Posted by Pet Honesty on

New Dog Adoption Checklist

Table of Contents

So you’ve made the decision to adopt a fur baby. Congratulations! If you’re envisioning a spontaneous adoption purely due to love at first sight, you may want to think again. Whether you’re a first-time pet owner or seasoned dog lover, there are several things to take into consideration before bringing your new furry friend home. 

Questions to Consider

Before you settle on the idea to get a new dog or puppy, make sure you know the answer to the following questions:

  • Do you have other pets? How do they typically respond to other animals in their space? Before bringing home a new dog, be sure you have a good idea of whether he will get along with other animals—and what to do if he doesn’t.

  • Do you live in a place that would be suitable for a dog? Is there space to move around, or a fenced-in yard? Are you prepared for the potential destruction caused by a rambunctious puppy?

  • Do you have the time and energy to properly care for a dog? This includes daily walks, play time, training, grooming, and several bathroom breaks per day. It’s important to establish a consistent routine with your dog, especially when you’re just starting out with the training process.

  • Do you know someone who can (and is willing) to watch your dog when you’re away on vacation or business trips?

  • Have the other members of your household agreed to having a dog as another roommate?

  • Do you know who will take the main responsibility of caring for a dog?

  • Do you or any members of your household have allergies to dogs, or other incompatible health issues to consider?

  • Have you researched which breed, age, and size of dog would best fit your lifestyle? Do you want an energetic puppy, or a more laid-back senior? Do you want a dog who can run and hike with you, or do you prefer a lap dog to keep you company while you watch TV?

  • Can you reasonably afford all the expenses that come with owning a dog? This includes food, toys, collars and leashes, a crate, bedding, grooming supplies, vet visits, and possible emergency costs. 


If you’re confident that adopting a dog is the right decision and have determined the size, age, and breed of dog that you want, you can start shopping for supplies:

  • Food and water bowls (and possibly extras, if your dog will be spending time outside in the yard).

  • High-quality food. Generally, you should continue feeding your dog the same food he was eating before you brought him home, and then gradually switch him to something different if recommended by your vet. To keep your dog at a healthy weight, you’ll want food that’s low in carbs and high in fiber. For some, a raw diet is the best option for their canine.

  • A collar with an ID tag. This should contain your number, address, and up-to-date vaccine information if applicable.

  • A leash or harness.

  • An appropriately-sized crate. This is necessary not only for transporting your dog, but also for providing a safe space which can ease anxiety.

  • Bedding. Be sure to provide a bed in a social area outside of the crate as well, so your pup has the option to socialize with his new family.

  • Dog shampoo and conditioner. It wouldn’t hurt to also invest in some of Pet Honesty’s Allergy Itch Relief Shampoo.

  • Nail clippers.

  • A brush or comb—be sure to choose the right one for your dog’s breed and coat.

  • Paper towels, non-toxic carpet cleaner, and odor neutralizer… because accidents happen.

  • Poop baggies for walks, and a pooper scooper for the yard.

  • Toys. You don’t want your pooch to get bored, so be sure to provide a variety of toys such as balls, plush toys, squeaky toys, interactive toys, and healthy chew toys.

  • Treats—obviously. 

Things to Know 

Be sure to talk to the animal shelter, foster, or previous owner to learn some history about the dog. Has the dog been spayed or neutered? Are the shots up-to-date? Is the dog microchipped? Are there any special needs that require additional purchases, such as a mobility ramp or stairs to help the pooch get onto the bed or couch? 

Do some research to find the best vet and groomer for you and your pup. Choosing a pet insurance policy is also a good idea, sooner rather than later—you don’t want to have to cover treatment for a pre-existing condition that could have been covered by insurance.

Other Considerations

When you first bring your dog home, you may want to take a day or two off of work, or plan to do it when you’re readily available and can focus your attention on bonding with your new pup. 

You may also want to research a pet sitter or dog walker, depending on your schedule. For those whose dogs need extra behavioral assistance, it may be worth investing in a professional dog trainer. 

It’s also recommended to have a list of toxic foods readily available in the kitchen—that way you don’t have to wonder whether you can share some of your food with Fido. 

Be sure to appropriately dog-proof your home. For some, this means using a baby gate to keep your dog contained to areas where he can’t cause too much damage. For others, this simply means making sure the yard is fenced in to prevent any escape attempts

Unless you’re already going for daily walks, your schedule is likely going to change significantly once Fido is all moved in. Plan out your new schedule ahead of time, making sure you have enough time in the day to give your pup the exercise, attention, and affection he needs. 

Know what to expect as your pup grows up. If you’re adopting an older dog, be prepared for any potential issues that may arise in senior dogs. 

If he’s feeling especially anxious during the adjustment period, Pet Honesty’s Hemp Calming Chews and soon to be available Hemp Calming Fresh Sticks help to reduce excessive barking and chewing, along with anxiety and stress. With enough love and patience, your furry pal should adjust to his new home in no time.