Adoption checklist

Here are the top considerations to think about before you make the decision of getting a dog, and thebasic preparations, you can help ensure that your new dog’s transition from homeless to homebound will be a smooth and rewarding experience for both of you.


1. COMMITMENT Adopting a dog can be a 10, 15, even 20 years commitment. Are you ready for the rewarding experience – and real commitment that comes with having a dog?

2. CHALLENGES Are you prepared to deal with the common challenges that a pet can present? ‘Accidents’ from dog’s who perhaps aren’t yet housetrained, chewed-up cushion or unexpected medical emergencies are unfortunate but common aspects of dog ownership.

3. CHOICE While your heart may be set on a certain look/breed of dog, it is really important to choose the right dog for your living situation and lifestyle. For example, some small dogs such as terriers are very active—they require a great deal of exercise to be calm – sometimes big dogs are laid back and quite content to lie on a couch all day. An Adoption consultant at Oscars Arc can help you to decide what is best for you.

4. TIME Do you have time for a dog? Dogs need love, exercise, stimulation and companionship every day of every year. Many dogs in the shelters are there because their owners didn’t realize how much time it took to care for them.

5. CONVENIENCE A dog is a part of your family and will need to be considered when making many decisions, including travel, social life, and moving home etc.

6. FAMILY If you’re adopting because your kids want a dog, understand that the care of the dog will most likely end up being your responsibility.

7. PERMISSION Are you allowed to keep a dog where you live? Many landlords don’t allow dogs, and most rental communities have restrictions.

8. PREPARATION Is your property escape-proof? Before you adopt, make any necessary modifications to your yard and fence for your dog’s safety and to prevent him/her from escaping.

9. COSTS Veterinary care, toys, food and perhaps boarding kennel if you travel? There are costs to dog ownership; are you willing and able to afford it?

10. TIMING Is it a good time for you to adopt a dog? For example, if you are a student or if you travel frequently, is today the right time to get a dog, or would it be better to wait until you settle down?


The first three weeks with a new dog in your home is the most important – and often the most challenging! Be understanding of this. Your dog must get to you and get comfortable in his/her new surroundings. Here are a few basics that will help ensure that your newly adopted dog’s transition from homeless to homebound will be a successful and rewarding experience.

1. IDENTITY Your adopted dog will already be fitted with a microchip. You would have ensured he/she has a collar and ID tag. Never remove these items – if your dog ever gets lost, he/she can easily be identified and returned to you.

2. UPON ARRIVAL Take our dog out for a walk or bathroom break. Introduce the dog on a lead to his /her new home and let him/her figure things out for a few hours with you supervising.

3. SOCIALISATION Your new dog needs your patience and affection. Shy and nervous dogs might need a bit more time to settle in and build new confidence. Your dog will also needs daily interaction with you – and others. Strive for structure and consistency in your dog’s daily routine to give a sense of stability as a member of the family.

4.TRAINING BASICS It’s important for you to help your dog learn what behaviour is appropriate and that which is not. Here are some tips to develop desired behaviour(s):

• When the dog does something good, be sure to let him/her know! Happy praise and affection really helps a dog know what is desirable behavior. Never yell or hit a dog when displaying inappropriate behavior. Punishment like this can make a dog fearful of you

• If a dog is engaged in an undesirable behaviour, distract the dog with a loud “oi” or clapping of the hands and then calmly re-directed him/her to an appropriate activity.

• Make undesirable activities impossible to perform by being proactive For example, don’t let objects lie around that might be chewed, corner off no dig areas and go on your haunches to greet the dog instead of him jumping to greet you.

5. HOUSETRAINING Not all adult dogs are housetrained. Don’t worry – it’s not difficult to successfully housetrain your dog:

• Take your dog out on leash frequently. Start by walking him at half hour intervals.
• If you see your dog sniffing and circling in the house, calmly take him/ her out immediately.
• Praise and reward him with a treat (cookie) when he/she relieves himself outdoors.
• Never yell or punish your dog for an accident in the house. Only ever reward the positive action- i.e. relieving outdoors.

6. LOVE Enjoy your new journey with your adopted dog. It

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