Have you decided adopting a dog is for you? Great choice! Adopting a dog saves a life. Adopting a dog also discourages puppy mills from churning out puppy after puppy, with the mother living in inhumane conditions. However, adopting a dog comes with a lot of changes for everyone. Here is a checklist to make sure your household is prepared.

Questions to Ask Yourself

  • If you have other dogs, how will they react to a new dog in the house?
  • Could your current home be considered well-suited for the dog you are choosing?
  • Consider your social life and obligations. Will they affect your ability to care for your new dog?
  • Do you travel for work or have a vacation planned? If so, where will your dog go?
  • Does everyone in your household feel comfortable about having a new dog?
  • Does anyone in your home have dog allergies, or is anyone intolerant of pet hair or dirt?
  • Does anyone in your household have health issues, which may be affected by having a dog?
  • Which breed of dog will fit into your lifestyle the best?
  • Which adult member of your household will take primary responsibility for the dog?

More Considerations

  • Do you have the time and patience it takes to work with the dog? Think about housebreaking, chewing and energy levels.
  • Would a younger or an older dog fit better into your lifestyle?
  • If you have children, is your chosen dog breed known to work well with kids?
  • Do you want a dog who follows you around the house, or one that is more independent?
  • What size of dog can your home accommodate?

Associated Costs

  • Most adoption agencies will charge a small adoption fee.
  • The cost of spaying or neutering your dog
  • ID tags, microchipping, leashes and collars
  • Grooming supplies and equipment
  • A dog bed and toys
  • A carrier or crate
  • Unexpected costs such as emergency veterinary care

Time Requirements

  • Dogs need to be fed 2 or 3 times a day and have a consistent supply of fresh water.
  • Dogs need to be taken outside to relieve themselves throughout the day.
  • Dogs need at least 1 hour a day of direct attention. This includes training, exercising, grooming and playing with your dog.
  • Dogs that have long coats need about 20 minutes of brushing a day, to stop their fur from matting.

Now that you know everything involved in adopting your dog, here is a list of supplies you may need.

Shopping Checklist

  • Bowls for food and water
  • Canned or dry dog food
  • Dog collar
  • A leash, 4 to 6 feet in length
  • ID tag with your contact information on it
  • Carrier for transporting your dog
  • Bed for your dog
  • Dog shampoo and conditioner
  • Nail clippers
  • Doggie toothbrush and paste
  • Doggie brush
  • Scrub brush and sponge
  • Odor neutralizer
  • Poop bags
  • An assortment of dog toys
  • Treats
  • Doggie first aid supplies
  • Baby gates if needed

And there you have it! You and your newly adopted dog are ready to handle life’s adventures together.