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Pet Blog

Adoption Tips: Questions to Ask When Adopting a Dog

Adopting a dog is a big (and wonderful!) decision. From preparing emotionally and financially to understanding the type of dog that best fits your lifestyle, the list of things to consider when learning how to adopt a dog can belong.

That’s why we’re coming to the rescue with our adoption guide - full of questions you should ask shelters, and ones you should ask yourself, in order to ensure a paws-itive process for you and your new fur baby!

Which Dog is the Best Fit for Me

From health history to behavioral needs, here are some questions to ask when you’re adopting a dog:
  1. Why is this dog in a shelter? Knowing why the dog ended up in the shelter (abandonment, stray, rescue) will help you to understand the animal’s potential emotional needs and what they’ll require of you.

  2. Where was the dog found and in what condition? A dog who was surrendered by an owner may be in a different physical condition then a stray found on the street. Understanding where a dog has been helping you to be the best owner that you can be!

  3. Has this dog been adopted before? It helps to know if there have been unsuccessful adoption attempts in the past. Perhaps the shelter has already learned that the dog is happiest as a solo animal - this will be useful information if another pet is in your future!

  4. Is this dog housebroken and/or leash trained? Do you have the bandwidth to housetrain and/or leash train a dog? Understand your abilities as a new owner before falling in love with an untrained pup!

  5. Does this dog require special medical attention? Some people find rehabilitating animals to be therapeutic, while others may find it overwhelming. Knowing what you’re capable of will help you and each shelter dog to find their perfect match!

Am I The Best Fit For The Dog

From the size of your home to your daily activities, here’s what to look for when adopting a dog:


Large dogs require space to run around and safely wag their tails. Smaller dogs can exist in smaller spaces and be easily carried with you on a daily. Know which one best fits your lifestyle.

Activity Level

While some dogs have excess energy and make great running companions, others prefer a more low-energy lifestyle. Think about your own activity level and find a pup that will compliment it!

Physical Maintenance

Choosing a dog breed will affect the amount of physical maintenance they require. Mastiffs often require a slobber cloth for excess drool, while breeds with long ears can be prone to frequent ear infections. Know what you’re willing to take on as far as physical maintenance.


It’s important to know your limits on age when choosing a dog. Whether you’re happy to fall in love with a senior dog, or think you’re better suited for a young pup, be sure to tell the shelter so they can find the right match!

The adoption process is one that requires time and patience but is so worth it in the end. Ask yourself and the shelter empowering questions about what to know before adopting a dog, so that you get exactly what you’re looking for in your new furry friend relationship.