Thursday, October 17, 2013

Best Practices for Adopting a Dog

This month is Adopt a Shelter Dog Month. There are so many deserving dogs waiting for their forever homes in animal shelters and all of them deserve the love that they seek. Of course, it's always important to think before you rush out and adopt a dog. Our friend, Vanessa, is a special guest contributor today. She's sharing some important tips for adopting a dog, which I think are perfect for Adopt a Shelter Dog Month. 

Photo via jeffreyw

The following is a guest post written by Vanessa Unger. 

Is your family, friend or loved one ready to adopt a furry friend? Adopting is always the best option when you are ready to add an addition to your family, but what are the things you should consider before doing so? Here are a few adoption practices you should consider before welcoming a dog into your life.

  • Consider the breed for your current lifestyle: Even though you have loved a yellow lab since you were a child, does not mean this breed will be a perfect match for your current lifestyle. Make sure you study the dog breed and how much exercise he/she may need. Dogs vary in the amount of exercise they need, therefore learning about exercise levels is important before adding this addition into your life.
  • Consider a senior pet: People have negative connotations toward senior pets, but these animals need a home just as much as the adorable puppies do. Senior pets require less exercise and may demand more help with old age, but these animals provide just as much love.
  • Logic first, Heart second: The moment you see that puppy or dog, your heart will melt. Try your best to set your emotions aside and think logically. You don’t want to adopt a dog for the wrong reasons. Unfortunately there are a lot of dogs out there that need a home but this does not mean the wrong home. Be aware, logical and clear when bringing a dog into your family and make sure the environment is the right one.
  • Foster First: Fostering a dog is a great way to see if you can handle the responsibility of a dog before committing to a new family member right off the bat.

Benefits of Fostering a Dog


  • It can help a dog transition from a shelter to a regular home environment. A dog from a shelter is only familiar with living in a cage every day and will need help with feeling more comfortable in a home environment.
  • Fostering creates a safe environment for puppies. Puppies are too young to be adopted, therefore it gives the puppy enough time to find a forever home.
  • The shelter can gather information about the pet while it’s being fostered (behaviors/habits) with a family. This makes it easier for a shelter to place the dog with the correct family in the future.
  • A fostered dog can easily be socialized while temporarily living with a family and can blend with other pets in the house.

Photo via Fido Factor 

Consider the responsibility and ask yourself the correct questions.


Is this the right time to adopt a dog? If you are the type of person that works more than 40 hours a week, this is not the right time to adopt. Have you made sure your neighborhood is dog friendly? Where is the closet vet/24-emergency, park or hiking trails? Do you have neighbors that also walk dogs during the day? 

About the AuthorMy name is Vanessa and I am a content writer and social media manager for eBay Classifieds. I write content for our eBC blog, which mainly focuses on pet-related posts and a mix of upcoming holidays and tech-related posts. I love pets and have always lived with them (dogs and cats) and grew up around house pets as a child. I enjoy going to the movies, exercising and going shopping. 

23 comments:

  1. Hmm work more than 40 hours a week...guess we are not good candidates to adopt. :)

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  2. Wise points but we just dived in feet first and we were lucky it worked out well with both. Have a tremendous Thursday.
    Best wishes Molly

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    1. Sometimes it works out for the best! I've done the same thing in the past.

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  3. The dogs will show you exactly what you need to do too!

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  4. The point: logic first/heart second is hard to manage :o) Thanks for a super interesting post!

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    1. It is definitely hard to manage Easy... so many times I wanted to bring home a cute little furry.

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  5. Those are all great points. I can see where fostering would be great.

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  6. We did a lot of research before adopting. We wanted to focus on a breed although we planned to rescue. We originally just wanted one dog, but ended up with littermates, and we wanted to work with a rescue group who were good people and would match us with great dogs - they did a perfect job. And our third dog came from another rescue who is a great dog/human match maker :)

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    1. That's awesome Kimberly! There are a lot of wonderful breed specific rescues out there too.

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  7. Great advice and everyone wins when a foster turns into adoption! Love Dolly

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  8. Excellent advice and information here.

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  9. Great post! I love the advice about fostering first!! That is a great idea!! Hugs, Francesca

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  10. That's a great idea fostering first, sometimes they just don't fit in the household. Great post xxooxx

    Mollie and Alfie

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  11. My first two dogs were more jump in dogs, the second two were more carefully screened. They have all worked out for us, but I do suggest people think hard. The rescue we worked with for the current two has a 30 day "probation" period for all adoptions. Because they know sometimes even with all the research some pets just don't fit.

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  12. Some great ideas...fostering is great to get the pups used to the home environment.

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  13. Great advice and I love to give tips to my friends that I've learned from my own mistakes. I always want mutts since they often get overlooked. I chose my first dog based on her appearance but I didn't know anything about dogs at the time. I chose my second dog based on her mischievous personality but didn't realize she was so high energy (that's a little harder to gauge with mixed breed puppies). My friends were really turned off by a rescue organization that was requiring people to be fosters first. A trial can be a good idea but could have the potential to turn some people off from adopting and push them into buying, especially if they don't really understand what's being asked of them. In this case, the dog would still be adoptable while in foster care - it's kind of a weird program. I convinced my friends to go to the local shelter instead - they bought their first dog from a breeder and were ready to go back. Thankfully they adopted from a shelter. That was a close call!

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    1. You know that is pretty interesting. Glad you were able to push them towards adoption at least!

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  14. "Logic First, Heart Second" Yep...and that's what keeps me out of shelters cause yes, I want to bring everyone home with me...Great post!

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  15. Great article-guest post. Yes the "logic first, heart second" is a tough one for me too. Basically if I go to a shelter to "look" I am going to "choose".

    I remember 9 years ago after loosing our first cairn terrier and looking to adopt a second one from a local cairn rescue group, we were TOLD that we were unacceptable as adopters because both my husband and myself still worked a 40 hour work week! I was astounded, knowing that we had our first cairn terrier Tessa for 16 years and that we had given her a wonderful and loving home. But I guess things work out like they should, because we got Gracie from a breeder and it's been love ever since. Funny thing is that shortly after that my husband started working from our home. All of our cats are adopted/rescued, so the entire fur menagerie benefited by having someone at the house most of the time!

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    1. That's crazy. I mean, it's awesome that they are looking out for the pets like that but the dogs probably do really need homes...

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  16. Fostering to see if you can cope with the responsibility of looking after a dog is a great idea. If your dog shelter does not foster its dogs, then another way of seeing if having a dog is right for you is to volunteer some of your spare time and actually help look after the strays. Dog shelters always seem to be short of staff, and I am sure most would welcome the help.

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  17. Like a lot of other people I have a lot of trouble with the "logic first, heart second" advice. Don't make the mistake of visiting a dog shelter if you can't take one home with you! I absolutely love dogs, but I know I just don't have the space or time to properly look after one right now.

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    1. For some reason, I have excellent self-restraint when it comes to this LOL... maybe it's all those years working as a vet tech and not taking any animals home with me permanently. I have the same mindset as you... it's mostly about realizing your limits I think.

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