Guest Post: Preparing for Adoption

Adopting a pet is such a humane thing to do. 

Kudos to you, wonderful humans, for making the world a better place and helping our furry buddies find forever homes. 

Adopting a dog is both a beautiful and a serious decision. Helping a living being to stay alive is something that requires passion, time, energy, and dedication. 

Responsibility Comes First

Having a dog requires great organization skills (if you don’t have those yet, don’t worry because a dog is a great mentor when it comes to routine and life management).

Always choose a breed and a dog that will match your lifestyle and tempo. This is why taking your time at an animal shelter to get to know the dogs is a great option. This will also give you an opportunity to speak with shelter representatives who will help you find the best dog for you and your family. After all, they spend every day caring about dogs so they know them best. 

Now that you understand how serious the decision to get a dog is and what you need to provide to be a responsible dog owner, let’s see how you can prepare for the adoption process. 

Dog Adoption

When it comes to dog adoption, preparation is the key. 

Adopting a dog can sometimes feel overwhelming, no matter how rewarding it may be. Don’t be hard on yourself and expect to know everything right away, just do your best to prepare well and set yourself up for success.

Knowing how to meet a dog’s needs will make the transition easier for both you and Fido, allowing your bond to grow stronger, which is why having a good dog adoption checklist prior to bringing your new friend home helps. 

Get The Right Supplies 

To provide great training, you will need the right equipment. Choosing the right leash and collar is a must. 

If your current collar doesn’t fit, take your dog to a pet store to purchase those that will fit your dog’s neck. Or, better yet, you can purchase a harness instead. 

Pro tip: Buy a spare one. The adjusting period is challenging and some collar pulling and chewing may occur, so having an extra may come in handy. 

You will also need:

  • Identification tags
  • Crate
  • Carrier
  • Dog bed
  • Food and water bowls
  • Nail clippers
  • Brushing tools
  • Dog shampoo
  • Toys 
  • Dog treats
  • Dog food
  • Poop bags

All of these items can be found at your local pet supplies store. 

Prepare Your Home

It’s important to create a safe environment for your new pet. This is especially true if you’re getting a puppy or a senior dog. 

Puppy proof your home before your pup arrives. Puppies are curious and always ready to chew on almost anything. 

Talk with your family members about dog-related obligations, walking, and training schedules. Make sure that you are all on the same page to make the transition as easy and seamless as possible. 

Do you have cats or smaller pets? If so, make sure that you introduce them slowly, and in a safe and calm environment. Give them some time to get used to each other. 

Create A Safe Space for Your New Family Member

You need space when you are upset, scared, or just feel like not talking to anyone, right? That’s how dogs are designed as well. 

Some dogs are sensitive, others are afraid of loud noises, while some are afraid of fireworks – this is why creating a safe space for your pup in their new home is important. 

If you don’t want to use a crate, you can use a pet gate to create a room just for your Fido. 

To help the bonding process, visit the dog’s space often, serve treats, and keep children and other pets away at first – until house dog rules are fully implemented. 

Plan the Transport

If your workplace offers PAWternity leave, that is great! This way you can organize everything on time and without extra stress. However, if that’s not an option, you should take a few days off work to plan transport if need be.

Pro tip: Do not pick him/her up during your yearly vacation. This way, Fido will not learn to believe that you are home constantly, which, later on, can cause them to develop separation anxiety. 

Separation anxiety is very common in adopted dogs, so do extra research on that topic to learn how to prevent it. 

Show Your Dog His New Home

Keep your dog on a leash to let them explore and sniff inside your home. Show them where to find food and toys, and introduce them to other family members, both human and animals. 

Show him/her areas that are off-limits with ‘no’ or ‘leave’ commands. Use the yard as a place to teach him/her how to walk on a leash. 

Adopted dogs should be given extra time and space to sniff out anything new surrounding them.

Extra Tips for Adopting a Dog

You will learn more things along the way, but these tips should help you to make the training and care process easier and stress-free. 

  1. Gradually transition the dog’s food
  2. Start training right away
  3. Get them checked by a vet
  4. Do not forget to microchip!
  5. Let your dog adjust – do not rush 

Adopting a dog is a serious decision and a big life change for both you and your animal. 

Covering basics is just a start. 

You will have many challenges along the way, but you will love every second of it! Last but not least, if adopting a dog is something that you see as a humane thing to do then think about adopting senior dogs that can have a harder time finding FURever homes. 

Senior dogs also need extra love, attention, and support to get through shiny (and not so shiny) senior years. 

Plus, you can always teach a senior dog new tricks, no matter what people may tell you. 


Guest Contributor: Barking Royalty


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At HSNEGA, we want to remember the amazing rescues that come to stay with us. All of the animals pictured on this site have been with us at some point. Some have already found their forever homes, but some may still be here at HSNEGA! The Humane Society of Northeast Georgia is a 501(c) (3) non-profit organization (Federal Tax ID #58-0678817) and has received top recognition from the following charity rating organizations:

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