Dog Adoption Questions You May Be Asked

When looking for a dog, we often find ourselves looking online at dog rescue groups and local SPCA locations. Before, you can rescue a dog there are dog adoption questions you may be asked prior to them letting you rescue a dog.   Many of these questions can make or break the adoption process.

dog adoptions questions you maybe asked
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Being prepared and knowing what the questions are that they may ask you, will go along way in ensuring a successful dog adoption.   Many people think that all you need to do is pick out the dog you want and it will be guaranteed to be yours.   Unfortunately it is not that easy anymore.   These dog rescue organizations have a protocol of what goes into approving or disapproving the dog that you are interested in adopting.

If you are considering adopting a dog, then this post, will provide you with all the information that you will need to know.   There is nothing worse then getting your heart set on a dog, to then be told that it isn’t possible.


Why all the questions?

All dog rescue organizations have a duty to ensure that all dogs that get adopted go to good homes.   Far too often dogs are either returned, sold, or just given away after an unsuitable adoption.

There are estimated to be 6.5 million dogs in animal shelters across the U.S., so there is definitely a huge need for people to adopt dogs from these shelters.   Making sure these dogs go to good homes, is the whole reason that there is an intense screening of the people wanting to adopt.

Being a dog parent, is a huge responsibility and the professionals job is to ensure that you know exactly what you are getting into with the dog you have your heart set on.

dog adoptions questions you may be asked - shelter dogs


As we know, just because you find a dog cute and think that you are a good home for them, doesn’t mean that is true.   Dog rescue organizations need to make sure that the dog you have selected is a good fit for you and your family situation.   For this reason they have an adoption protocol that they follow.

Generally you will be required to fill out an adoption application form that has a ton of questions that you will be required to answer.   The point of the questions, is to get an understanding of who you are and what kind of home the dog will be going to.

Gone are the days when you just found a dog that you liked and within an hour you would walk out with that dog.   Rules have changed and screening has become the new normal.

Let’s look at some questions that you will be asked when looking to adopt a dog from any type of rescue organization.

Why do you want to adopt?

One of the first questions that you will be asked when filling out an adoption application is “WHY DO YOU WANT TO ADOPT A DOG”?

The reason that this question is asked, is to find out if the dog is going to be a gift, a new addition to your family and to really just find any insight into your thought process of why you want a dog.

A dog as we know is often given at a gift at Xmas and for birthdays.  This is not an ideal situation.   Anytime you are making a decision to get a dog, the rescue organizations want to make sure that you are ready and equipped to handle it.

Far to often dogs that are given as gifts, end up being given back or sold.   This is simply because the person being given the dog, isn’t prepared for the immense responsibility of caring for that dog.

Answering this question on paper is also a way to have you truly think about your response as you are writing it.   When we have to articulate something on paper, it really makes us think about are answer.   We search inside ourselves for the real reason that we want to adopt a dog.

There are many reasons that people want to adopt a new dog.  From the recent loss of a dog, to building a family and even to have your children experience growing up with a dog.   Whatever the reason that you are looking for a new dog, you will most certainly be asked to explain why.

Dog adoptions questions you may be asked - adoption day

Who lives in the home?

All rescue organizations will ask you who all lives in the home, that the dog will be living it.   They will ask specifics about the age, occupations and names of all people that will be living in the home with the dog.   They will also want to know whether you have other pets in the home….cats, dogs, birds, etc.

Yes this question can be perceived at a very personal question, but it is also vital information!

The reason that this information is so critical, is that by looking at your answers to this question, they will understand if the dog that you want to adopt will fit in to your family.

dog adoption questions you may be asked - dog home sweet home

As we know not all dogs are great around kids, other dogs and other pets in general.   The job of the organization is to match a dog with the right family and the right family dynamics.   Some dogs are fearful and skittish around too many people, and having a large family may not be a great fit for that dog.

Your answer to this question needs to be completely truthful and detailed!

This isn’t the time to hold back telling the whole story.    Again the job of the rescue organizations is to put the dog in a situation that they will flourish in.   Making sure they have a happy and healthy life in a home they fit in is the entire goal.

Your home and lifestyle

Another one of the major questions that you will be asked on your application is about your home and lifestyle.   By that I mean, do you live in a house, or apartment.    Do you own the house or are you renting? Is your house on a busy street?

With rental properties, far to often dogs are adopted to a family that live in a rental home and have gone ahead and adopted a dog without landlord approval.   To avoid this happening, almost every organization now requires an approval letter from the landlord saying that you are allowed to have pets in this home.

If you live in a home, they will also ask if you have a backyard for the dog to play.  Is that yard completely fenced and secure?   How tall is the fence and how big is your yard?   These are also things they will want to know.

dog adoptions questins you may be asked - backyard

They will not want a dog to go to a home that does not have access to a safe and secure area for them to play safely.  Their is also the fear of them getting out and running away, so understanding your yard situation is important.    A lost dog can happen quickly and quite easily if there is no access to a secure area for them.

By understanding your accommodations, and specific living conditions, they can determine if the dog you have chosen can adapt to this environment.   Many dogs live in an apartment without issue and concern, but you maybe asked about dog parks and access to how you will exercise the dog.   Not all dogs are capable of living in an apartment, simply due to things like:

  • Barking, separation anxiety, too small of a space, no access to a backyard, high energy etc. 

Whatever you’re living accommodations are, you will need to make sure the dog you have selected will fit into this lifestyle.

This then leads us into your lifestyle.   What I mean by that is questions is: how long with the dog be alone for?   What are your hours of work?    How often will there be someone in the home for your dog to let them out and exercise them.

Dogs cannot be left inside a home for really more then 6-8 hours.   They will want to know what your work schedule and plan is.   This directly affects your ability to properly ensure that all your dogs needs are being met.

Dog responsibilities

Depending on the rescue organization that you are adopting from, there maybe other questions you will be required to answer before they will approve the dog for adoption.   Some of these other questions are things like:

  • Are you going to kennel or crate train the dog?
  • Have you had a dog before?
  • Will you be taking your dog to training sessions?
  • Do you have a vet lined up?
  • Are you equipped to handle the expense of a dog?
  • Is there an extended family that can care for the dog if you become ill?
  • Do you travel a lot?
  • What do you plan to do with the dog when you travel?
  • Under what circumstances would you surrender the dog?
  • Would you consider adopting a senior dog or a dog with special needs?

You can clearly see that there is a ton of questions and answers that will need to be sorted out before you are able to adopt a dog.

dog adoption questions you may be asked

Shelter and rescue organizations are what save dogs lives every day, so it is completely understandable that they want to know everything that they can about who wants to adopt their dogs.

It can seem like a lot of hoops to jump through, but the reality is, don’t you want the dog that best fits your families lifestyle and environment.   Being vigilante with their adoption procedures is the way that these organizations continually strive to do their absolute best at placing dogs in the proper homes.

Well I hope you have enjoyed reading my post about dog adoption questions you maybe asked when going to adopt a dog. I would love to hear your experience with dog adoptions, simply drop me a line below.


6 thoughts on “Dog Adoption Questions You May Be Asked”

  1. Thanks for this very good information here. Most likely some people do not know that there are necessary questions that needs to be ascertained before a dog can be allowed to be adopted.  

    There needs to be certainty of their welfare and also, how safe they are with you and if you are actually capable of adopting them surely.  A good post here, so thank you. 

    • Hi Nath,

      I have to agree with you, that many people looking to adopt a dog, don’t realize the steps that need to be taken to adopt a dog.  It is not a simple procedure anymore.

      Sadly far to many dogs were being adopted by people that had no idea of the responsibility that went with becoming a dog parent.  I like now that they are asked to jump through far more hoops.  I think this will weed out the less prepared dog parent.  If you aren’t willing to go through this process, then you aren’t serious about it.

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts, I really appreciate hearing from you.


  2. As a huuge dog lover myself, i see why people can find this very helpful… Having a dog is a big responsibility and shouldn’t be taken for granted in any case.. 

    ”Dogs might be just a small part of your life. But to them, we are their life.” -is a quote everyone should read from time to time just to remind themselves.. 

    Nice topic, keep the great work!

    • Hello,

      Thank you so much for taking the time to comment on my post.  I agree that dogs are a huge responsibility and that far too many people don’t think about that before they jump right in.

      Dogs do rely on us for everything in their life, so I know how important the right fit is important.

      I appreciate your insight on my post.  Thank you again.


  3. Adopting a dog can be as hard as adopting children nowadays. My friend just adopted a labradoodle and there was a lot of process, your place has to be inspected to be suitable for the dog as well.

    I understand why there are many questions, the last thing that you want for the poor thing is to live through the trauma again.

    Thank you for getting us prepared on saving a life. I still prefer adopting over buying a puppy any day and I want to make sure that I am prepared for it.  

    • Hi Nuttanee,

      Yes the process for adopting a dog now, has dramatically changed, that is for sure.  It is not the easy 1-2-3 process it used to be. 

      Although it is much tougher, I still think that it is all done in the best interest of the dog.  Far too often dogs were not going to the proper homes and not being treated well.   I think it is great to see that all the processes have been stepped up to help solve these type of issues.

      Thank you as always for your dog insight in my post.  I love hearing your thoughts on my latest post.  Take care.



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