Welcoming a new furry member of the family can be very exciting! But before you bring your new dog home, you have to find your new dog first! Adopting from shelters can be a rewarding experience and some of the best dogs out there are waiting for you at adoption centers. But it can also be a little scary if you don't know much about the adoption process. We're here to help! Here are some tips you can use to prepare yourself for adoption.
Make the adoption process easier by doing your research first. If you find a particular dog at a shelter, or if you find a shelter you're set on visiting, read up on them first. Some shelters require adopters to have a fenced-in yard. If you don't have a fence, that's fine, since your dog can get plenty of exercise at parks or on a leash. But it does mean that you shouldn't visit shelters that require a fence, because they likely won't let you adopt. Do your research and find a shelter whose requirements fit your lifestyle.
You'll need to fill out a form when you are interested in a dog. This form differs from shelter to shelter, but with every shelter, you will need to fill one out. Below are some numbers that you might need to provide on the application:
- Landlord's Number: If you rent, you'll need to provide your landlord's phone number so that the shelter can make sure they allow pets.
- References: Not all shelters require references, but some do. These are personal references (usually not family members) that can speak on your behalf on your capability to care for a dog.
- Vet's Number: If you already have pets, you'll need to provide their veterinarian's number so that the shelter knows that you take them to the vet on a regular basis.
Some shelters want to visit your home with the dog before you adopt. This is for a couple reasons. Often, shelters want to make sure you have a clean and safe space for the dog to live in. The visit also might be to introduce the dog to other animals or kids.
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You might also need to talk about how you'll take care of the dog. How will you discipline? How often will you go outside with your dog? This helps the shelter find the right fit for you and help educate you on training techniques if needed.
Every adoption process is unique, but with these tools, you might find your process going much more smoothly. Now get out there and find your canine comrade!