HOW BIG?Most dogs are full grown at around 18 months old. You'll want to know if the dog is already full grown, and if now how big he'll get. Find our if there are any restrictions on the size or breed of dogs allowed where you live.
|Think about what size dog is right for you.|
Ask about the attributes of the breed(s) so you know what to expect. Energy level and tendencies of the breed are import. If you’re looking for a hiking or running companion then a high energy dog such as a Border Collie might be the right companion for you. If you prefer a mellow dog that doesn't need much exercise, a Siberian Husky would not be a good fit!
WILL SHE SHED?What's your tolerance for shedding? Just because a dog has a smooth coat or very thin hair that does not mean she won’t shed. If you want a dog that sheds very little or not at all, ask if the shelter has any non-shedding breeds or dogs that are mixed with a non shedding breed such as the Poodle, Maltese, or Bichon Frise.
|Is shedding a concern? Dogs like Phoebe don't shed one bit! We think she's a Havanese mix.|
Sometimes shelter staff and volunteers won’t know for certain, but at many shelters and rescues they can tell if a dog likes people and other dogs. They do this by behavior assessing the dog and interacting with him on a daily basis. If they have play groups for the dogs they’ll be able to tell if he’s dog friendly or if he displays aggression towards other dogs.
I HAVE ANOTHER DOG AT HOME, WOULD YOU DO A MEET AND GREET?Sometimes people who already have a dog worry about bringing another dog into the home. Ask the shelter to arrange a meet and greet with your current dog and the one you want to adopt to see if they get along. If they can’t accommodate, make sure you can bring the dog back if he doesn't get along with your current dog(s).
WHAT IS INCLUDED IN THE ADOPTION FEE?Ask what’s included in the adoption fee and what additional costs you might incur. Most shelters and many rescues will have the dog spayed/neutered and include that in the adoption fee. Vaccinations required up to the dog’s current age, such as Rabies, may also be included. If you’re adopting a puppy, vaccinations and spay/neuter may need to be done later, at your cost.
|Isis and Phoebe are both very dog friendly, so they became BFF's very soon after we brought Phoebe home to join our family!|
Ask if the dog has been treated for any illness or injury at the shelter, or if they are aware of any medical issues. If so, ask about follow-up care, prognosis, and potential costs. Kennel Cough and other respiratory illnesses are common in a shelter environment. Some shelters will send you home with necessary medications for minor ailments. Ask if the dog's illness is contagious and what precautions may be needed if you have other dogs at home. Ask about known behavioral concerns as well and how best to handle them.
WHERE DID THIS DOG COME FROM?You can ask whether the dog was a stray picked up on the street, an owner surrender, puppy mill or hoarder rescue. Most will probably be strays with little background information, but ask if there is any information on the dog’s history that might be helpful.
Asking these 8 questions will help you make the best decision about which dog is right for you, and you’ll know what to expect as you bring your new best friend home with you!
What other questions do you think are important to ask when adopting a new pet? Please leave us a comment!
THIS IS A RASCAL AND ROCCO PET PARADE BLOG HOP!!!