How To Adopt a Dog - Doggy Brace

If you are reading this blog, chances are high that you’ve decided to adopt a dog. Is there anything more exciting? As dog-obsessed people, we think not. Bringing in a new furball of cuteness into your family is a joyous occasion.

We are under the notion that dogs truly make everything better. Got fired today? Go home and pet your dog. Did something awful? Your dog doesn’t care. Feel sick? Your pup is ready to cuddle. Having a dog means you have a friend. But we digress.

Aside from having a new best friend that loves you despite your faults, adopting a dog is serious business. Read on to learn more about what to consider when bringing a new pup home.

Thing to Consider When Adopting a Dog

Although exciting, bringing a new dog home requires serious consideration and preparation. Ideally, you will have this dog until it dies — about a decade at least. Big life changes can happen in ten years. Kids can be born or leave the house. Home life can shift. Well, everything about life can shift. So when you decide on a dog, make sure your decision is informed and you feel good about it. 


Do your research on dog breeds and their temperaments to find one that fits your lifestyle and personality. If you are the homebody type that likes to take it easy on the couch a lot, a Border Collie may not be the breed for you. However, a Chihuahua (the most proper lapdog to exist) might be. On the contrary, if you are the active outdoors type, a small, slow animal would not be for you.

Finding the right breed for you is probably the most important step of this whole process. Make sure to take your time here. It will make all the difference — because the right breed will either make your life wonderful or make it hard.  

Visit Shelters

Visit different animal shelters and rescue organizations to meet dogs that are available for adoption. You might have a specific breed in mind after doing your research, but have an open mind when going to the shelter. Be open to different mixed breeds. Mixed breeds often have wonderful temperaments. Take your time and interact with each dog to see which one you connect with the most. 

Ask Questions

Ask the staff at the shelter or rescue organization about the dog’s history, behavior, and medical needs. For instance: Has the dog ever bitten? Is it potty trained? Are there any specific things you should know about the breed? Does the dog do well with other animals, or children? Does the dog have any health issues? How did the dog end up at the shelter to begin with? Is there a record of abuse? Does the dog chew, or have any specific behavioral issues?

If you have found the dog you want to take home, ask questions about integrating the dog into your space. You can read all the info in the world about integrating the dog—  but the people who have spent time with that animal in the shelter will know some things the internet won’t. 

Prepare Your Home

Prepare your home for the arrival of your new furry friend. We wrote a two part blog in January about bringing a puppy home, complete with a checklist of things to consider before doing so. However, the list is actually solid for all new dogs. Check it out part one and part two.

If you don’t make it around to checking out the blogs, just make sure you have all the necessary supplies before bringing home your new pup. Things like food, water, toys, a bed, and a crate are imperative. Secure any potential hazards, such as loose wires or toxic plants.

Young woman with worker choosing which dog to adopt from a shelter.

Meet the Dog

If you have other pets or children, arrange for them to meet the dog before adoption to ensure compatibility. This is easily arranged with staff of wherever you are adopting from. Some adoption or rescue organizations will not let you take a dog home before doing this to begin with. This is just as important as doing your research — so make sure to introduce the pup before taking him or her home.

Complete the Adoption Process

Once you have found the right dog, complete the adoption process. This may include filling out paperwork, paying an adoption fee, and agreeing to follow certain guidelines for the dog’s care. This is a no-brainer for most, but a final reminder for some. Many adoption organizations are extremely strict on making sure that all paperwork is executed precisely, so make sure to follow the protocol to a ‘T’. 

And finally, enjoy this new family member! Give it a wonderful life, and create lasting memories. Dogs are amazing creatures that bring so much meaning to our lives. Congratulations!