Adopting Dog

10 Things You Need To Know Before Adopting Your First Dog

Top things to know before adopting a dog.
Written by Lens And Leash

So, you’ve been thinking about adding a furry little friend to your family? First of all, I would like to congratulate you for making one of the most rewarding choices you can make. Secondly, I would like to say THANK YOU so much for making the decision to adopt rather than shop.

There are so many dogs currently confined within shelters that it’s heartbreaking. Sadly, many of these amazing souls will be euthanized before ever learning what it means to have a family. On the other hand, many of them will live out the rest of their days in conditions that can only be described as terrifying and hopeless.

That’s where you come in. Today could be the day that you save an animal’s life and show them what it means to have a home to call their own. However, before adopting, there are some things you need to take into consideration.

Bringing home a rescue dog advice.

10 Things You Need To Know Before Adopting

  1. Don’t Rush
  2. Be Prepared For The Cost
  3. Spay And Neutering Is A Must
  4. Invest In Tags As Well As A Chip
  5. Understand Their Past
  6. Begin Training ASAP
  7. You Need To Have An Open Mind
  8. Each Dog Is Incredibly Unique
  9. Make Sure Your Home Is Safe
  10. You’ll Need Time And Patience

1: Don’t Rush

Things to know before adopting a rescue dog.

One of the most common mistakes people make when adopting their first dog is rushing into a decision. Making sure your new furry little friend is the right fit for your family is essential when it comes to the success of the adoption. Those who make snap decisions often find themselves overwhelmed and sadly it is not uncommon for people in this situation to return their new friend to a shelter. Don’t be one of these people!

2: Be Prepared For The Cost

Determine the cost of dog adoption.

In many ways, adopting a dog is quite similar to bringing home a new baby. They will need things to make them feel at home, as well as basic care items such as vaccinations, food, water and even a bed. Make sure you will be able to afford the new addition to your family before bringing them home. The last thing you want is for them to go without, right?

3: Spay And Neutering Is A Must

Important steps to adopting a dog.

Making sure your furry little friend is spayed or neutered is a must! While most shelters will take care of this before releasing the animal, it’s always a good idea to ask if it will be taken care of or if it’s something that will need to be done post-adoption. This simple procedure will get rid of the possibility of surprise puppies while also potentially reducing the number of animals in shelters. Every pet’s human should take advantage of this easy way to prevent animals from senselessly being euthanized.

4: Invest In Tags As Well As A Chip

Helpful dog adoption tips.


Each year, countless families lose their BFF simply because they didn’t think that buying tags or having their dog microchipped is necessary. Accidents happen and it’s not uncommon for dogs to find their way out of a yard, even when it is secured. Sadly, if animal control spots them, they will likely end up in a shelter. The good news is that tags and microchips are a great way to let shelters know exactly who the dog belongs to so that they can easily be reunited with their family.

5: Understand Their Past

Be understanding with rescue dog behavior.

When your new friend comes home, you may notice some odd behaviors such as shyness or anxiety. It’s important to remind yourself that your furry little friend has had an unstable past. Give them time to adjust to their new surroundings. It likely won’t be long before they become comfortable and fit in perfectly as part of the family.

6: Begin Training ASAP

Training a rescue dog is important.

The saying, “You can’t teach an old dog new tricks” is nonsense. Training creates structure which actually helps dogs of all ages feel loved and content. As well, dogs love to learn and they are eager to please, regardless of their age.

7: You Need To Have An Open Mind

Patience is important when adopting a dog from a shelter.

There’s a common misconception that animals end up in shelters because they are “bad”. I assure you that this is not the case. More often than not, the only thing bad was their previous owner that likely abandoned or mistreated them, statistically speaking of course. Make sure you have an open mind and never assume that a dog’s behavior was the main cause of their current situation.

8: Each Dog Is Incredibly Unique

Make sure you know how to prepare for a dog.

Dogs are incredibly unique. Each one is different from others in their own special way. People commonly make the mistake of thinking each dog will behave the same way and have the same personality, but this couldn’t be further from the truth. Taking the time to learn about a dog’s behaviors and personality traits will ensure they are the perfect choice for your family.

9: Make Sure Your Home Is Safe

Dog-Proofing your home is a must.

Bringing home a furry BFF is much like bringing home a newborn when it comes to the importance of making sure your home is safe. Some of the main things you should do are tuck away electrical wires, make sure they won’t have access to anything toxic and those with existing pets may want to make sure everyone gets along before leaving them alone together.

10: You’ll Need Time And Patience

Be understanding when bringing home a rescue dog.

Often, shelter animals require a lot of time and patience. Depending on their past, it may take quite a while before you’re able to break through all of their barriers and discover how truly incredible they are. Make sure you understand this and are willing to put in the effort before adopting. They’ve already been given up on once. Don’t put them through the horrible experience again.

Truth be told, adopting is a process that requires a lot of work and determination. However, it’s also one of the most rewarding things you can do. You’ll save a life and gain a new best friend. On top of all of that, you’ll also become a hero. Just make sure you’re prepared and ready for an incredible journey. So, let me ask you, are you ready to save a life today?

Frequently Asked Questions

How long does it take to adopt a dog?

The length of the adoption process can vary due to different regulations and rules. Typically speaking, it could take hours or possibly even days. Keep in mind, dogs that need to be spayed or neutered will usually need to spend a day or two at a shelter before coming home. Some shelters also require a home visit for rescue dogs which can add additional time to the adoption process.

What should I look for when adopting a dog?

The most important thing to look for is whether or not a dog’s temperament, behavior, and size will be a good fit for your home. You might be surprised to learn that 10% of shelter dogs end up being returned to the shelter. These animals have been through enough already. Make sure you can handle the commitment before bringing them home.

How long does it take a rescue dog to adjust?

The time it takes for rescue dogs to adjust to a new home can range from a day or two all the way to six months. Sometimes dogs that were mistreated can take even longer. The good news is that with enough love, patience, and time, your new furry friend will eventually fit right into your family.

Are rescue dogs good for first time owners?

Whether you’re experienced or a first time owner, a rescue could be a good fit for your home. However, some shelter dogs may require training, housebreaking, and time to become comfortable in their new home. If you’re not intimidated by a challenge and are ready for the commitment, go for it.

What should I buy for my first dog?

Some of the essential items you will need when adopting dogs are a food and water bowl, food, treats, toys, grooming items, collar, leash, foldable crate, bed, and most importantly an ID tag with your phone number and/or address on it. Microchipping your new friend is also recommended.

Should you adopt or buy a dog?

Adopting is by far the best way to go. Shelters are constantly overcrowded which leads to many dogs being euthanized and never having a chance to experience a happy life in a forever home. Adopting is a wonderful way to add to your family and save a life at the same time!

What is the best age to adopt a dog?

It’s advised that you do not adopt dogs younger than 8 weeks old. However, that’s not to say that in some situations younger pups can’t be adopted, especially those who have already been separated from their mother. Typically speaking, age does not play a large role in whether or not a pooch would make a good fit for a home. It really just comes down to what your personal preferences are.

Is adopting an older dog a good idea?

Yes! In fact, there’s a good chance that you will be saving its life since older dogs are often the first to be put down in overcrowded shelters. Plus, there’s a good chance that it will already have some sort of training, be housebroken, and have a general understanding of life in general.

What is the easiest dog to potty train?

The most straightforward answer is any breed that you are willing to put the time and energy into potty training. Housebreaking can be challenging with certain breeds. However, you can expect to have your furry little friend completely housebroken between 4-6 months.

How much do dogs cost a month?

The monthly expense typically ranges from $150 to $200. The cost can increase in certain situations. For example, dogs with high grooming needs, certain health conditions that require regular visits to the vet or constant supplies of medication, and larger dogs that require more food will have higher monthly expenses than your typical dog.

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Lens And Leash

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