How to Adopt a Dog

Woman with her dog in a park

Are you ready to bring home a new furry family member? If so, you may be wondering, “How do you adopt a dog?” At Rescue Vets, we strive to make the process as easy as possible while still ensuring that rescued dogs are matched to the right home. Learn how to adopt a dog and what you can expect from the adoption process, no matter where you adopt!

What Do You Have to Do to Adopt a Dog?

For starters, you’ll need to find a dog you want to adopt. Once you’ve found a dog that you think might be a good fit, you’ll generally need to complete the following steps:


Typical application questions include:

  • Your contact information
  • List of people living in the house
  • List of any other pets
  • Whether you own or rent
  • If you have a fenced yard
  • Any restrictions on animal ownership where you live
  • Contact information for your veterinarian
  • Information about any recent pets
  • References
Woman with newly adopted dog

Meet and Greet

Once your application has been accepted, it’s time to meet the dog you’re interested in! At Rescue Vets, this involves bringing all the members of your household to meet the potential pup. Some shelters or rescues will also do a home visit at this stage.

Complete Adoption

You’ll need to sign your adoption contract, pay any necessary fees, and pick up your new pup!

How Long Does it Take to Adopt a Dog?

So, how long does it take to adopt a dog? The answer to this question can vary from a couple of hours to a couple of days depending on the organization you’re working with. The shelter will need time to process your application, check references, and contact your veterinarian. If you have to schedule a home visit in addition to a meet and greet, that can add some time to the process. However, a successful adoption is worth the wait.

Adoption Considerations

To ensure you have a successful adoption, you’ll want to make sure that you’ve really thought through your decision to adopt, as well as the type of dog you’re looking at. Before you plan on bringing home a fuzzy friend, consider the following:

  • Your Schedule: Dogs require a time commitment. Does your schedule allow you enough time to care for a dog? Will you be able to let them out regularly? If not, can you afford to pay someone to walk them while you’re at work?
  • Your Budget: Food, collars, leashes, and toys can add up. You’ll also need to plan for routine vet care, which includes things like heartworm testing, heartworm preventative, vaccinations, and stool samples. And, just like humans, dogs can also experience emergencies from illness to injury that require veterinary care.
  • Your Lifestyle: While you may love the look of an Australian Shepherd, you may not have the time and energy to keep this spirited working breed entertained and challenged. Any good shelter or rescue can help you find a dog that will work with your lifestyle- whether you’re a marathon runner or only marathon movies from your couch.
  • Your Future: Dogs are a lifetime commitment. While you may not be interested in kids today, if you think you’ll want them in the next 10 or more years you’ll want to look for a dog that is family-friendly. You can’t predict the future, but you will want to keep in mind long term plans and goals when adopting.

Meet Our Adoptable Dogs Today at Rescue Vets!

Now that you can answer the question, “What do you need to do to adopt a dog?”, come meet our adoptable animals at Rescue Vets! We can help match you to the right dog for your family, and walk you through how to adopt a dog today!