Have you decided dog ownership is in your future? We’ve published posts in the past on whether dog ownership is right for you but what happens after you’ve determined that yes, indeed, you or your family do want to own a dog? There are many options out there and the one you select depends on what you’re looking for.

ThinkstockPhotos-508627595If it’s important for you to own a dog of a particular breed it’s best to buy from a knowledgeable breeder. But if you’re open to various breeds and looks then you may want to consider heading to your local shelter or doing a search through a website such as Petfinder.com.

Pet shelters are not all the same. The requirements put on adoption by some pet shelters can be rather involved. At some shelters you can walk in, fill out paperwork, and walk home with a dog (however, we do not recommend this approach). Some shelters require paperwork, a call from a shelter representative, a Q&A and possibly a house visit.

It’s important that you do some research on dog breeds. Even if you end up with a dog of mixed background it will help you understand your dog better if you know the tendencies of the breeds involved. If you find a dog you think may be a good fit, ask questions about them! Where did they come from? How did they end up in a shelter? Was there any abuse or neglect involved? Is this a dog that can behave around kids? How old are they and what is their health history? A shelter worker may not know the answers to all your questions but the more you know the more informed your decision can be.

We will continue to publish throughout October posts that are pertinent to adopting a dog. Please be sure to check out our Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ media for further links and resources about this topic. Happy October and good luck with your dog search!

Take a look at our Rescue Organizations page to find lots of links to shelters and rescues in Michigan. This may be a good place to start your search!

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Ann Arbor Animal Hospital is a locally-owned animal hospital operating for over 90 years in Ann Arbor, MI.