During the past two years, the world witnessed a rise in pet adoptions, especially dogs amidst a global pandemic. Millions of Americans adopted dogs as they make the best companions and give unconditional love.

Dogs are compassionate, empathic, and, most importantly, dogs can make everyday fun and cheerful when joining your family.

Having a furry creature at home is like having a pampered and loyal best friend with you all the time. And the whole process of bringing a dog home is an exciting and big commitment. Make sure to consider all the aspects related to dog adoption carefully.

From looking for reliable pet insurance for dogs to deciding which dog food is the best - everything plays a crucial role when adopting a dog.

To make dog adoption a smooth process for you and your family, we’ve curated a list of 5 crucial tips to keep in mind during your decision process. The below list will take you through a common list of things that you should consider before welcoming your new four-legged friend into your life.

5 Tips To Help a Successful Dog Adoption

1) Look for Dog Breed that Suits Your Lifestyle

Before adopting a dog, you should try getting to know different types of dog breeds as they play a significant role in the behavior and needs of the pet.

Pet parents with hectic schedules need to take into consideration what type of dog breeds are less active, and still keep in mind that a dog should not be left alone for long periods at a time. A more laid-back dog breed that doesn’t need as much activity includes Basset Hounds, Shih Tzu, and pugs.

Also, each dog breed has its own unique characteristics; that may line up with your lifestyle and way of living, or not. For example: if you have an allergy to dog hair, you must look for a breed that has a non-shedding hair coat like American Terrier or a hypoallergenic dog such as a poodle.

Along with behavior and personality traits, different dog breeds also determine the size and activity level. Talking about the size, dogs like dachshunds or french bulldogs are small, whereas German Shepherds and Rottweilers are big. That being said, considering the size before the adoption is significant because if you live in a small condo or house without a backyard, you may not have enough space to spare for your big dog who will require much more room to stay mentally and physically happy.  When considering large breeds, it’s best to ask yourself if you have enough room in your backyard to let them roll in the grass? Or do you have the time to frequently take them to dog parks and on long walks.

Similarly, if you’re into traveling or adventure sports, you should look for an active dog like a Siberian Husky or Labrador Retriever; so that it can accompany you on your adventurous journeys. In contrast, a chihuahua or pug will not be suited for the great outdoors or love diving into lakes at the cottage.

2) Finding The Right Dog Shelter

Adopting from an animal shelter or rescue group is a great way to provide any dog with a comfortable and cozy second home. It is also the ideal option for tackling pet abuse, giving a loving dog a second chance at a happy life and also helping with overpopulation when considering a kill shelter. Shelters provide a home to stray dogs, homeless dogs, and dogs that are abandoned by their owners or so-called pet parents.

All dogs crave love. Some of them have experienced abuse or ill-treatment in their past life, which reflects in their behavior and will require their new human to be a very compassionate and patient person. If adopting a dog who came from a rough background, you must be willing to put in the time, and have patience that this dog might take a longer time to be friends with you and trust their new environment, as opposed to a puppy.  

This is an extremely rewarding outcome filled with love and a second chance at happiness for your dog should you wish to go this route. It’s recommended to visit more than one animal shelter so that you can take into consideration all the aspects of dog adoption mindfully and get to know each dogs personality and background.

3) Getting Pet Insurance for Dog

Getting pet insurance for dogs means assuring yourself and your new family member the first step in fulfilling your promise to provide all the necessary care to your little furry friend. Whether it is a wellness plan for grooming and dental, or dog insurance  for prevention and accidents, you can feel at ease knowing you are covered.

Dog health insurance makes vet visits less scary and more affordable to every dog parent.  Pet insurance for dogs also prepares pet parents and owners for any unprecedented event that may occur in the future that might require emergency attention.

If you feel that buying dog health insurance can be expensive, take a look at Wagmo’s affordable pet insurance plans and find a dog insurance plan that best suits your budget and needs by taking our dog insurance quiz today.

4) Take Care of Dog Food and Supplies

If you’re all set now with an animal shelter, the perfect breed, and pet insurance for dogs, then it is time to talk about the last steps before bringing your dog home. This is now the time to make some room for dog food, toys and supplies. Remember that every dog has its own unique appetite, body requirements, and taste buds.  Be sure to be equipped with a comfortable dog bed, food and water bowls, and some toys that are all size appropriate for the size of dog breed you will be taking home.

We suggest you take the time to also ask your local pet store and vet about the best suited diet and daily requirements of your dog to ensure optimal nutrition and wellness for their life stages - from puppies to seniors. Over time, you can introduce new food and toys to your dog but for the first few weeks let them get used to a routine with the basics.

5) Give Your Dog Enough Space and Time

For the first few weeks try to reduce your dog’s exposure and sensory time. It is not suggested to invite too many people to your home or take your dog out to crowded places; you may overwhelm your dog by doing this, and it’s important to establish trust and a bond with your dog first and foremost.

Remember, everything about their environment is brand new, and you want to establish a routine and trust with your dog to feel confident that they are safe in their new home, and get used to trusting the same faces and scents of your family.  After a few weeks you can gradually begin to introduce your dog to new experiences, such as parks and other potentially crowded places.

Give it enough space to recuperate and adjust to the new setting and have a quiet room / bed for them to retreat to, should they feel overwhelmed. Let your dog have enough space and time to grasp the system of your household and always remember that along with being super energetic, dogs are sensitive beings as well.

Pet Adoption is the ultimate way of bringing home a friend that will send unconditional love and empathy your way. The only thing you can do for any dog is to offer a home that is safe, protected, and full of love.  Making sure you take care of necessary things before bringing home your new pet will give you peace of mind.  
Wagmo offers pet insurance for dogs and pet wellness plans to keep your mind at ease when it comes to accident and illness coverage.