Adopting a Dog

Adopting a Dog

Dog adoption is one of the best decisions you can make when looking to bring a new companion into your life, and it's one of the most rewarding experiences you'll ever have. Every year, thousands upon thousands of pets around the world are discarded by owners who simply don't want them or can't look after them. Many of these pets end up in long term shelters – some aren't so lucky. But it's thanks to dog adopters such as yourself that these pets get a second chance at a loving family home and a happy life.

How Adopting a Dog Works

The dog adoption process can differ a little depending where you are and what shelter you're dealing with, but usually it follows a similar pattern.

It typically begins with you filling out some paperwork to ensure you'll be a good fit for adopting a dog.

The next step is for you to meet some of the dogs up for adoption and see which one you like best. Once you find a dog you like, the next step is usually a trial take-home period.

Why a trial period? Well, it's simply to make sure the dog will be a good fit in your home environment. You might love a dog in the shelter, only to find she starts acting differently once you get her home. There are many reasons why a dog can behave differently when brought into a new environment. So the trail period simply lets you make sure the dog is the right one for your home before you make a commitment to taking her permanently. This helps ensure dogs don't simply end up back at the shelter a month after their adoption.

Does Adopting a Dog Cost Money?

Yes, it does cost money to adopt a dog, but usually this cost is simply to cover necessary fees such as vaccinations and registration.

How much does it cost? This will vary depending on where you are in the world and the particular place you adopt from, but typically the full cost will be somewhere between $100 and $300. That may make adoption seem like an expensive option compared to getting a puppy – but it's not, when you consider what you're getting for that money. With a new pup, you not only have to buy the puppy but also go through the process of microchipping, vaccinations, spaying or neutering and so on – all of which are usually covered by adoption fees.

The Benefits of Adopting a Dog

While many people wonder why anyone would want to adopt an adult dog and miss the cute puppy phase, there are many big advantages to adopting a rescue dog.

For starters, rescue organizations endeavor to make sure all their dogs are housetrained to make them as adopt-able as possible. That means you don't have to go through the rather frustrating process of housetraining a new dog, which can often take up to 6 months to get right 100%.

You'll often find shelter dogs are trained in various other ways. It can be a huge hassle just to teach a dog basic commands like 'Sit' and 'Come.' Not only may a rescue dog already be trained in these basics, but the fact that they already understand how the training process works makes it easier to teach them new commands. In other words, they have already 'learned how to learn.'

Also, all shelter and rescue dogs are usually spayed or neutered, or this will be covered by adoption fees. That means if you don't want to breed your pet (which you shouldn't, unless you are a professional breeder) you don't have to worry about getting that handled yourself. Spaying or neutering has a tendency to make dogs less aggressive (especially males) and it can reduce or eliminate the risk of certain diseases, including some types of cancer. Not to mention – the reason there are so many dogs in rescues and shelters to begin with is that too many unwanted puppies are born, either because people allow their dogs to 'go wandering' or because of people with good intentions who breed their pets without really knowing what they're doing.

Downsides of Dog Adoption

Of course, occasionally problems can arise with an adopted dog. While rescue and shelter workers strive to make sure they train out any potential behavior problems before offering a dog up for adoption, old behavior problems can sometimes reappear after a dog has been in a new home for several months. You have to bear in mind that it may take some time for a dog who has had a hard life to adjust to a loving family home. Get yourself a good training guide, make sure you provide plenty of affection and get into a regular obedience training routine as quickly as possible and you shouldn't have any major problems.

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