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Adopting a dog: everything you need to know Adopting a dog: everything you need to know

dog adoption

Adopting a dog: things to be taken into account beforehand

Before you embark on the process of adopting a dog, it’s a good idea to consult your family. Have you thought about why you want one? Ask yourself that question, and give yourself an honest answer. Adopting a puppy or an adult dog is not a decision to be taken lightly. He’ll be a part of your life and your family for a good long time.

Take the following into consideration:

  • A dog implies a series of expenses. Food, hygiene, and vet’s bills, for example.
  • He’ll need attention and exercise. You’ll need to have time to spend with him. Is he going to be at home on his own for more than 8 hours a day? If this is the case, then adoption is not a good idea.
  • It’s a lasting commitment. A dog, above all if adopted, or a puppy, can live for around 15 years. Think about what you’d like your life to be like in a few years. Perhaps in 5 years’ time you’d like to have children, in 10 change your job, in 15 move house. And then consider how your dog fits into your future plans.
  • There are rules about keeping pets. Check that your block or your rental contract permits you to have a dog in your home, and that all of your family are in agreement.
  • Your new friend will need understanding. A dog can do his business in your house, or break things. Are you happy to accept this, and to train him?

¿Why adopt?

According to the Affinity Foundation, 104,688 dogs were abandoned 2018. When you adopt a dog, you’re actually saving two lives: the life of the dog you adopt, and that of the one that may be taken in by the dog’s home thanks to the space left open by your new friend.

Furthermore, rescue dogs are very grateful to you. Each day you’ll see how he returns the love and affection you give him ten times over. And he’ll encourage you to get out of the house, get some exercise and meet other people. So, what’s not to like?

What requirements are there for adopting a dog?

If you and your family have already taken the decision, please note the requirements for adopting a dog, and avoid surprises:

  • You must be an adult (over 18 years of age)
  • The animal shelter will interview you or ask you to complete a questionnaire to get to know your lifestyle.
  • You’ll need to sign a contract, committing yourself taking good care of the dog. This may include him being sterilised, if he hasn’t been already.
  • If the breed of dog you want to adopt is among those considered potentially dangerous, you’ll need to have a licence. The animal shelter will be able to provide you with information, or you can visit your local council to find out how to get one.
  • Once the adoption has been formalised, the animal shelter will follow up with you. The aim is to make sure that both you and your dog have adapted to your new life.

The adoption process: How much does it cost? Can you adopt an abandoned dog?

The cost involved varies.

There are some places where it’s free, whereas in others the interested party must pay an adoption fee. This is around €100-€150. It includes part of the cost of vaccinations, the microchip and sterilisation that the animal shelter can take care of - it’s usually cheaper this way than paying a private clinic. And of course the money will go towards the welfare of other animals in need.

If you’ve found an abandoned dog, and you want to give him a home, first of all you need to find out if he really is lost and alone. Take him to a vet’s or to the local police station so that they can read his microchip.

If he doesn’t have one, the best thing to do is to report having found the dog to the police. If after 20 days nobody has claimed him, you can legally adopt him.

Tips for adopting the dog that’s best for you

You need to have a clear idea of your own lifestyle, the space and the time you have available before choosing a dog. Don’t worry, we’re here to help you.

  • If your flat’s a small one, it might be best to adopt a small dog.
  • If you live in a house with a garden, or in the country, you’ll have space for a bigger dog, or even a giant breed, such as a mastiff.
  • If you lead a sedentary life, you should choose a dog that’s not too energetic, or perhaps an older dog that won’t need much exercise.
  • If you have an active life, you’ll need one with the energy to keep you company on your walks.
  • If you have lots of neighbours, you’ll save yourself problems if you choose a quiet dog that doesn’t bark too much.
  • If there are children in the house, a good choice is a sociable dog that’s easy to train.
  • Remember that an adult dog’s personality is already developed, which means that you’ll be able to see if he’s suitable.
  • On the other hand, if you adopt a puppy, he’ll need more training and patience on your part. He’ll need to learn to do his business outside the house, and he’ll chew at everything he finds as his teeth come through, but you’ll be by his side at this exciting stage of his life!

Where can you adopt a dog?

Local associations and animal shelters are the perfect places for finding dogs up for adoption.

The staff and volunteers really understand the dogs in their care, and will be able to advise you on choosing the most suitable one. Moreover, you and your family will be able to meet the dogs and interact with them.

Adopting a dog and welcoming him to your home can be a simple process. But before taking the decision, do think about it carefully. Think about yourself and your needs. In this way you’ll make the right choice of a loyal furry companion who will be right by your side on this marvellous adventure.

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