The Ultimate Guide to Adopting a Dog from a Shelter

In a world full of uncertainties, one thing remains steadfast: the unwavering love and loyalty that our four-legged friends offer. Yet, millions of dogs in the US find themselves abandoned or homeless, yearning for a place to call home. That's where you come in.

At The Cloud Haven, we believe that the decision to bring a furry companion into your life is not only an incredible addition to your family, but also a chance to make a lasting difference in the life of a deserving animal.

Adopting a dog from a shelter not only transforms the life of an animal in need, but also enriches your own life in countless ways. The bond forged between a shelter dog and their new human companion is a remarkable testament to the power of second chances and unconditional love.

Ready to bring home your new best friend? Our blog discusses everything you need to know about how to adopt a dog from a shelter and why it will be one of the best decisions you ever make. 

Why You Should Adopt A Rescue Dog 

Shelter dogs face a multitude of problems, but don’t worry — people like you can make a difference. The choice to adopt from a shelter is filled with endless rewards and cuddles, but here are some compelling reasons to adopt a rescue dog:

Save a Life

Did you know that over 1 million shelter animals are euthanized every year? By adopting a rescue dog, you become a hero in their story. You provide them with a second chance at life, rescuing them from uncertain circumstances and offering them a safe and loving home. Your act of kindness also directly contributes to reducing the number of dogs in shelters and gives them the opportunity to thrive.

Unconditional Gratitude

There's something truly special about the bond formed with a rescue dog. Adopting a pet from a shelter may mean adopting a pet that’s been abandoned or abused. They understand the significance of being given a chance and will forever be grateful for the love and care you provide. Witnessing their transformation from a timid, unsure pup to a confident and happy companion is also an incredibly fulfilling experience! 

Unique Personalities

Rescue dogs come in all shapes, sizes, and personalities. Each one has their own unique story, which makes them even more special. Whether you're looking for an energetic playmate or a relaxed snuggle buddy, you're bound to find a rescue dog that perfectly fits your lifestyle and preferences.

Skip the Puppy Stage

For some people, adopting a puppy from a shelter isn’t the right move. While puppies are undeniably adorable, they require a significant amount of time, energy, and training. By adopting an older rescue dog, you can skip the demanding puppy stage and bring home a dog who is already matured, saving you from the challenges of housebreaking and teething. Plus, adult dogs are often calmer and more settled into their personalities, making the transition smoother for both of you.

Health Benefits

Rescue dogs have undergone medical evaluations and are usually spayed or neutered, vaccinated, and microchipped before adoption. This not only saves you the cost and hassle of these procedures ,but also ensures that your new companion starts their life with you on a healthy note. Plus, there are health benefits for you too — studies have shown that owning a dog can improve your overall well-being by reducing stress and promoting physical activity.

Support a Worthy Cause

Rescuing a dog supports animal shelters, rescue organizations, and brands with a mission to save animals. Your adoption fees and donations help provide care, shelter, and resources for other animals in need. It's a win-win situation where you gain a loving companion while contributing to the greater welfare of animals in your community.

So, if you're ready to embark on a journey filled with love and cuddles, adopting a shelter dog is the way to go. Open your heart and your home to a deserving dog and together, you'll create a forever bond that will bring joy to both of your lives.

How to Adopt a Dog from a Shelter 

Bringing a new BFF home is exciting and you may be ready to hit up the nearest shelter, but it’s important to fully understand the process of adopting a dog so you can properly plan and prepare. 

Here are the steps you need to follow, as well as some tips for adopting a dog: 

Step 1: Research and Prepare

Adopting a dog from a shelter or rescue requires a lot of research and preparation. Make sure that you understand the responsibilities of dog ownership and assess if you're ready to commit to a lifelong companion. Research different dog breeds or mixtures to find a suitable match for your lifestyle, considering factors such as size, energy level, and grooming needs. 

Step 2: Find a Reputable Shelter or Rescue Organization

Next, it’s important that you find a reputable shelter or rescue organization. Look for local animal shelters, rescue organizations, or breed-specific rescues in your area. These organizations should have official websites or social media pages where they feature adoptable dogs. Be wary of scam websites, online listings and puppy mills by checking out online reviews. We strongly believe that it is most ideal to adopt your new companion through a rescue organization. Doing this allows for a couple of amazing things to happen. Getting a dog from a rescue allows the adopter to skip some of the often difficult transition period. The dogs adopted from a rescue will have already been more socialized and comfortable with new people/animals. The other benefit of getting a dog from a rescue is that it then opens up a new spot for another dog to be pulled by that rescue. Therefore, adopting a dog from a rescue not only saves one dog, but often two. No matter how you choose to adopt your new furry friend, always make sure you do the proper research and make the best choice for you!

Step 3: Meet and Assess Potential Dogs

Visit the shelters or attend adoption events to meet the dogs in person and interact with them. This will help you gauge their temperament and compatibility with you and your family. Once you've met potential dogs, spend time getting to know the dogs you're interested in. Observe their behavior, energy level, and how they interact with people and other animals. 

Ask the shelter staff or volunteers about the dog's background, medical history, and any specific needs or behavioral issues. If you already have a furry friend at home, you may also consider scheduling a meet-and-greet with your current pet to ensure compatibility.

Step 4: Adoption Application and Screening

After you've found the perfect match, it's time to go through the adoption application and screening process. Fill out the adoption application provided by the shelter or rescue organization. Be prepared to provide information about your lifestyle, experience with pets, and how you plan to care for the dog. Some organizations may require a home visit or reference checks to ensure that the dog will be going to a safe and suitable environment.

Step 5: Adoption Fee and Paperwork

Once your adoption application is approved, you'll likely be required to pay an adoption fee. This fee typically covers the dog's vaccinations, spaying or neutering, and other medical treatments they received while in the shelter. You'll also need to complete the necessary paperwork, including adoption agreements and microchip registration, to officially finalize the adoption.

Step 6: Welcome Your New Companion

Finally, it's time to welcome your new companion into your home! Prepare for your dog's arrival by stocking up on food, treats, and other necessities like a cozy bed and age-appropriate toys. Introduce your new dog to their new home gradually, providing a calm and quiet space for them to adjust. Establish a routine for feeding, exercise, training, and socialization to help your dog settle in and build a strong bond with you and your family.

Support Shelter Dogs with The Cloud Haven

Not quite ready to become a dog owner? No problem! You don’t have to adopt a rescue dog to make a difference. The Cloud Haven’s mission is to craft beautiful jewelry for a cause that helps shelter dogs find loving homes. 

When you purchase one of our pieces, you're not just accessorizing with style — you're becoming a part of the change. Part of the proceeds from each sale goes directly to rescue organizations, like the Stand Up for Pits organization. These donations support their vital work in providing medical care, rehabilitation, and a second chance at life for shelter dogs. Learn more about how we give back

Join us at Cloud Haven in making a meaningful impact on the lives of shelter dogs. Shop our collections today!