Adopting a dog is not always as simple as one might think. While the process of dog adoption is straightforward, especially when going to a reputable dog breeder or animal shelter, it's your own personal situation that requires a lot of thought. This dog adoption questionnaire will guide you through some of the popular questions shelters and breeders often ask of future pet owners to ensure a good fit.
While most of these dog adoption questions you'll see below will be asked of you by the staff at the animal shelter, rescue organization or any other legitimate place that are about to give away a dog into your care, I suggest you ask them yourself first to make sure that you're ready to adopt a dog and are prepared for the actual dog adoption questionnaire at the adoption center.
Legitimate breeders and shelters care for their animals, so you should expect a lot of questions from them. They want to ensure that you can take proper care of the pet, and that you're adopting the right dog for your lifestyle and living situation. So here are some of most popular dog adoption questions in no particular order that you must consider.
Dog Adoption Questionnaire
50 Things to Consider Before Going to a Shelter
1. Are you married?
In addition to this question, you will also be asked to provide the name of your spouse, or your significant other in some cases, as well as other important information like your and your spouse's occupation, working hours and contact information.
2. Do you have children?
Answering this question is important to the dog adoption center because it can help them determine what kind of dog breed would suit you the most, since some dogs are better with kids than others. You will also have to provide ages of your children.
3. Who else lives with you?
Other than your spouse and kids, you'll be asked if there are other people that will come in contact with the dog – roommates, parents, guests, etc.
4. Does everybody in your household agree with this adoption?
It is important that all members of your household are aware that you're adopting a dog and have no issues with this, otherwise there can be tension that can hurt the dog or result in many different problems.
5. Does anyone in your household have allergies or asthma?
Asthma and allergy symptoms are commonly triggered by the presence of dogs and other animals. If somebody in your household has these conditions, write it down. Your family’s health needs are a big factor and can sometimes mean you won't be able to adopt a dog.
6. Who will be the primary caretaker?
It's the main person responsible for the animal and its health and care. This includes feeding, grooming, cleaning after the dog, going to the vet and being the first person to be contacted when the animal shelter does follow-ups after the adoption.
7. Are you prepared to care for this dog for 10-15 years?
This answer will help the dog adoption place determine how responsible you are and whether you are prepared to make a long-term commitment, ensuring this is not an impulsive decision and that you've considered it thoroughly.
8. Who will care for your dog if you become ill or unable to do so?
Similar to providing your next of kin for your own personal applications and situations, you must be prepared for unexpected things to happen to you or your pooch, and make sure that your dog is taken care of even if you can’t do it yourself.
9. Why do you want to adopt a dog?
Some dog adoption questionnaires will give you boxes to check, and others will let you provide an answer of your own. The answer will show the adoption center if your reasons for dog adoption are valid (getting a dog as a gift is an instant fail, for example).
10. Where do you live?
Is your home an apartment, a house, a condo or something else? Depending on your living situation, animal adoption center can suggest suitable breed for you or even refuse you to take a dog home until some things have changed.
11. Do you own your home or rent?
Some landlords don’t allow pets, so make sure that this isn’t a problem if you are renting an apartment or house. You might be required to provide your landlord’s name and phone, so he can confirm for the animal center that he doesn’t object to pets.
12. Do you have a yard? Does it have a fence?
Most canines will go through periods of separation anxiety and may have unpredictable behavior. Adopted dogs need some time to adjust to the new situation and some of them might escape if you don’t have a fence.
13. Do you have a pool?
If you have a pool, you will be asked if it has a fence or how do you plan to keep your dog safe from falling in. While dog pools are generally a good thing for your pet's health, they can also be a dangerous place for dogs, particularly puppies, to be around.
14. How do you introduce a dog to a pool?
If you dog have a pool and the pet might have access to it, then you're like to be asked about your plans for introducing your pooch to the pool area and your understanding of pool safety for dogs.
15. Do you have a doggie door?
It's not essential to have any pet doors installed in your house, but it's not of those dog adoption questions that gives the animal shelter, breeder or rescue organization a better idea of your living area. If you do have a dog door, it's a good sign for them.
16. Where will your dog sleep?
Will your newly adopted pet sleep outdoors or indoors? What specific location will be dedicated to your pooch and will he have his own sleeping quarters? Have a plan in advance and make sure you know that your new dog will have his own space for rest.
17. Will you leave your dog alone during the day?
This question is usually followed up with “how long are you going to leave your dog alone for?” Dog adoption centers want to make sure that dogs won’t be left alone for too long, and they want to hear your plan for how much time you'll spend with your pet.
18. Where will the dog be left alone?
It's okay to leave a dog alone for periods of time, but you'll need to be more specific when answering these questions. For example, leaving your Fido alone outside can present risk for the dog and others around.
19. How often will you exercise your dog?
All dogs require regular exercise in order to stay healthy, and some breeds are more active than others. Your availability and time commitment to dog's exercise will help the animal shelter determine which type of dog is better for you.
20. Do you have enough time to play with your dog?
Exercise can be paired with playtime, but the two are different. Dogs that are bored can become destructive or aggressive, and develop all sorts of health problems. Playtime is a type of mental stimulation every canine needs.
21. Have you had a pet before?
If you can mention specific prior experience with other pets, particularly dogs, then it's always a plus on your dog adoption questionnaire. You will have to provide a list of previously owned pets in some cases, and what happened to them.
22. Did you ever have to surrender your pet to a pound or a shelter?
Returning a dog to an animal shelter is not a crime when it comes to adopting a new dog, but the dog adoption place will want to know a specific reason. So if you did, why did you do it and what happened? Be specific.
23. Do you currently have any other pets?
This is a very important question, because some dogs are not comfortable around other pets, especially dogs from rescue centers. This answer can help the center decide what dog you should get based on their behavior around other animals. They might also ask you how you plan to introduce your new dog to an existing pet.
24. Do you know a veterinarian you can go to?
Having a vet secured even before you adopt a dog is a big plus, because it shows the dog adoption center that you're well-prepared for bringing home a pet. They might ask about the veterinarian you have in mind, including that person's contact details.
25. Do you plan to spay or neuter your dog?
It's very likely the dog will already be spayed or neutered, but it's also possible that this question will come up. Make sure you're familiar at least with the basics of pros and cons of spaying/neutering, and what this means for your dog and for you as an owner.
26. If not, what's the reason?
If you tell the dog adoption center that you'd rather not spay or neuter your pooch, you'll have to provide a reason as to why. Do you have concerns of the procedure and health of the dog? Do you plan to start a dog breeding business? Any other reason?
27. Will you stay up to date with vaccines?
Your pooch will already be vaccinated if you're adopting from a legitimate breeder or animal rescue organization, but they want to ensure you know about canine vaccines, their importance and dangers, and how you plan to proceed with vaccinating your dog.
28. How often will you visit the veterinarian?
Having a dog is like having a child, and you'll need to visit your veterinarian for occasional checkups even if you don't see anything wrong with your pet's health. Regular vet checkups are extremely important for early diagnosis and prevention.
29. Are you able to cover all the vet expenses?
Your financial situation needs to be stable so you can keep your pet healthy. The dog adoption center is likely to ask about your finances and how you'll afford paying veterinary bills, including expected and unexpected expenses.
30. Do you have a limit for vet visits?
Because dogs can be costly, some animal adoption centers will want you to provide an estimate of how much money are you willing to spend on vet expenses, and you'll be able to afford any veterinary costs that couldn't have been predicted.
31. Will you purchase pet insurance?
Neither answer will prevent you from adopting a dog, but the staff may want to know about your intentions here. Depending on your new dog and personal situation, pet insurance can help you save money in the long run in some cases, but not in others.
32. How will you keep your dog’s teeth clean?
It's a very specific dog adoption question that may not come up. However, many pet owners neglect dog's teeth health, which leads to other serious health problems including death. Make sure you're ready to clean your dog's teeth and make it part of your schedule.
33. Will you take your dog to a groomer if the breed requires?
Professional grooming services can be expensive, thus you don't have to answer yes to this one. However, some breeds require a lot more grooming than others, even though you can do it yourself, taking him to a groomer once a month is more efficient.
34. Do you have a preferred gender for the dog?
If you'd rather have a female dog instead of a male, the dog adoption center will ask you for a reason as to why. There's no wrong answer, but you need to have a reason if you actually do have a preference.
35. Do you have a preferred age for the dog?
36. What traits are you looking for in a dog?
Adopting a dog that fits your lifestyle is crucial for the dog adoption center to ensure you won't return it. Think about your personality and living situation, and write in a great detail about the traits you'd like so you can receive a dog that will suit you perfectly.
37. Are there any behaviors that would be unacceptable to you?
Some dogs and their personalities might be a deal breaker for a pet owner. It's not a bad thing to mention this to the animal shelter before adopting a dog. Whether it's a breed that is more aggressive than others, a dog with serious case of separation anxiety or something else, write it all down.
38. How do you plan on training your dog?
Regular exercise and playtime are one thing, but dog training sessions is a completely different ball game. Training your dog is the first step to having a well-behaved dog. You might also be asked how much time you can dedicate to training your dog, whether you're aware of how long dog training sessions might take and any essential dog commands.
39. Will you hire a professional dog trainer?
Professional dog trainers are even more expensive than dog groomers, so it's fine to say that you can't afford one. However, some dogs have serious behavioral issues that can’t be resolved by owners and require professional help, so if you can do that, it's a plus.
40. How fast do you think a dog will adjust to you and your home?
There's no right or wrong answer here since it's simply your thoughts on what you expect from the pet. That said, it's important to set realistic expectations for yourself and share that with the dog adoption place so nobody gets disappointed.
41. What if you'll have to move to a new place?
Do you have any plans for moving to a different house, apartment, new city, or country anytime in the future? Whether you do or not, do you know what you're going to do with your pet before, during and after the move? What if the new landlord doesn't allow pets?
42. What if your family situation changes?
Do you expect to have kids in the next year or so? What about your boyfriend or girlfriend moving in with you? Do they have any allergies? Can your or your significant other's personal situation change sometime in the near future in a way that it'll affect the dog?
43. Do you travel a lot?
Other than leaving for work on a daily basis, do you leave your home for any longer periods of time, such as traveling? Do you travel often, and how long are you usually gone? And of course, do you have somebody to care for your dog when you do?
44. Under what circumstances would you give up your dog?
You may not think so now, but it's possible even for the most passionate pet owners to give up dogs. List all the reasons that might lead to you having to give your dog up for adoption. Some dog adoption questionnaires will also have a list of reasons you can choose from. Be realistic and honest.
45. What will you do with the dog if you can’t keep him?
Even if you don't expect this now, in case your personal situation changes and you can't care for the dog anymore, what will you do then? Will you look for a home on your own or give him up to a shelter or a pound? Will you reach out to friends or neighbors?
46. What if you pooch grows to be bigger than you expected?
In your dog adoption questionnaire, you might find some odd questions like this one. For example, if you expected your pooch to be of smaller breed but he or she keeps growing, will that be a problem for you? Are you willing to keep buying new dog toys or dog beds for a dog that grows faster than you expected?
47. Would you consider adopting a dog with a disability?
Many animal shelters have dogs with disabilities ready to be adopted, and they are often less popular with future pet owners. Are you willing to adopt one of these disabled dogs? If so, your chances of getting a dog from that place will increase and you're also likely to get more assistance with dog care from that animal organization.
48. Do you want additional info on dog care?
Some rescue centers offer to provide basic information about a healthy diet for a dog, training instructions, housebreaking tips, vet recommendations and more. Would you like any of that information or advice on these or other subjects?
49. Are you willing to have a volunteer inspect your home?
This is an important question, because many reputable animal shelters and breeders will want to ensure that your home and living situation is suitable for a dog. If you're okay with a volunteer coming over to take a look at your home, you have a better chance.
50. How did you hear about our rescue?
A standard question for any business. Most animal adoption centers want this information to help them for future marketing strategy as well as to understand how you narrowed down to pick this dog adoption center over any other place.