6 Small Dog Adoption Tips for Pet Lovers

Small Dog Adoption Tips for Pet LoversSmall Dog Adoption Tips for Pet Lovers

Are you considering adopting a pet, but do not know exactly where to start? If so, you are not alone, as there are millions of people who believe adopting a pet would better their lives.

Whatever the case may be you cannot go wrong with adopting a cat or dog. However, you must remember to research your local facilities to learn more about these services, before completing the adoption form. Below, you will discover several tips for adopting a pet.

Adoption Tips for Pet Lovers

1. Make Sure Everyone Is On Board

Pets are a major responsibility that should not be taken lightly. In fact, everyone in the family must be willing to accept this responsibility and chip in whenever necessary.

If you have someone in your family who is hesitant about adopting a pet, you may want to reconsider your options. You must remember that the pet will reside in your home for more than a decade. So, every member must be onboard with the adoption, or it may be best to put your plans on hold.

2. Home Must Offer Activity Space

Every pet requires a specific amount of activity each day. Regardless, if you plan on exercising the dog or cat on a treadmill or in your backyard, adequate space is a necessity. One thing is for sure, an inactive animal will be unhealthy, which is something to avoid at all cost.

One way to compromise with little space is to adopt a small breed dog. Small or toy breeds do not require a lot of space for activities. In fact, they are happy with walking up and down the sidewalk in a subdivision. So, if you reside in an apartment or condo, a small breed would be ideal for your living situation. Be sure to check out Our Pet Card for vital information about pet adoption.

3. Which Breed Is Right For You?

One of the most difficult tasks of adopting a pet from a rescue shelter is finding the right breed. For instance, if you have a history of allergies related to dog danger and hair, you will need to stick with a “hypoallergenic dog.”

There are a number of these dogs so you will not be limited to your options. The Portuguese water dog, Schnauzer, and Maltese are only a few breeds that are considered hypoallergenic, but there are approximately 19 in all.

However, this does not necessarily mean that these breeds will be available at your local shelter. But, you can speak with a representative to request an alert, when such a dog becomes available.

4. Size Matters

Since you are on this site, I will assume you are looking or have a small dog.  But many small dog lovers also dream of a larger size dog.

The size of the dog will also need to be questioned. Are you fully capable of handling a large breed? If not, you should consider going with a small- or medium-sized dog.

Just remember that a medium-sized canine could weight anywhere from 40 to 60 pounds, which may be a little too much to handle for a senior citizen.

5. Adoption Fees

The standard fee for adopting felines is typically much cheaper than canines. Most rescue shelters will charge double for dogs, which can range anywhere from $50 to $140, depending on the breed, age and size. Adoption fees for a cat averages approximately $60. If you are looking for a kitten, you should expect to pay about $125.

These fees vary widely depending on where you go.


  • Dog adoptions are more expensive than cats.
  • Puppy adoptions are more expensive than adults.
  • Senior dogs can be adopted for much less.
  • Rescue organizations will charge more than municipal shelters.
  • Humane societies will charge more than municipal shelters.

6. Rules and Requirements

Before falling in love with a specific dog, check out the adoption requirements of the agency housing the dog of your choice.  You may be surprised at some of the rules.  Some may also be surprised at the number of questions the agency asks.

For example,

  • Be prepared to explain your housing situation (rent vs. own), individual home or condo.
  • The number and ages of your children
  • The contact information of your vet (they will check out your history with the vet)
  • The number and type of pets you already have in your home.
  • Your lifestyle (travel plans, work hours)

Check with the agency for their individual rules and requirements.

  • Some agencies will expect you to have a fenced in yard
  • Some agencies will not adopt to those whose work hours keep them away from home for extended periods of time.
  • Some agencies may require that all pets in the home be spayed or neutered.
  • Some agencies may restrict the number of pets in your household and refuse to adopt to anyone over their limit of pets.
  • Some will require personal references.
  • For those who live in apartments or rental homes, they may request a letter from the landlord giving permission for pet ownership.
  • Some do home visits before granting permission to adopt.

The Takeaway

So, these are our top six top adoption tips for pet lovers.  Adoption is a wonderful way to gain a new family member and some may go so far as to say it is the ONLY way to add a pet to the household.  

Adopting a pet who will bring years of love into your life is a life changing experience, but it is important to do your research beforehand so there are no surprises or disappointments down the road.

Adoption Tips for Pet Lovers PinAdoption Tips for Pet Lovers Pin

Resources (Adoption Tips for Pet Lovers)


A large website that connects potential adoptees with rescues or shelters;  There is also a large resource section about adopting.

Adopt a Pet

A large database of adoptable pets from all over North America.