The Ultimate Puppy Adoption Guide

If you’re looking to bring a puppy into your life, the adoption route is an excellent way to go. By adopting a puppy, you get all the benefits of raising a puppy, plus the good feelings stemming from providing a home for an animal in need. There are a lot of steps to follow from the point that you decide to adopt a puppy, to the point that your puppy gets acclimated to your home.

To help you navigate the puppy-adoption process, we wanted to put together a guide of the various components involved in puppy adoption.

Where Should I Adopt a Puppy?

Naturally, the first step to adopting a puppy is to locate where to do so. There’s a wide variety of shelters and animal rescues where you can adopt pets, especially puppies. You can even start your adoption search on PetPlace. Browse our vast network of shelters and rescues to find "adoptable puppies near me.”

Depending on the location, there could be a variety of puppy breeds available or only one or two to choose from. Spring is a particularly popular time for puppy adoption, so if you’d like to have a variety to choose from, spring would be an ideal time to do so. No matter what breed of puppy you adopt, with the right training, love, and care, you’ll enjoy a wonderful, long relationship with your puppy.

Once you’ve identified the location and precise puppy you want to adopt, there’s usually an interview process that the shelter or rescue will conduct to make sure you and the puppy are a compatible fit.

Some of the questions that are asked include:

What’s Your Housing Situation?

Certain dogs will do better in certain home environments. For example, larger breeds require plenty of room to roam around, so if an adopter lives in a small studio apartment, that’s not the best fit.

How Old Are Your Children?

Some dogs do better with children than others.

How Many Pets Do You Have?

All dogs have unique personalities. Some personalities make socialization with other pets easy; others are more difficult.

Do You Have Any Previous Experience with Animals?

Not having pet experience will not bar you from being able to adopt a puppy. They will just ask you this question to see if there are some other pieces of information about raising a puppy you should know before bringing one home.

What Is Your Budget for Puppy Care?

Providing a wonderful home full of love and happiness is essential for a puppy to live a long and healthy life, but so are visits to the vet, vaccinations, and spaying. The shelter or rescue that you are adopting a puppy from will want to ensure that you’re aware of the subsequent cost of puppy ownership. They’ll provide you with an approximate estimate of the costs in your puppy’s future, and help you carve out a budget.

Getting Your Home Ready for a Puppy

Once you’ve decided to adopt a puppy, it’s time to prepare your home for their arrival. The first thing you’ll want to do is get supplies that your puppy is going to depend on. Bedding, food and water dishes, puppy-formulated food, treats, a crate, safe toys, toothbrush and paste, leash, collar, grooming supplies, and any pet-specific cleaners. All of this can be found at your local pet store.

Once you’ve got your puppy supplies, it’s time to puppy proof your home. Puppy proofing entails keeping your puppy safe from several potential household threats. This includes toxins such as bleach, rat poison, slug bait, antifreeze, medication, and even plants. Ensure that none of these items can be accessed by your puppy.

Also, make sure all trash is secure and fastened, as all the smelly items inside your trash will make your puppy want to dig around. Pick up clothing, small toys, and other objects that may be accidentally ingested by your new dog.

Lastly, look at your home’s electrical cables and make sure they’re not exposed. Puppies love to chew things, and chewing on an electrical cable is extremely dangerous for them.

Find a Vet Before You Adopt

Before you go and adopt your puppy, find a vet in your area that can serve as your puppy’s primary veterinary service. Your puppy will need to have a regular vet for their vaccinations and checkups, but you also need to know where to take your puppy in case of an emergency. If your puppy accidentally eats something, cuts themselves, or is sick, you’ll want to know exactly where to take them to get urgent medical care.

You also want to get as much medical history as you can about your puppy when you adopt them. Not all puppies will have a complete medical background, as pups are sometimes brought to shelters and rescues without prior information. When you take your puppy to the vet for the first time, which you should do in the first week that you have your puppy, your vet will ask for any medical history that you have.

Regardless of whether you have medical history for your puppy or not, you’ll want to keep a paper record of every vet visit you make with your puppy. Most vets will keep a file for your puppy, but it’s always nice to keep a file for yourself, just in case.

Questions to Ask a Shelter or Rescue

The more information you can get about your puppy, the better!

Ask the following questions at the shelter or rescue to help your puppy’s transition:

Searching for “puppy adoption near me”? Find adoptable pets in your area on PetPlace.