25 Things You Need To Know Before Adopting A Dog

by Kim Boateng Last updated on August 26th, 2017,

If you’re going to adopt a dog (instead of buying one from a breeder), let us first congratulate you on the decision. As heartbreaking as it is, almost 3 million dogs are euthanized in the US every year, so adopting a dog from a shelter is definitely a praiseworthy option. Your new dog will get a second chance at life and you will get a new, loving best friend. Yet, there are still some things that you should keep in mind before the adoption. To be ready for this life-changing event, check out these 25 Things You Need To Know Before Adopting A Dog.



big and small dog

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If you are about to adopt a puppy, make sure you know how big it will be once it is an adult dog. If you live in a small apartment without a yard, go for a smaller breed. Greyhounds also do well in apartments.



vet visit

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Adopting a dog from shelter is usually free but your new furry friend will definitely require money. You will have to pay for vet visits, dog food, toys, grooming etc.



Woman with Dog Puppy

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Owning a dog is a lifetime commitment. Your new four-legged friend will develop a strong bond with you and become a new member of your family so you should be ready for the responsibility involved in that.



walking dog

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Training a puppy requires a lot of time and patience. If you don’t have it, choose an older, house-trained dog.




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Make sure to pick a dog that matches your activity level. If you are a coach potato, adopt a French bulldog or a pug, not a retriever.



dog surgery

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Having your dog neutered or spayed can be quite expensive and somewhat guilt inducing. But don’t worry, neutered dogs are usually calmer and healthier and it is also the only way to make sure that no unwanted puppies are born.



dogs running

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Every dog needs regular exercise. However, that involves about just as much exercise for you too as running around a lively puppy can be very exhausting. So be ready for that.




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It is important to brush your dog regularly as it prevents tangles and reduce the risk of skin irritation. If you think you might not have time to do that, choose one of the short-haired breeds that are generally more low-maintenance.



hairy dog

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Talking about hair, getting a dog also means you will have dog hair all over your house, no matter what breed you pick.


Dental care

dog teeth

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Yes, your dog needs to have his teeth cleaned too and no, he will not be able to do it by himself. You will be the one who will take care of that.


Chewed-up shoes

Chewed-up shoes

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Most dogs love chewing up shoes and the probability of finding your new dog chewing up your favorite pair of shoes is quite high. This can be avoided with training and vigilance.


Broken things

dog playing

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Shoes are actually not the only things that will be in constant danger of getting damaged. Anything from pieces of furniture to crystal vase can get destroyed by your playful doggie.


Dangerous plants

dog sleeping

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There are many houseplants (such as dieffenbachia, lilies, oleander etc.) that can be toxic to your dog. Before you bring your new best friend home, make sure to remove all plants that might be dangerous to him.


Harmful food


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There are also many foods that dogs should never be given. These include even some seemingly innocent foods such as chocolate, avocado, onion, and/or chicken bones.


Dog sitting

dog waiting

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There might be come a time when you will need to leave your new furry friend at home alone. Therefore, make sure you have a reliable friend or family member to take care of your pet once you are out.


Dog accessories

dog bed

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There are supplies you should definitely get before adopting a dog, including a dog collar, leash, ID tag, food and water bowls, grooming tools, toys and – of course – a dog bed.


Finding a vet


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Finding a good, experienced vet is one of the most important things you need to do before bringing your new doggie home.



dog manicure

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Dog´s nails should be clipped regularly. If their nails are too long, it can have a negative effect on their gait. So yeah, be prepared to do your dog manicure (or to pay for someone else to do them).




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When it comes to picking the name for your dog, you might want to wait a few days to study his behavior, which can help choose the right name but it is always good to have a few options in hand.



dog in car

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When traveling with your dog, there is one thing you should always bear in mind – never leave him in a car as temperature inside a car can skyrocket in a matter of minutes. Sadly, many unfortunate dogs die locked in over-heated cars every year.


Fleas and ticks

checking dog for ticks

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Especially during warm summer months, dogs are prone to attract fleas and ticks. Learn how to check for them and how to remove them safely. Furthermore, be sure to keep them on a consistent flea control regime.



dog food

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Don’t forget to provide your doggie with the right amount of good food every day. The nutritional needs of your pet will vary as it grows.



dog drinking water

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While food can be served to dogs about once or twice daily, they should always have access to fresh drinking water.



dog socializing

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It is recommended to start socializing your dog as early as possible. Exposing your dog to other people and animals will make it more stable, confident and less fearful.



dog licking owner

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Don’t let the items on this list scare you. Dogs are AWESOME and worth a place in your life. They will give you so much joy and happiness that you will regret not getting one sooner. So what are you waiting for? Go to your nearest dog shelter and get yourself a BFFF (Best Fur Friend Forever).

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