10 tips for adopting a dog

We are living in the middle of a pandemic and it’s become obvious that many families are investing in new puppies to “curb the boredom” of lockdown. Most people are only permitted to head out for a walk once or twice a day, and with more people working from home than ever, the rates of adopting a new dog are on the rise. Adopting a dog has a ton of benefits and most of them are not considered before the adoption takes place. Adoption is one of the most selfless things that you can do for a dog who has been waiting for a loving home for some time. Dogs up for adoption often have predictable personalities and it’s these that make you feel secure when adopting a new pet for the family. The best bit about adoption is that you are rescuing a dog from a shelter life, giving the space for another dog who needs it.

A lot of families choose to head to https://chocolatelabradorretriever.ca/lab-puppies-for-sale and buy a new puppy so that the dog can grow with the family. Puppies are always a lovely idea for a young family, but there are many out there that prefer to adopt a more senior dog who is already aware of what it’s like to be around people. Most are also already house broken, and that means they are ready to move in with a family most of the time. Before you go ahead to your local shelter, it will help to know everything that you can to make adoption the best option for your family. To that end, we have ten tips for you below that will give you some pause for thought before you go ahead and adopt your new dog!

Image source: Pexels

Prepare for the time this will take

Did you know that the adoption process can be a long one? New dogs should never be something you invest in on a total whim. This dog is going to be in your life for some time, with a minimum of (hopefully!) a decade of life ahead. This life is going to be shared with you, with your dog being loyal to you the entire time. You need to think about the kind of dog you want and the temperament that you want from your dog, too. Make a list of the things that would be must-haves and nice-to-haves, from the breed to the size of the dog. When you adopt a dog, you have to go through stages of home visits, paperwork, choosing whether your children will be open to the idea of a new dog. You can find a match for your family when you stop envisioning the TV ideal of the perfect dog and color of their hair! So, before you go in, know that this will take some time to iron out.

Choose a breed rescue

If you are finding it hard to look for the right dog – or any dog, to fit your family – then perhaps looking to a smaller breed is a good idea? Smaller rescues often don’t have large websites or a lot of money and your contribution to them can keep other dogs looked after while they await new homes. Smaller rescues also often offer specific breeds, so if you have a breed in mind, you’re going to do far better with a smaller rescue than a large home. Of course, it goes without saying that you should do a background check first and be thorough about it!

Go local first

So many people choose to rescue dogs from countries abroad, taking the time to go through quarantines and injections and this can be pretty pricey. The thing is, vets are worried about imported dogs and most of the time it’s because those bringing them over don’t go through the appropriate channels or get the right injections. These dogs are also often brought here on forged passports, which is not ideal! If dogs are improperly bred or bred in poor conditions, the impact of undetected foreign disease can be detrimental for the family. Rescuing from abroad may be the fashionable thing to do, but it’s not always the best thing to do.

Visit more than once

Before you bring a dog home from a rescue go and see them a couple of times. Rescue dogs need to be reassured of your commitment so a few visits will help you to do that. It gives you a chance to meet them and bond a little, and they get a chance to know that you’ll come back for them. It’s a good way to build up some trust. The first visit should be just you but the next one should be with the children if you have any. This way, your dog will know what to expect when you take him home for good.

Get a history

You should never take home a dog without a full medical history from the rescue center or breeder. You need the paperwork and the reputable places will vet-check the dogs on entry.

Image Source: Pexels

Ask questions

You shouldn’t take your new doggy pick home until you have assessed their training and behavior needs. Not all dogs are house trained or lead trained, though most are. This will help you to get classes in place so that you can ensure that they are trained properly in no time at all.

Take him to the vet

Within the first week of rescuing your dog, take him to the new vet so that they can get acquainted and a check-up can be completed. It’s tempting to keep your dog at home but the best thing to do is have the checkup to determine any required vaccinations and flea treatments.

Buy pet insurance

You may have already thought of this one as you choose to have a dog, but pet insurance is a must. Not only this, but you want to have the right type of pet insurance. There are tons of different types but with older dogs and the increased likelihood of needed treatment later on, the bigger the pet insurance the better.

Start getting the house ready

There is a chance that you’re not bringing home a tiny puppy, but your rescue will still need to feel safe and secure. Having a dedicated quiet space for him to escape to is a must, and you need to ensure that you have puppy pads ready for those nervous urinators! Install a dog toilet space outside the back and have the lead hung in plain sight of their bed – which should be appropriately sized and comfortable.

Lower your expectations

As much as you need to settle in with a new dog, your dog has to settle with you, too, and this will take some time. Adoption takes time to settle and you need to get to know each other!

When you choose to adopt a dog, you are choosing to commit yourself and your family to the love of another being. This means taking time and being patient. Your dog may be nervous, he may cry and he may not feel settled for some time. It’s very important, then, that you give your family and your dog the time they need to get used to each other. Once you do that, you can enjoy a happy dog in a happier house, knowing that they will have forever with you to be loved and love you back.

** This was a contributed post.

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how much is that doggie in the window

Adoption2Lately, I’ve been pining for another dog. It seems to be that I experience the infamous ‘two-year-itch’ not in relationships, but with animals. We owned Holly for two years and one month before we adopted Truman. In turn, we’ve had Truman for twenty-three months. Now, for the past few weeks, my heart has been yearning for another pet.

On the Saturday following Black Friday, two local rescue organizations hosted two different Adoption Days. Somehow, I had managed to get the day off. My husband and I loaded up our dogs into the vehicle, and in addition to running errands, ended up attending both of these events. It was a high of -20°C that day, and felt more like -40°C. If it wasn’t for the two events, I wouldn’t have left the house.

Adoption5At first, Geoffrey was against adding to our pet family. He had even refused to come inside the first Adoption Day. He sat in the vehicle with the dogs while I went inside. A few minutes later, I get a call on my cellphone, and there he was. I felt so happy. 

Adoption3We bought some coffee and baking and made a donation to the organization, We All Need A Rescue. Then we walked around, played with the rescue dogs, talked to other interested individuals, and ran out to the vehicle to check on our own dogs.

I always find these events to be such an eye opening experience. I long to give each and every dog a home. Yet, considering that there were over 80 of them needing a rescue, that would be impossible.

Adoption4After leaving, Geoffrey admitted that he would like another dog. I said that I wanted two more. We settled on possibly getting just one. 

Adoption8New Hope Rescue’s Adoption Day was next on our list. We had attended one of their events last year. You can see that post here. It was very different this time around, and felt more like a madhouse. The greenhouse was also hosting a Christmas craft sale. It was next to impossible to actually get to see any of the dogs, but I did play with one and talk to her foster dad for quiet awhile. She was gorgeous. 

Adoption9We finally made it home later that afternoon. I was exhausted and overwhelmed. I felt like we did our part in donating to these shelters, but was also feeling guilty for not being able to help them all out.

Adoption11The next day, I went to the SPCA Shelter to take one more look. Of all the organizations that we had just seen, the SPCA is the one that makes me feel the most guilty and sick to my stomach. Here, they do not have foster homes, and the animals look incredibly on edge in their little cells that are often dirty. I did fall in love with a beautiful girl named Cora that was ready to go home that day. However, until our house is completed, we can’t adopt anyone just yet.

Adoption10After being hit with the reality that we aren’t quite ready to take in another animal, coupled with the fact that I wouldn’t know which one to choose, I’m beginning to come to the realization that maybe my two-year-itch will have to go unfulfilled. Truman is finally out of his puppy stage, and Holly probably doesn’t have many more years ahead of her. Right now, our lives are bordering on contentment. Do I really want to change that? (Yes, I do!)

In the meantime, and until we are ready, I’ll just keep donating to these shelters. 



who will rescue you

IMG_1.jpg IMG_2.jpgIMG_3.jpg IMG_4.jpgIMG_5.jpg IMG_6.jpgIMG_7.jpg IMG_8.jpgIMG_9.jpg IMG_10.jpgLast Sunday, one of our local animal rescue organizations hosted a St. Patrick’s Day fundraiser. They chose a greenhouse as their venue, and although they were mostly confined to the lobby, with the amount of dogs and foster parents that were present they ended up taking over the entire building. My husband and I were skeptical about going, only because I have never been able to visit a shelter without leaving with a new family member. My own mother learned this the hard way when one act of volunteer work at the Humane Society turned into an adoption of a Saint Bernard named Dolly. I was worried that I was going to adopt a dog that day, while Geoffrey was worried that I was going to adopt a dog that day. Yet, we wanted to show our support for those animals that were looking for their forever homes. I put my own emotions aside for the afternoon, and we made our way over to the fundraiser.

What an amazing event. The volunteers had really put a lot of work into different ways to raise money for the organization. There were treats for humans and animals, merchandise, and a 50/50 draw. Each adoptable dog was dressed up in green and photographed individually for the website. The foster parents were all very friendly and encouraged you to ask about the available dogs even if you were not looking to adopt. The fact that the greenhouse also doubles as a pet store made it an even more fitting choice for a venue. My parents made it there before we did. Afterwards, my mum and I got to talk about which dogs we wanted to adopt. To my husband’s relief, we did walk away empty handed. I think the luck of the Irish was with him that day. He most definitely will not be so fortuitous the next time around.


  • Hello! My name is Emory. I am a wife, mother of four (three on earth in heaven). This is our life on the Canadian prairies.
    email: helloscarlettblog@outlook.com

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