Everything You Need to Know Before Adopting A Dog

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Bringing home a new furry best friend to your family can be exciting. Adopting a dog can be a wonderful and rewarding experience. However, it can come with a lot of change for the household. Here are some things to consider and know before you head out to the adoption agency.


Before you rush into the adoption process, talk with the members of your household about some of these questions.

  • Are you allowed to have a dog at your current residence? Some landlords have policies against dogs.
  • If you have roommates, are they on board with having a dog in shared places?
  • Who is responsible for taking care of the dog? If you have children, this is the perfect time to set up a chart that explains what each person is responsible for for the dog. Just be ready to follow up afterward.
  • Will you need a form of daycare for your dog? If so, is there a place nearby?
  • Is the household a stress-free environment for your pup? If there is tension in your household, it might be best to wait a bit longer to adopt a dog.
  • Are there any other pets in the house? Some animals don’t like sharing the spotlight, and it also could help you pick out a dog that’s good with other animals before bringing them home.
  • Do you often travel or take regular vacations? Make sure that you have a plan for your dog during these times.
  • Will you have enough time for your new pet? Dogs need daily attention and are happiest when there is a regular routine.
  • Are you financially ready for a dog?
  • Is there a specific breed that you are hoping to adopt?
  • Can you put in the dedication and financial resources to invest in training?
  • Do you have a trusted vet? If you don’t have one, many adoption agencies can offer recommendations.

Because this is a lifelong commitment, these questions can help set up your family and your new dog for success.


Here are some other dog ownership costs to keep in mind are:

  • State, county, and city licensing
  • Vitamins and supplements
  • Potential professional training courses
  • Doggy daycare
  • Overnight housing when you need to travel
  • Regular professional grooming or home tools for grooming
  • Healthy chews like bully sticks
  • Toys, plushies, and lawn entertainment


Just like welcoming home a new baby to the house, there are some things you should do before you adopt a dog. Some of the planning you do before you even start the adoption process can make a big difference.

First, you’ll want to make sure that everyone is on the same page about your new dog’s responsibilities.

Next, make sure that your home is puppy-proofed.

  • Unplug and move electrical cords out of reach
  • Make rules about feeding food from the table. Human food isn’t always good for dogs, so it’s easier not to begin the habit from the beginning.
  • Put all cleaning supplies in secured places. You can add childproof locks as an extra safety precaution.
  • Put all medications away.
  • Keep toilet lids closed.
  • Keep doors and windows closed.
  • Secure trashcans. If you can find one with a locking lid is best. Some pups are smart enough to figure out foot pedals.
  • Keep small items that are choking hazards up and out of reach.
  • Keep all sharp objects out of your dog’s reach. This includes knives, scissors, razors, and tools.
  • Remove poisonous houseplants.


Now that your house is all set up and ready to welcome home your adopted dog. Because you want your dog to feel welcome in its new home, make sure to have everything ready beforehand. This preparation makes the transition to a new home easier for your pup.

Here are just a few of the essential things you’ll need:

  • Bedding and a crate. Think of a crate as your dog’s bedroom. Adding beds or blankets in other places of the house can also provide a safe and relaxing spot for your dog.

Pro Tip: Don’t put beds into your dog’s crate. An old towel perhaps at first, but we recommend not having anything in their kennel. This prevents them from choking while everyone is sleeping or away.

  • Bowls. You’ll need at least one food bowl and one bowl for water for your dog. If you are a multi-dog house, you might be able to allow them to share a water bowl. But it’s best to have multiple.
  • Food and treats. Having quality food can help your dog live a long and happy life, so try investing in the highest quality you can afford when picking out dog food. Don’t forget to add in some yummy treats like Beef Roaster Bites.
  • Toys. Make sure your dog has a variety of toys to play with. Offer things that can be chewed on that promote healthy gums, like bully sticks.
  • Collar and leash. Having these before you pick up your dog makes the process much easier.


Finally, once you have been approved to bring your new adopted puppy home, you should make sure you schedule an appointment with your favorite vet. Make the appointment within the first week or two of having your dog. Because most shelters already spay or neuter the dogs and keep them up to date on their vaccinations, this will be an overall evaluation appointment.

Setting up this early first visit can help get your dog used to going to the vet, and it allows the vet to get to know your dog. If you plan on ever boarding your dog at your vet’s office, this can help them feel even more comfortable.


Now that your best friend has made it home and has a clean bill of health, you will begin the adjustment period. It can take a few days or a few months. However, over this time, you may see some big changes in your dog. So above all else, be patient.

Remain calm

Staying calm is critical throughout the entire process of allowing your dog to acclimate to its new home.

Take the tour

When you come home, keep your dog on a leash and slowly walk them through each room in the house that they are allowed to be in. They don’t need to sniff every bit of each room, but this helps their scent get throughout their living quarters, and who them where they are allowed to be.

Introduce your home

Now that your dog knows the safe place they call home introduce them to the family members. Have family members come up one at a time calmly and offer your dog a small pet. Repeat the process with every member.

Take a long walk

Because your dog is still on its leash, this becomes the perfect time to take a walk around the block. Burning off your pup’s excess energy will allow them to settle down better for their first night in a new home.

The feeding area

Designate a feeding area for your dog and make sure that you walk them past it during your tour.

The dog’s bedroom

Likewise, make sure that your pup walks over the place they will be sleeping. If you choose to kennel your dog overnight, make sure to have them go into the kennel and get a treat while they are inside.


Getting a new dog can be an exciting process, and when you are armed with all these expert tips, you’ll have a much easier time transitioning your pup into your life.

Because it may take a few weeks for your dog’s personality to come out, be gentle for the first few weeks and give them time and space to adjust on their own time. If problems arise, give your trainer a call.


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