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Questions to Ask A Shelter When Adopting a Dog


Congratulations on making the decision to adopt a rescue dog. Both your lives will change in a good way. Before finalizing your adoption, know the right questions to ask.

Was the dog a stray or given up by their previous owner? If it was a stray, where was it found and it what condition? If it was an owner surrender, what was the reason?

What was the condition of the dog when they were brought to the shelter?

How long has the dog been at the shelter?

How old is the dog?

Does the dog have any behavioral or medical issues?

Is there any indication of previous illness, abuse or injuries?

Does the dog get along with other pets or children?

Is the dog up to date with vaccinations and spayed/neutered?

Is the dog housebroken as best you know?

Does the dog have any special needs such as ongoing treatment or dietary restrictions?

Can you spend one on one time with the dog? Many shelters allow this in their fenced area, to get an idea of the dog’s personality.

Will the shelter take this dog back if it doesn’t work out with my family?

After adopting, it’s a good idea to keep your new dog separated from other pets for a few days to make certain there are no issues with kennel cough (and if so, it is very treatable).

Congratulations on your decision to adopt, not shop!