want a dog for?
What other pets do I have?
Do you have a backyard?
The more things you consider, the better the staff of your adoption service can help match you with the right dog. If you live a more active lifestyle, then you likely want a dog that can keep up with you.
Some things can help offset this, for example, if you do not always live a heavily active lifestyle, but would still like a dog that can keep up with you when you do, it can be helpful if you have a large yard space for your dog to play when you do not have the energy to.
If you see a dog that catches your eye, take some time to research its assumed breed or a mix of breeds. While many times “breeds” are mislabeled by shelters and rescues, it will still give you a general idea of what type of energy and personality that dog may have.
For example, hounds are a popular type of dog found in shelters these days. Coon Hounds can be independent, energetic, noisy dogs. Generally not suitable for sedate owners living in quiet communities! Whereas a greyhound might be perfect, clean, quiet, and reasonably calm indoors.
It is also important to be prepared for the potential of a long adoption process. While you can certainly adopt a dog in a short amount of time, if you have an ideal dog in mind it can take a while. This is especially true if you are working with a dog rescue rather than a shelter, as rescue services tend to be more selective.
Ways to Adopt
When people hear that someone is adopting a dog, they likely think of an animal shelter like an SPCA, but this is far from the only way of adopting a dog. However, shelters are certainly the best way to make “impulse” adoptions or to just have a quicker adoption process in general. They are also great for a local means of adoption.
Another way of adopting a dog is through breed rescues. This is great for those that have a specific breed of dog in mind but do not want to go through a breeder.
Another way, although harder to find, is through individuals who have dogs available for adoption. The reason these dogs are up for adoption can vary, but they can often be well worth it. If this is an option you wish to pursue, but you do not know where to start, you can find postings on different Facebook groups, or even on breeders websites.