Things to know before adopting a dog


There are so many things to know before adopting a dog. For example, most of us will melt at the sight of a cute new puppy, but did you know that there are several equally adorable older dogs seeking a forever home? 

For several years now, rescue centres have been struggling to provide enough space for all the animals that are brought into their care, so choosing to adopt a pet from a rescue is the option that many people find to be the most rewarding. 

Whichever path you take to find your new furry friend, here are a few things to consider before making a decision. 

Is Adopting Better Than Buying a Puppy? 

Whether you choose to buy a puppy from a breeder or adopt one from a rescue centre, the first and most important step is finding a reputable breeder or rescue. The temperament of your new  dog is going to be a very important factor, and a reputable breeder or rescue will take the time to test their dogs. So, be sure to research, research ..and research some more, before deciding on a breeder or shelter. 

If you’re struggling to decide which dog is the best choice for you, a reputable rescue centre will be able to help you figure out which breed, temperament, age and size of dog will make  the perfect pet for you and your family or circumstances.  

Sadly, dogs are given to rescue centres for several reasons: Ill health, bereavement, the unexpected cost of caring for the dog, behavioural issues, and so on. If you adopt a dog from a centre, you will need to have enough time to give them the love, care and attention they need to adjust to their new circumstances. 

Essential Things to Know Before Adopting a Dog

Before adopting a pet, take all the time you need to make your decision. When visiting a rescue centre, you may become tempted to accept the first dog you’re presented with. However, there are a few things to consider before making a choice. For example, do you live in an apartment or a house with a garden? Are you out of the home for several hours every day? Do you have children? 

Doing your homework on the breed of dog, their traits, requirements, and associated costs before making any commitments will lead to a more successful and enjoyable adoption when you do find the right dog to bring home.

Adopting from a Shelter

Adopting from a shelter can be a very rewarding experience. It’s a wonderful feeling knowing that you’ve offered a second chance to a pet. However, shelters may not always be able to give you a full overview of a dog’s history, health and vaccinations. Therefore, it is important to plan for any financial responsibilities that may arise from owning a dog. 

At the same time adopting from a shelter can also introduce you to a network of people who will offer help, advice, hints and tips to start you on your new journey.

Understanding the Cost of Adopting 

Dogs are expensive. Even if you adopt a pet, there are several costs associated with responsible dog ownership.

Whether you adopt a dog or are given a dog that needs rehoming, there will be ongoing costs such as spaying or neutering (£150-300), food costs (£20-100 per month), collars, leads, bedding (£100-500), annual boosters and vaccinations (£40-80), worming medication (£10-15 per month), grooming costs (£20-50). There will inevitably be other costs too, for example, cleaning products, dental care, liners for the car, toys..

Your Dog Will Need Your Time and Attention

A new dog will be incredibly loyal in exchange for your love and affection. Your daily routine will need to be modified to work around your dog. You’ll need to plan for daily walks and to let your dog outside every few hours. 

You will need to plan time in your days, evenings, and weekends to spend with your dog – you cannot expect to be out at work all day and then go straight back out for the evening without first giving your dog some time and attention. 

Different breeds need different levels of attention, grooming and exercise, however, all dogs have the potential to become destructive if they are not offered sufficient stimulation. 

Plan for your four-legged friend’s play and exercise time and this can become a fun and rewarding part of every day for both of you.

Learn about rewards, treats, toys, and comforters, and read up on how to massage a dog effectively. Taking care of a pet involves much more than simply feeding and walking them. 

A Dog is for Life 

Dogs can live for a very long time. Depending on the breed, they can live for 10 to 20 years. Whilst life can always have unexpected twists and turns, try to think ahead before entering into pet ownership. Are you planning any changes in the coming years? Will you be moving house, starting a family, changing jobs, etc? 

Taking time to think ahead and choose the right breed and timing will pay dividends for years to come.

Be Patient with Your New Pup

Be patient with your new pup – a rescued dog has possibly had difficult experiences before being adopted and might need extra time to adjust emotionally. They may need to learn to trust people again, or they might still be looking for a former owner, following a bereavement. 

The shelter will be able to help you with some guidance on the best ways to settle your new pet, so that they are able to relax and bond with you.  

Before bringing your pet home, be sure to do your research on how to make sure your puppy’s first night goes smoothly

Puppy Vs. Dog?

Puppies require a lot of commitment at the start when it comes to potty training, obedience, walking to heel, etc.

You will also need to be on hand to take them outside regularly until they are mature enough to control themselves. Puppies can also chew a lot as they go through the teething stage. 

If these issues are likely to cause problems, you might want to consider adopting an adult dog. Adult dogs, however, may have had more time to develop complex emotional needs, so gather as much information on your pet as possible and take your time making a decision about what sort of dog is right for you and your family. 

Dog-Proof Your House

Before welcoming a new puppy or dog into your house, take time to see from their height whether certain medications can be accidentally accessed. What electric cables are on the floor? Are your plants safe for dogs? 

You may also need to find the perfect spot for your dog to sleep and rest comfortably. Where is the perfect spot in your home, away from sudden noises and interruptions? Do you know how to keep your dog cool in the summer and warm in the winter? 

Often, a shelter will send someone out to visit you at home to ensure that and your home are ready for your new dog. 

A Dog is Man’s Best Friend 

There’s no denying it, a dog can make a wonderful companion. Their big eyes looking up at us can quickly steal our hearts. Dogs are sensitive animals and will want to share our highs and lows. Whether you come back home after 5 minutes or 5 hours the welcome is the same. 

Whether you are buying a puppy or adopting, there are a seemly endless number of things to know before adopting a dog.

The best thing you can do to give your new best friend the best chance of being truly happy in your home is to research as much as possible before making a decision. See this as part of your essential preparation for becoming a responsible pet parent. This small investment of time and effort will pay off for many happy years to come. 

Sign up for our exclusive PetCare™ Plan today and give your new pet the best start to their new life.