Dog Adoption Checklist

Hand with pen over application form

Congratulations on adopting a dog! You are on the path to a wonderful and rewarding relationship. Because adopting a new dog comes with a lot of change for both them and you, we’ve compiled a checklist to help make the transition as smooth as possible.

General Questions

  • Do you have other pets and how will they react to a new pet?
  • Is your home suited to the dog you’re considering?
  • How will your social life or work life affect your ability to care for a dog?
  • Do you have a plan for your pet during vacations?
  • How do the people you live with feel about having a pet in the house?
  • Are you intolerant of hair, dirt and other realities of sharing your home with a pet, such as allergies?
  • Does your household/family have health issues that may be affected by a dog?
  • What dog breed is the best fit with your current lifestyle?
  • Is there tension in the home? Pets quickly pick up on stress in the home, and it can exacerbate their health and behavior problems.

Dog Size Considerations

  • What size dog can your home accommodate?
  • Will you have enough room if your dog grows to be bigger than expected?
  • Do you have another pet to consider when choosing the size of your dog?
  • How big of a dog can you travel with comfortably?

Dog Items

  • Food and water bowls
  • Food (canned and/or dry)
  • Collar
  • Four to six-foot leash
  • ID tag with your phone number
  • Hard plastic carrier or foldable metal crate
  • Dog bed
  • Doggy shampoo and conditioner
  • Nail clippers
  • Canine toothbrush and toothpaste
  • Brush or comb (depends on your pet’s coat length and type)
  • Super-absorbent paper towels
  • Sponge and scrub brush
  • Non-toxic cleanser
  • Enzymatic odor neutralizer
  • Plastic poop baggies (biodegradable ones are best) or pooper scooper
  • Absorbent house-training pads
  • Variety of toys (a ball, rope, chew toy and puzzle toy are good starts)
  • Variety of treats (such as small cookies, larger rawhides, etc.)
  • First-aid supplies
  • Baby gate(s)
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