I have had several calls from friends and readers with questions about adopting puppies during COVID. Suddenly they had more time at home and a need for safe companionship and purpose.
At Talent Hounds, we believe Rescues Rock! and are always looking for ways to help dogs in need – building awareness, education, fund raising, donating, volunteering, fostering and adopting.
Adopting a puppy can be so rewarding but there are questions you should ask yourself and the rescue organization. It is important to get the right puppy to fit your lifestyle, budget, allergies, personality, family and home and to be prepared.
All puppies need love, care, play, exercise, socialization, training, grooming, food and vet visits. However different breeds tend to have different traits and need different amounts of exercise, training, attention, food, grooming, and space. Some shed less and are great with kids. Others love dock diving and agility. Pugs like Kilo usually love food, play and cuddles.
You and The Rescue Organization or Shelter or Breeder all want the best for the puppy so everyone needs to ask the right questions and lots of them. Homeward Bound has a very professional detailed questionnaire and contract, like many Rescue Organizations. They are experts on Squishy face dogs like Pugs as they specialize. They made my responsibilities very clear. They provided food, supplies, information and contacts (eg vet). They were super responsive and responsible. They did a home visit to make sure I had everything set up safely for Kilo.
It was me who did not really ask enough questions about pugs, or Kilo and his history. He ended up having a few behavioral issues that did not present themselves immediately. These sort of things can sometimes be easier to deal with if you know upfront and understand behavior triggers and background. Thank goodness I have access to some of the best vets, behaviorists, and trainers in North America and the resources to help him.
Are You Considering Adopting a Puppy?
Here are some questions to ask the rescue group or shelter or breeder before you adopt a puppy based on advice from experts and my own experiences with Kilo the Pug and my previous rescue dogs.
21 Questions to Ask About the Puppy:
- How and why did the puppy come into the shelter or rescue group? From a home or a breeder or a mill or the street?
- How long has he or she been there?
- Do you have his or her full history?
- How old is the puppy or dog?
- Did the puppy come in with siblings or mother?
- Do you know the breed or breed mix? What typical breed traits have you noted? Do you have any tips about the breed?
- Does he or she have any medical or dental concerns or need medication? Allergies? Weight issues? Sensitivities?
- What has he or she been eating- food and treats? How much and how often? Special diet, supplements, preferences?
- Has he or she been neutered or spayed? If not, when and where will he or she be?
- Is he or she up to date on vaccinations and tested for diseases such as heartworm?
- Since certain conditions such as kennel cough cannot be tested for, how long should I keep him or her separated from my own or other pets?
- Any behavioral issues or concerns eg resource guarding, nipping? How should they be they dealt with?
- Do you know how he or she is with kids, cats, dogs, strangers, vets, trainers? Can my children or pets meet him or her before I commit to adopting?
- Grooming requirements? How often? Any issues? Teeth cleaning? Nails? Shedding?
- Do you know how he or she does when left alone? Out in public?
- Is he or she crate trained? Where does he or she sleep? Routine?
- Is he or she housetrained? How often does he or she need to go out? Signals? Pee pads?
- Does he or she wear a collar, a harness, a coat, boots?
- How is he or she on Leash walking? Basic Obedience? Recall? Energy level?
- Does he or she like to play? Toys? Food motivated?
- Is he or she microchipped?
Questions to ask the rescue or shelter about the adoption process:
- Do you have a contract? Specific requirements for this puppy (eg fenced back yard)?
- What happens if I can no longer care for the puppy?
- What should I do if there’s a medical emergency? Is there a specific vet? Who pays for medical bills if they arise in the first few weeks? Spay or Neuter?
- Will I be required to bring the puppy to adoption events and, if so, where/when?
- Will you provide any food, supplies (such as a leash), medications, etc., or will I be expected to?
- If I have a problem, whom can I contact? If I leave a message, how quickly will that person get back to me?
- What is the process and cost?
Being well-prepared should make the adoption process more successful for all involved.
What to consider before getting a puppy and choosing a breed: https://www.talenthounds.ca/getting-a-puppy/
For Things You’ll Need When You Bring Home Your Puppy : Top 13 Things You Need for a New Puppy- Shopping List
For Tips on Socialization and Training :
Ask any questions in the comments.