Questions to ask an animal shelter. Questions they will ask you.


Before you set foot inside a dog shelter, you should remind yourself how important it is to find the right dog for you. Just as you shouldn’t choose a dog from a breeder based on its looks, you shouldn’t with a dog from an animal shelter either.  Remember to choose a dog which fits well with your lifestyle and circumstances, so that you will be compatible with each other.


Don’t be swayed by a sob story or want to save a particularly adorable looking dog. Go to the kennel with a set list of characteristics and requirements you need in a dog and stick to it. A good shelter won’t want to rehome a dog with the wrong owner, so be prepared to be asked many questions. It’s also a good idea to have your own questions for the shelter.


1. Can I see the living conditions? This will help you assess the quality of the shelter.

2. Have they been examined by the vet? You will want to know about any health problems and whether they are being well taken care of and have had any necessary vaccinations or deworming.

3. Are the dogs spayed/neutered? A good shelter will always spay and neuter their dogs.

4. Are the dogs evaluated for behaviour issues? Ask the shelter how if they rehabilitate nervous, anxious or stressed dogs and if all the dogs will be safe around children.

5. Are the dogs trained? Some shelters will teach dogs basic obedience, but at others you may need to start from scratch.

6. Are the dogs socialised? Good shelters will make sure that their dogs get plenty of socialisation. Find out who with, how and how often? Ideally, it should be a mixture of walking, exercise, training, playing and affection from a range of people, every day.

7. Is there aftercare? Some people worry about taking on a dog from a shelter, only to find out it has behaviour problems or emotional issues. Your mind may be put at ease if you know you can come back to the shelter for support.

8. What if the adoption doesn’t work out? You should do everything to make sure you are taking the right dog home, but sometimes shelter dogs can show unexpected or unforeseen problems when they get in their new home. If this happens, can you return the dog or will the shelter help you find the dog a new home?

9. What’s the dog like? This may seem like an obvious question but dogs will behave differently in a kennel when they are meeting strangers for the first time. Try to talk to one of the dogs main carers and ask for their opinion on the dog’s character.

10. Can we see the dog in a quieter place and get to know him? Ask to play, stroke and groom him in a more relaxed environment so you can see what he’s like away from the stress of the kennel.

Questions to Expect from the Animal Shelter


A good shelter will be armed with many questions to ask you. Some of the questions may seem very personal or imposing, however it’s vital for the shelter to find out as much about you as they can. That way, they will know if you are responsible, trustworthy and ready for a dog, as well as being able to decide what kind of dog might be right for you.


1. How many hours will the dog be on his own each day?

2. Where will the dog stay? Where will the dog sleep?

3. How much time can you devote to exercise every day?

4. Do you have experience with dog ownership? If not, do you have experience of owning other pets?

5. Do you own or rent? Does your lease allow you to own a pet?

6. What kind of area do you live in?

7. Do you live in a house or flat? Is there a garden?

8. Do you have other dogs? Will you bring them in to the shelter to see if they will get along with the new dog?

9. Do you plan to have children?

10. Do you plan to relocate or move house?


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