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Checklist for Adopting a Dog

Checklist for Adopting a Dog

Having a checklist for adopting a dog will help prepare you for the arrival of your new canine family member and will also help ease the transition for the dog itself.

Asking the right questions and advanced planning can help you find the right pet for your family.

Adopting a dog checklist

Are you ready to own a dog?

  • Are you ready to have a dog?
  • Can you afford food and health care for a dog?
  • Do you have time and money for training a dog?
  • Does your landlord allow dogs?
  • Are you allergic to certain dogs?
  • Are you able to have a dog in your current living situation?
  • Do you live in an environment that is compatible with the type of dog you want?
  • Do you have a plan for the dog when you experience life-changing events such as moving, marriage, having a baby?
  • Do you have someone to look after your dog when you travel?


If you’re unsure about any of the above, it would be wise to wait and give some more thought to adopting a pet right now.

Once you have determined that your household is ready to have a dog, you will want to determine what size and breed of dog is a good match for you and your family.

Questions to ask the shelter, breeder or owner

When researching dog breeds or meeting your potential new family member, find out as much as you can, including the following;

  • How much daily exercise does this dog require?
  • Is this breed difficult to train?
  • Are you a registered breeder?
  • What is the temperament of this breed like?
  • Does this dog shed?
  • How much food to feed per day?
  • Are the worming and vaccinations up to date?
  • Does this breed get along children?
  • Are there common health issues experienced by this breed?
  • Are there behavioral challenges typically associated with this breed?


If you’re ready to move forward and adopt a dog, there are a few things you can do in advance to make your dogs transition into your home as smooth as possible.  

You should select a veterinarian and have their information readily available (or even saved in your phone).

You may also decide to look into training courses for them and find a local groomer. Having basic supplies set up will also make your dog’s homecoming a smoother transition for all.

Basic supplies to consider buying

  • High-quality food
  • Bowls
  • A few toys and chews
  • Leash and collar
  • Dog bed
  • Toilet pad/grass patch
  • Worming & flea treatment
  • Grooming tools (brushes, dog shampoo, etc)
  • Training treats and other training tools


If you think that your new dog may need some safety management around the house when you’re not watching, it may be worth looking into purchasing a comfortable kennel or dog playpen fence to create a safe and secure area for them.

If you are getting a puppy or a dog that may need house training, you will want to have plenty of clean-up supplies available within easy reach.

Having a checklist for adopting a dog and preparing in advance may help with a smoother transition during this exciting period and will also allow both you and your dog to spend more time getting to know and trust each other.


Find your dog family member

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