Now that spring is around the corner, many people are starting to think about adding to their family by adopting a dog from their local pound. Dogs are wonderful additions to families. However, the wrong dog can create a very stressful and unpleasant situation that does not benefit you or the dog.
As beautiful as canines are, not every pooch is meant to be with just any family. By taking your time, doing your research, and knowing what you want, your next adoption could be a wonderful moment for you and your new pet. Here are six tips to help your adoption process be a successful one.
1. Make a List of Wants and Don’t Wants
As adorable as dogs are, each breed or type has different needs and personalities. Some are very energetic while others are more sedate. Some are very passive and social while others are best suited to being alone and have more dominant personalities.
Before you even begin to look at adoption options, make a list of what you want in a pet as well as what you don’t want. Some things to consider are: type of fur, shedding/non-shedding, activity or energy level, size, temperament, age, medical history, and social skills. Knowing what you want before you start looking will help you find the right four-legged forever family member.
2. Do Your Research
Research is very helpful for finding the right breed and place to adopt. When getting a new pet, you want to go through a reputable pound or agency that takes care of the animals in their care. Social media, business commerce sites, public review webpages and other online sites are great places to find out what people are saying about animal welfare agencies who adopt pets.
3. Get to Know the Dog
Dogs in pounds and animal shelters may have emotional or behavior challenges. Some might be personality traits while other characteristics might be caused by their environment or situations. Before making any final decision, it’s important to get to know the dog. Test their social skills, and how they respond to you, other people, and other animals. Don’t be afraid to ask questions and find out if the dog has any issues towards other people or animals. This will help you determine if the dog is right for your home.
There are different ways that you can assess a dogs personality such as their reaction when you approach the cage and make eye contact. Other assessments include putting your hand on the cage door, taking the dog out of the cage, touching or petting the dog, checking their paws, eyes, teeth, back, and ears, and walking them around other animals.
4. Spend Time With the Dog
Once you have found a dog that you are considering for adoption, spend time with the dog. Many pounds have visitation rooms or walking areas that you can go with the pooch. By spending one-on-one time with the pup, you can see if the canine is compatible with your family and your needs.
5. Do a Background Check
Ask to see the dogs file to see if the dog has had any health or behavioral issues. A background check should tell you if the dog has any medical concerns, is up-to-date with its vaccines, has had any behavioral issues, and the age. You don’t want to be surprised with huge vet bills after the adoption.
6. Purchase and Return Policies
Sometimes, despite all the research and time you spend with your adoptee, the only way you will really know if your new friend fits into your life is by bringing the canine to your home. Before making the final purchase, it’s important to find out what the facility’s purchase and return policies are. Many reputable places will have a return policy in case the adoption does not work. Find out what the policies state before finalizing the adoption so that you’re not surprised later.
Dogs are beautiful animals and a wonderful addition to a family. But they are also a responsibility and should be considered a life-long commitment. Rather than purchase a pup spontaneously or simply because they have an adorable face, it’s important to take your time to ensure that your next pet is the right fit for your family and life.