Adopting a new pet? Here’s What You Need to Know

Animal shelters and rescue groups are always in need of people to adopt the pets they house but did you know these places get even more crowded around the holiday’s and winter months? Holiday parties, family coming to visit, neighbors dropping by to give you Christmas cookies and even the cold weather are all things that lead to pet neglect. It is a lot easier for a pet to slip out the front door or jump over the fence unnoticed with all of the holiday commotion. This means shelters and rescue groups are full to the brim with pets that need kind, loving homes for the holiday’s. It’s the perfect time to get little Billy the dog he’s always wanted, just stop by your local shelter and pick one up! First time dog owner? There is a lot to know before you adopt a new dog. This article from PetMD lets you know what to expect!

In order to protect the dog and to put his or her best interests first, credible rescue groups and shelters will carefully screen the applicant. The last thing anyone wants is for a homeless dog to be brought back to the rescue or shelter. Here’s what to expect during the adoption process.

Expect an Application Process

In order to provide the best match for the dog in need, some potential dog adoption application questions may include:

– Do you own or rent your home?

– Describe your/your family’s lifestyle and why you want to add a new dog to the family.

– Do you have other pets at present?

– What is your experience with dogs?

– Why specifically do you want this dog?

– What would you do if this dog required medical attention and potentially expensive surgery?

– Describe your home and yard.

– Are there children in your home? How many and what are their ages?

Entering Your Home

The purpose of a home visit is to verify your address and make sure the home is a safe and secure environment. Rescue representatives might point out some dog dangers like exposed trash cans or a gap in a fence. The visit is not meant to be judgmental or to spy on potential adopters. Understandably, the rescue group wants both potential adopter and dog to find the best match possible.

Why So Many Questions

Many pets end up being returned to a shelter due to a misunderstanding, lack of patience, or a feeling of being overwhelmed. Some people are not ready to invest the time, money, and resources necessary to raise a dog. Sometimes, pets and families are not a good match. In order to prevent these upsetting situations, careful screening is pivotal for success. Though the questions are thorough and plentiful, they are meant to create the best match possible between parent and pet.


Most rescue groups and shelters charge a fee to adopt a pet. Fees collected from the adoption are generally used for costs incurred to help get the animal a forever home. Dogs will need veterinary care, spaying/neutering, possible medical treatment depending on their situation, along with food and costs to maintain the shelter or kennel.

Right of Refusal

Refusal of adoption may occur if the group or rescue feels the fit is not right. Most groups will explain why the adoption is not a fit. You can work with the group to see if there is anything that can be done to change the situation; i.e. get a fence for the yard. If not, then perhaps a dog is not right for you at this time.

Spay and Neuter

I’ve yet to work with a rescue or learn of a shelter that allows a dog to go into a new home without being spayed or neutered first. Many rescues will also insist on microchipping a dog before release to their new home.

Puppies Vs .Older Dog

Last but not least, the most important question of all is: What type of dog do you want in your life? Are you ready to deal with the trials and tribulations of a new puppy or would you prefer an adult dog? For some, a golden oldie who is settled in his or her ways and needs a loving pet parent may sound right to you. Ask yourself what is best for your own lifestyle and if you have the means, money, patience, time and commitment available to bring a dog into your life.

Once you’ve found the perfect new pet for your home stop on by the Barkery for all your pet needs! We’ve got it all; food, toys, beds, treats, collars and more! Don’t forget to give you pet a fresh new do for the holiday’s, our groomers will get your new pooch in tip top shape!

Photo courtesy of – Patrice Alsteen