June 08, 2021 8 min read

What Do You Need to Adopt a Dog

Adopting a dog is one of the greatest accomplishments in life for many people. Whether it’s your first or tenth time, bringing a dog into your home is an incredible feeling. 

But if you’re new to the adoption process, where do you even begin? What do you need to adopt a dog? Better yet, what type of dog is right for your lifestyle? 

It’s a good idea to do your research prior to reaching out to an adoption agency. To ensure you get started off on the right foot, you’ll want to get all your information in order, have all the dog essentials stored away, and know your way around your breed’s nutritional and chewing needs.

So what should you ask yourself prior to the adoption process? The following questions and considerations can help you adopt your best friend. 

before you adopt

Questions you need to ask yourself

Before you adopt a dog, you’re going to want to ask yourself some ancillary questions. These include the following: 

  • Can you have a dog at your current residence, especially if you’re renting? 
  • Do you have roommates? What are their thoughts on having a dog in your shared space? 
  • Is there anyone else in your household who can assist with caring for a new dog, or will you be the sole caretaker? Are you ready to care for a dog entirely on your own? 
  • If you need extra assistance, is there a dog daycare nearby you can use? If so, can you afford their services on a regular basis, when you need it? 
  • Do you live in a tense household? Will you feel comfortable bringing a dog into your current living situation? Environmental stress can produce anxiety disorders in dogs.
  • Do you have any other pets? How would they do with a new dog? 
  • What will you do with a dog if you have to leave home for an extended period of time, whether for work or a vacation? 
  • Does a dog fit with your current lifestyle? Are you someone who likes to travel or is highly active? 
  • Do you feel financially ready for a dog? 
  • Do you or your roommates, family, and friends have pet allergies that wouldn’t allow for a dog unless they were a hypoallergenic breed? 
  • Is there a specific breed you’re looking for? Will that breed fit your current lifestyle and environmental climate? Do you need to adjust your expectations? 
  • Are you prepared to spend time training your dog, both with the assistance of a professional and while at home? 
  • Do you already have a vet, or can you find one prior to applying for adoption? 

It might sound like a lot to ask yourself from the jump, but it’s imperative you do so for the sake of your dog. Adopting a dog is like bringing a new child into your home, and the amount of care will be similar. You want to make sure you’re absolutely ready for the commitment. 

throwing ball to dog

Understanding what you can accommodate and handle

Along with knowing your baseline requirements and accommodations, you also need to consider what you can viably handle. For instance, what type of dog are you able to deal with at this time and in the coming decade? Ask yourself questions like:

  • What size dog can you physically handle? 
  • What’s the biggest dog you can have in your living space? 
  • Is there a size your dog can’t grow past? Think about how they will grow if you’re getting a puppy, as larger breeds might not fare well in smaller homes and apartments.
  • Do your roommates and family have a preference for the size of the dog? 
  • Can your car accommodate a large dog breed? 
  • Do you already have a dog? What size will work best alongside them, both for comfort and to keep them both safe?

A dog’s routine 

Beyond finances and physical space, it’s smart to think about your future dog’s routine. In particular, do you have the time for a dog? Your dog will need to be fed and walked a few times a day, sometimes more, depending on the age of the dog. How will this affect your decision? Consider the following: 

  • Do you have the time to exercise your dog on a daily basis, at least a few times a day? 
  • Can you play with your dog whenever they’re especially energetic?
  • Do you think you can calm your dog down when they’re too energetic, say while you’re on a work meeting?
  • Can you occasionally step away from your work to take care of your dog, particularly if you work from home?  
  • Will you have the time to groom your dog on a regular basis? 
  • Do you have the time to train your dog after adopting them? Will you continue to set aside time to train them even as they age? 
  • Will you take the time to work on their poor behaviors, teaching them to not jump on people, be on the bed unless approved, and not to scratch at the legs of the furniture? 
  • Will you set aside time to bond with them after the adoption process is completed? 
  • Do they have a medical condition? Will you be able to set aside the time to care for them on a daily basis, besides their basic canine needs? 

Will a dog stretch your budget too thin? 

We’ve mentioned it a few times, and the time has come to discuss it: finances. Do you have the finances to appropriately care for a dog? 

basic annual dog costs

Basic annual dog costs tend to be, at a minimum, around $1,400. But that only covers food, bedding, and basic vet care. Costs can become much higher with minor changes, whether your dog is growing and needs a new collar, harness, bed, and food bowls or if they need serious medical care. 

The adoption cost is just the start of your payments. After that, you should take your dog’s monthly costs into account when budgeting. Here are some of the basics that can add up rather quickly: 

  • Puppies and stray dogs may need to be spayed or neutered
  • State, county, and city licensing 
  • Veterinary care for annual checkups
  • Veterinary care for other medical conditions and needs
  • Collars, dog ID tags, and leashes
  • Potential professional training courses
  • Doggy daycare
  • Overnight housing when you need to travel
  • Dog sitters for vacations and travel
  • Dog walkers if you work away from home
  • Microchips
  • Regular professional grooming or home tools for grooming 
  • Daily food costs
  • Healthy chews like bully sticks
  • Bedding, blankets, and crates
  • Toys, plushies, and lawn entertainment
  • Cots and gear for outdoor comfort
  • Water bowls, bottles, and more
  • Leashes, collars, harnesses

dog with ball in mouth

What to do if you’ve been approved to adopt a puppy

So you’ve been approved and you’re adopting a puppy? They’re sure to be over the moon from being adopted, introduced to their new family, and invited into their forever home. 

Here’s what you’ll need to make sure they’re comfortable when you bring them home. And the following doesn’t just stop at puppies. Adult and senior dogs can benefit from the following tools and goods, too. 

Schedule an appointment with your vet

Schedule an appointment with your dog’s vet once you know you’ll be picking them up. You should schedule it for soon after you welcome them into your home. This will ensure you’re able to get all of their vaccinations along with performing a routine physical to check their overall health. 

Bedding, blankets, and a crate

While you might feel compelled to let them sleep in your bed, you probably shouldn’t start them off with it. You’ll want to establish boundaries in the home so they maintain some of their individual characteristics; otherwise, they’ll become too dependent and separation anxiety will be a serious issue if you ever have to travel without them. 

Similarly, dogs appreciate having their own spaces! Whether it be a cozy, isolated bed or a crate where they can be left alone, they enjoy having space where they can relax by themselves. 

Be sure to get a proper crate and bedding for your dog to safely train and transport them, along with giving them a place to rest. 

Food and water bowls

Beyond getting a crate for training, sleep, and the occasional time-out, you should buy a good quality food and water bowl. Make sure you get something durable. You don’t want something made of plastic which your dog can bite through and end up eating. We recommend getting stainless steel bowls, as they’re easy to clean and hypoallergenic. 

dog bones and chews

Food, treats, and more chewy goodies

Now that you’ve got bowls to feed and hydrate them, you’ll want to find the right goods to satiate them. For daily food, you should look for healthy dry dog foods that will benefit your dog’s overall health, rather than feeding them overly-processed kibble.  

Along with that, you should reach for all-natural, long-lasting dog chews that will taste great, improve their dental health, and better their nutritional intake. Our 100 percent natural dog chews and dog bones provide just that. Your dog is sure to love the smell and taste of them, all while being able to gnaw on them for a good amount of time. 

Browse Dog Chews

Toys, plushies, and whatever they can tear apart

Don’t let your dog tear apart your couch cushions or their blanket. Give them some essential toys and plushies that they can get their energy out with. Large stuffed animals are a plus, as it will give something for your dog to both snuggle up with and throw around. Whether it’s a fluffy bison or a big sock monkey, they’re sure to fall in love with it. 

Collars, harnesses, and leashes

You’ll want to get the right walking tools for your dog. That means finding harnesses and collars that physically fit and match their personality. 

Harnesses are great for dogs that tend to pull, as the distribution of pressure will calm them down during your walks. But you can never go wrong with a collar, especially one that is customized to their personality.

You’ll also need to think of what leash you need. State leash laws dictate the maximum length leash you can use in public spaces, both for the safety of your dog, other dogs, and bystanders. Ensure you’re following the rules, both for your dog’s safety and the safety of those around you.  

Brushes, shampoo, and other grooming essentials 

You can always call a professional, but it’s more affordable to regularly groom your dog at home. Buy some dog-specific shampoos and a sturdy wire brush to regularly clean their coat. It will keep them looking fresh and revitalized. 

Cleaning supplies 

Lastly, accidents will happen. Your dog is getting used to a new space and schedule, and you might not get them outside before they need to “go.” Stock up on various home cleaners to take care of any accidents that happen, whether it’s a bathroom mistake or a smell you just can’t get out of the carpet. 

Welcoming your dog into your home with open arms

Now that you’ve been approved, all there’s left to do is bring your new dog home. Ready to welcome them with open arms, whether from the shelter’s front doors or when taking them from their foster parents? Show up with dog chews to keep their attention during the drive home. 

Or keep them for once they get home and you want to put them at ease. They’ll be sure to relax once they have one of many bully sticks to chew and gnaw on.

Shop Bully Sticks

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