Adopting a dog does not end and begin with picking your future best friend at an animal shelter or a rescue group. It’s more than giving a homeless dog a home either. There are plenty of things that go into the adoption process, which could define your long-term relationship with the dog you want to adopt.

Selection Process
This is purely according to your preferences. Dog owners, in general, have their hearts set for a specific type of dog or a specific breed when planning to adopt. Some have their eyes on purebreds, others are comfortable taking home mutts or mixed breeds. There are many, however, who don’t have a particular idea of what dog to adopt.

As guide, there should be at least three characteristics that you should look for in a dog. First, are the things that you want in the dog you are to adopt. Second, are the things that you want but can definitely live without. And finally, the unacceptable characteristics that you don’t want your future dog to have.

For would-be owners who want to be very specific with the type of dog they would adopt, the following characteristics could help with identifying the best dog that would match their preferences:

Breed – Purebred or mutt?
Size – Big, midsize, small, or little?
Activity level – High-energy or low-energy?
Grooming and maintenance – High-maintenance or low-maintenance?
Exercise needs – Plenty or not so much?
Age – Puppies, adult or senior?

You can do no wrong if you categorize the available dogs in the rescue homes or animal shelters under these criteria.

Source Of The Dog
There are, in general, three places from where you can adopt a dog – from an animal shelter, from a breed-specific rescue group, and from general rescue group. Animal shelters often serve as temporary shelters for dogs that were rescued from the streets. Rescue groups, meanwhile, house dogs in home-like settings where the dogs are observed and taken care of.

Research your prospective sources beforehand. Most of them have websites which can provide a great deal of information about their available dogs. Also, check their actual facilities. These should provide clean homes, safe environment and loving treatment for the dogs. If the facility seems suspicious, leave it and check out the next.

Applying For Dog Adoption
Although there are hundreds of dogs that need new homes, most organizations don’t just allow their dogs to leave their facilities without first requiring you to undergo the formal process of adoption.

The majority of rescue homes and animal shelters have policies that require you to apply for dog adoption. They do this to ensure that their dogs don’t end up in the wrong hands. Fortunately, it is not hard to get approved.

During the application process, ask for the fees you have to pay. Most organizations charge more or less $100 for their dogs. If they charge more, be suspiscious.

Bringing The New Dog Home
Your long-term commitment with your new best friend begins once he steps into your door. The first few weeks after the adoption process are expected to be rough as the dog adjusts to his new environment. Once you have established a bond with the dog, you can gradually start training or preparing him for a life ahead that is shared with you.

Check out some great recipes:

Dog Cookies With Chicken Broth

Dog Cookies With Chicken Broth 2 cups whole wheat flour 2/3 cup yellow cornmeal 1/2 cup sunflower seeds — shelled 2 tablespoons corn oil 1/2 cup chicken broth 2 eggs 1/4 cup low-fat milk 1 egg — beaten Heat oven to 350 degrees. In a large... [Read more]

Darlene’s Favorite Dog Cookie

Darlene’s Favorite Dog Cookie 2 cups rye flour 1/2 cup vegetable oil 2/3 cup warm water 1/2 cup white flour 1/4 cup cornmeal Mix well. I usually add about 1/4 tsp. either vanilla or mint flavor. Roll out to 1/4″ thick. Cut into shapes (I usually... [Read more]

BJ’S Peanutty Pupcicles

BJ’S Peanutty Pupcicles 1 ripe banana 1/2 cup peanut butter 1/4 cup wheat germ 1/4 cup chopped peanuts Mash banana’s and peanut butter, stir in wheat germ. Chill 1 hour. Place in container, store in refrigerator or freezer.  Read More →

Apple Cinnamon Drops

1 large apple 1/4 cup honey 1/2 cup of water 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon 1 cup oatmeal 1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour 1/8 cup whole wheat flour Directions: Preheat oven to 350 ° F (180 ° C). Core, slice and mince the apple (use a food processor... [Read more]

Barking Barley Brownies

Barking Barley Brownies 1 1/4 pounds beef liver — or chicken liver 2 cups wheat germ 2 tablespoons whole wheat flour 1 cup cooked barley 2 whole eggs 3 tablespoons peanut butter 1 clove garlic 1 tablespoon olive oil 1 teaspoon salt — optional Pre... [Read more]

Alfalfa Hearts

Alfalfa Hearts 2 cups whole wheat flour 1/2 cup soy flour 1 teaspoon bone meal — optional 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast 1 tablespoon lecithin — optional 1/2 teaspoon salt 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder 3 tablespoons alfalfa sprouts — chopped 1... [Read more]

Champion Cheese & Veggies Chews

Champion Cheese & Veggies Chews 1/2 cup grated cheese — room temp. 3 tablespoons vegetable oil 3 teaspoons applesauce 1/2 cup vegetables — what ever you like 1 clove garlic — crushed 1 cup whole wheat flour nonfat milk Mix cheese,... [Read more]

Corgi Crumpets

Corgi Crumpets 2 1/2 cups cornmeal 1 1/2 cups cake flour 2 tablespoons vegetable oil 1 egg 2/3 cup honey 1/2 teaspoon baking powder 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg 1 small apple 1 1/3 cups water 1/2 cup rolled oats Preheat oven to 350. In a... [Read more]

Biscuits For Dogs

Biscuits For Dogs 1 cup oatmeal — uncooked 1/3 cup margarine 1 tablespoon beef bouillon granules 5 1/2 cups hot water 1 tablespoon garlic powder — optional 3/4 cup powdered milk 3/4 cup cornmeal 3 cups whole wheat flour 1 whole egg —... [Read more]

Bread Machine Dog Biscuits

Bread Machine Dog Biscuits 3/4 cup Beef stock — *see Note 1 egg 3 tablespoons oil 1 cup all-purpose flour 1 cup whole wheat flour 1/3 cup Bulgur — *see Note 1/3 cup Bran 1/4 cup nonfat dry milk 1/4 teaspoon Garlic powder 1 1/2 teaspoons yeast Place... [Read more]