How do you adopt a dog?

If you want to become a pet parent and are considering adopting a dog – congratulations! Millions of lovable animals, including your future dog, are living in shelters or temporary accommodations while they hope to be adopted by a caring and compassionate owner just like you. By making the highly responsible and moral decision to adopt a dog rather than buy a puppy from a breeder, you are playing a small but significant part in helping to tackle the overpopulation crisis that is causing countless canines to be euthanized each year, purely because there is not the space or resources to take care of all of the animals in the country who do not have homes. 


If this is the first time that you have adopted a dog, you may find the process a little overwhelming. However, it really is fairly straightforward and before you know it, your new canine pal will be settling into your home.


To help you get started, here is everything you need to know about how to adopt a dog. 

Find your local shelter and check what their requirements are for adopting a dog

Even if you don’t know it yet, you probably have a dog shelter fairly close to where you live. This is the best place to contact with regards to finding a new furbaby as your companion as it is local for you to visit and will likely have a range of animals to choose from. 


Every shelter is slightly different in terms of the requirements they have regarding you adopting a dog. Understandably, they don’t want to just let anyone walk away with a precious animal, and your choice of shelter will have very specific guidelines about who can adopt a dog and what they will need to provide to prove that they are offering a genuinely loving home. Most shelters also have some sort of fee or adoption charge. This money goes back into the shelter that has previously cared for your new pet, so that it can continue to offer temporary accommodation for others. As you can probably imagine, the costs of running a shelter are high and many get little to no funding other than what they raise themselves. 

Choose your dog carefully

Shelters tend to have a comprehensive mixture of dogs, from relaxed old-timers to energetic puppies, so finding an animal to suit your lifestyle shouldn’t be all that difficult. You will need to carefully consider the different breeds to ensure you find one that has the right temperament for your home. Some are fairly lazy and laid back, while others are very active and get bored easily. If you choose a high-energy breed, make sure you are prepared to offer him the exercise that he needs


One of the biggest perks about choosing an adult dog is that you will be able to see exactly how large your new furbaby will get. The people working in the shelter should also be able to give you plenty of information about his personality to help you decide is a specific animal is right for you and your lifestyle.

Obtain his medical information and get him registered with a vet

There is no guarantee that a shelter will know the exact medical history of an animal that they take into their care as many are found abandoned with no information about their previous life. However, it is important that you obtain any medical information that the shelter does have on file – even if it is only from the time that they have been housing your new dog – so that you can transfer this to your new vet. Getting your canine pal registered with a vet is essential, and we strongly recommend that you arrange for a wellness examination appointment with your chosen vet as soon as possible after bringing your new dog home. This will enable your vet to check that there are no underlying issues that need attention and will form a basis to which future checks can be compared. 

Home visits

If you are adopting a dog from a rescue, don’t be surprised if they request to do a home visit ahead of your adoption. This is because they will want to make sure that your home and family is suitable for the pet that you are adopting. While shelters tend to hold a formal interview, rescues usually prefer to see your property and yard for themselves first hand to reassure themselves that you can offer the right home. 

Once you have found your new furry friend and completed the above steps, you should be able to arrange to either collect your dog from the shelter, or in some cases, the shelter or rescue will bring him to your home. Then you can start to enjoy your new lives together. If you have any questions about the adoption process or about registering your new pet with a vet in Cooper City, call us at 954-280-0500 to learn more.