The Pet Parents® Guide to Adopting a Dog

Updated: February 26, 2024

You have probably spent a lot of time thinking if you should go and adopt a dog. But while your heart tells you you are ready, there are quite a lot of factors worth considering about adopting a dog.

We've put together a list on the things that will guide you through the pre-adoption process. This is to assess you and prepare you for whatever lies ahead in becoming a great pet parent for your new furry best friend.

Because with pet parenthood, comes great responsibility. It is important to always do your research, especially for first-time dog owners or when selecting a new breed. 


"When deciding if you're ready to adopt a dog, begin assessing the simple things like are you always away?"

Take Your Time.

Don't think about rushing things just because everyone is buying or adopting pets. Resist peer pressure and resist the cuteness of the dogs in the shelter.

When deciding if you're ready to adopt a dog, begin assessing the simple things like are you always away? Do you travel a lot? Do you have the financial capacity to provide for your dog? Do all of your family members agree to having a pet at home?

In asking yourselves questions like this, you will be able to decide better if ever you're ready or not and then maybe you can create a timeline of when you are possibly able to. You can actually visit the shelter and bond with your potential new friend and see if you two are a great fit, or you can create a list of quarterly expenses of how much it will cost. In that case, your adopted dog will be in his forever home and not just getting adopted just to be back in the shelter again.


Accidents are just around every corner and to ensure that your adopted dog doesn't get lost on the streets and doesn't end up in a shelter again, make sure you agree into having him microchipped (if he's not yet) or if he is microchipped already, you can contact the microchip registry and have the contact details of the dog updated, making you as the new owner and the new contact person.

Microchipping is a must and this should be greatly considered before you adopt a dog. It's a great procedure so that even when your dog tries to enjoy the sun and play outside, you are at peace.

Choosing The Right Dog For You

Before adopting a dog, make sure that the dog is a great fit and matches your personality, energy level and lifestyle.

If you are friendly and love to hangout with people you just met , a mixed breed with a unique appearance will be able to bring in a lot of new friends. If you are a little bit reserved, Rottweilers and German Shepherds are dogs considered to be "one-person" dogs. If your home has children, family members and constant visitors, consider choosing a dog that is well-socialized to humans.

What is Adopting?

Adopting is NOT buying from a breeder. Adopting is NOT buying from a pet shop. Adopting means getting your dog from the shelter and re-homing him. Adopting is one way you can save a dog from being put to sleep.

Evaluate Yourself

Ask yourself the following questions before adopting a dog:

  • Do you have other pets at home? How do you think they will react with a new dog? If you do, ask your vet or any pet trainer on what you can do about it. You can slowly train your pets at home by introducing the new dog slowly to them. Take a few minutes a day interacting them and increasing the time as days go by until they will finally get along.
  • Is your current neighborhood/house/apartment pet friendly? It is better to check first if having dogs is okay in the area where you live. You don't want your neighbors getting bothered about it resulting to your dog going back to the shelter again.
  • Are you always at home? If not, who will take care of your dog when you're away? Now this is something you really have to take into consideration. If your adopting a dog only meant leaving him alone at home all the time, then it totally defeats the whole purpose of giving your adopted dog a happy life. Though it's inevitable to not leave the house (for work, errands, etc), make sure your dog has somebody to look after him. And when you come back, make sure you spend some bonding time together and make up for the lost times.
  • How will the people you live with feel about having a dog at home? Ask your family members if they are okay with you taking in a new dog. It's better to know that all people you're living with accepts your newly adopted pet.
  • Are you living with somebody who has allergies? Particularly allergies with dust, dirt, dog fur, odor of dog urine and poop ? Consider these things when adopting a dog because this can be the reason as to why you're forced to return him back to the shelter. To help you put your family members at ease, consider using dog diapers and belly bands so that your new dog at home wouldn't be marking and spotting on inappropriate places of the house. This will also prevent you from having to spend too much time on messy cleanups. You can also use pee pads as covers for your sofa, couches and carpets.

Know that adopting a dog is a big responsibility. That's why you have to make sure that your chosen dog will truly find his forever home... with you.

"Though it's inevitable to not leave the house (for work, errands, etc), make sure your dog has somebody to look after him."

Black and white newborn kitten