Though it may seem like a simple afternoon, adopting a dog from a rescue shelter is anything but that. Shelters don’t want people to pick a dog they like the look of. It takes time to get to know your dog.

Shelters want to ensure that you and your chosen dog are a good fit personality-wise and lifestyle-wise. They want to ensure that the dogs will be happy and healthy and that their new owners won’t just bring them back to the shelter again. For these reasons, the adoption process can take a while, as it involves the steps below.

How to Successfully Adopt a Dog into the Family

The first step is to go online to the pet shelters near you. They typically have the full list of available dogs for adoption. You can filter your findings by age by breed (whether chihuahuas, labradors, or German Shorthaired Pointers), and you can find a young dog, an old dog, or a puppy if you want. You can apply to adopt when you find a dog or dogs you like.


You must then complete the online form to adopt the dog. This form requests various information, all of which are geared towards ensuring the dog will suit your family and vice versa.

Get to Know Your Dog

This is important for both you and your dog. It would be best if you learned a few key things, such as whether you are allergic to them, whether you get along, and even what needs your dog has. Many dogs in shelters either have or go on to develop anxiety for various reasons.

They may have lost their first home because they were abandoned, their owner died, or other sad reasons.

CBD products from are a great place to start helping your new dog stay calm and happy, but that’s just the start. Here are seven tips to help your dog relax if they struggle with anxiety.

You also need to ensure you can provide a safe, calming home and a consistent routine that will help them stay healthy and happy.

Home Visit

Ensure you have everything ready at home for your new family member; home visits allow rescues to ensure everything is up to par. Typically, getting to know your dog after the shelter involves a home visit, but those are now put on hold to keep everyone safe during these times of the pandemic.

Instead, shelters now prefer that you live within an hour of the shelter, that you follow shielding rules, and then you can take the dog to be rehomed. A trial period will be to see if the dog is the best fit for your new family.


Previously, about 10% of rehomes or fostered dogs ended up as an adoption. Today, they are as high as 25%, so there is an excellent chance your rehomed pet will become your new family member.

If you love your rehomed dog and want to make them a permanent member of your family, you can then adopt. Adoption costs are often higher than many people think, but that’s because the shelter takes care of the vaccinations and various other health procedures on your behalf, meaning the cost can save you massively compared to buying a puppy from a breeder.

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