How to Adopt a Dog:What to Expect When Adopting a Dog

Most dog shelters have the same rules when it comes to the adoption process, and it looks like this:

  • Submit an application for adoption
  • Go through an interview with one of the shelter’s counselors and meet rescue dogs
  • If you pass the interview and the pooch you chose is the right fit for your family, you might need to pay a small adoption fee before bringing them home

By following this set of steps, shelters try to ensure that people who adopt dogs are not doing it on a whim and that they are capable of providing care, love and a long-term home for their would-be four-legged protégés.

However, it’s important to be aware beforehand: shelter interview questions are going to be personal and intruding for some people. Each shelter has their own particular interview procedure, but most tend to structure them like an honest conversation rather than an exam you need to pass. Once you realize that all those questions are just there to ensure your future furry family member goes to the right hands, you won’t have a problem answering them.

  • What is your family situation? (how many kids are in the family and how many adults, does everyone in the household want to adopt a dog)
  • What is your housing situation? (do you live in your own home or are you renting one, what kind of property you have, are you planning to move in the near future)
  • What is your previous experience with pets and do you own any animals right now? (number of pets, history of having pets and what happened to each of them, do you know how to socialize a pet into a new family)
  • What is your work situation? (are you able to assume financial responsibility for the new pet, how long are your work hours and the commute, will you be leaving your dog alone for long hours due to work)

These are all general questions meant to determine if you’re suitable to take on the responsibility of having a dog. They might seem like a bit too much, but they are absolutely essential. Just think of it this way – when you know that moving away is the number one reason for rehoming dogs , followed by strict landlords, financial issues and lack of time due to work responsibilities, these personal questions instantly make much more sense.

  • What kind of lifestyle do you have? (are you an active, outdoorsy person or not, will you take the dog with you on vacations/social events/etc., are you in a relationship and how would a dog fit into that)
  • What’s your knowledge about rescue dogs? (are you prepared to train and socialize a dog, do you know that sometimes dogs end up in shelter because of abuse and neglect and never fully recover, why do you want to adopt this dog)