We’re thrilled when someone comes forward to adopt one of our pups. Most often it means a long and happy life with their forever family, but sometimes adoptive families choose a dog that just isn’t a good fit for their household. For the Sake of Dogs asks every adoptive family to sign a petition that promises the safe, and healthy return of any dog that doesn’t work out. Regardless of the reason, we offer all our dogs shelter for their entire life, no questions asked.
While we try to screen adopters by asking lots of questions about their lifestyle and work habits, there’s no perfect formula to ensure the dog and their human(s) are a sure fit. That’s why we’re so thankful for the many families who send us photos and videos of their happy FTSOD dogs who are thriving and doin’ what dogs do!
Here are a few critical questions you might ask yourself and your family members if you’re thinking about adopting:
- Be realistic about your lifestyle and energy level. If you’re a couch potato, don’t adopt a dog who needs lots of exercise. Adopt a dog with the same or lower energy level as you. Likewise, if you work long hours or travel frequently, don’t adopt a puppy. They need lots of time, training and attention. Adopt a laid-back older dog instead and get a pet sitter while you’re away.
- Who else lives in your home? Do you have young children or other pets? It’s important to adopt a dog that will fit in safely and happily with all the members of your household. If you’re new to dog parenthood, have small children at home, and a demanding job, getting a young, unsocialized or energetic dog might not be a good idea. You would probably do better with a chill, older dog who’s happier napping and cuddling.
- Think critically about your future. Do you want kids? Plan on getting married? Every year, thousands of dogs are left at shelters because “family circumstances” changed. For a small number of people, there are life-altering changes that mean saying goodby to their beloved pet. But most people simply decided to have a baby or get married, and a dog becomes less of a priority. These are extremely common events in a person’s life. Plan ahead.
- Do you have a high-tolerance for fur and slobber? If you keep an extremely clean home, think hard before adopting a dog who sheds a lot or slobbers everywhere. Some people don’t mind the extra time it takes to brush their dog every day to reduce shedding or wipe slobber from walls. Be realistic and don’t get swayed by how cute that 15 pound Corso puppy looks. An adult weighs over 100 pounds, which means you’ve got alot of cleaning ahead of you.
- Remember that some dogs behave differently at shelters or in public adoption events than in their own homes. Shelters and public places can be loud, stressful places for dogs. They might act shy or aggressive in these environments but be perfectly-behaved in a quiet, safe home. Give them a chance.
- Observe your potential new family member. Watch how the dog behaves as other dogs and people engage with him. Yes, we just said that some dogs behave differently at home and in shelters. But you can still learn something about a dog’s energy level, interest in play, and how he gets along with other dogs just by spending a few minutes watching.
- Rely on the experts. Most animal shelters have adoption coordinators trained to help you adopt the perfect dog. Use this free service! At FTSOD, our rescue owner Barbara has been working with all types of dog breeds for decades. If you’re really concerned about choosing the right dog for your family, talk to her! She can help you choose the right breed, age and temperament – and sometimes that may mean waiting until the right dog comes along.
- Adopt! There are hundreds of thousands of neglected, unwanted and abused dogs roaming America. With rescue groups, animal shelters, and the power of the Internet, it’s easier today to find and adopt the perfect dog. And you might be surprised to know that many of the dogs in our care are purebreds that were abandoned by a neglectful breeder, or surrendered by owners who couldn’t afford to feed or house them properly.
We’d like to thank FOR ALL ANIMALS for these basic tips, which we have enhanced to fit our situation.