Adopting a Dog: Oh Doggy’s Comprehensive Guide

Adopting a Dog: Oh Doggy’s Comprehensive Guide

This National Rescue Dog Day, we want to bring you our comprehensive guide to adopting a dog. Adoption is an exciting and rewarding experience that can bring great enrichment into your life, but it also comes with many responsibilities. To help make sure that the adoption process is smooth for both you and your new doggo, it's important to be well-prepared. We’ve put together our guide to help you get ready to welcome your new friend into your home.

1. Considering a Rescue Dog: The Research Stage

Understanding the Commitment

Adopting a dog is a long-term commitment - depending on the age and breed of the dog you adopt, this could be 10-15 years or more. Make sure that you have the time, resources, and dedication to provide a loving home for the entirety of the dog's life.

Choosing the Right Dog

Think about the age, breed, size, and energy level of the dog you’re considering adopting, as not all dogs are made equal - a high energy dog may not be right for you if you’re not a fan of regular long walks, and some dogs have enough strength to pull or knock their owners over if excited or chasing something interesting. Research different breeds to understand their specific needs and temperaments to make sure you are as much a good fit for your new doggo as they are for you. Shelters and rescue organisations can help match you with a dog that fits your lifestyle, as they grow to know the dogs’ individual personalities while they care for them.

2. Bringing Your Dog Home: Essential Supplies

Basic Essentials

  • Collar, Lead, & Harness: A sturdy collar with an ID tag with your name and address are a legal requirement in the UK, and a strong lead is important for walks and safety. A harness is great for your dog’s daily walks as it is a safer and more comfortable alternative to walking on a collar, and helps to prevent damage to your dog’s throat if they pull.
  • Dog Crate: A crate can be useful for training, and can also provide a safe space for your dog to rest and decompress, which can be particularly helpful for more timid rescue dogs in feeling more secure.
  • Bed: A comfortable place for your dog to rest.
  • Food and Water Bowls: Durable and easy-to-clean bowls
  • Poo Bags: Don’t get caught short! It’s easy to overlook this important essential while thinking of everything else, but you’ll be looking for them sooner rather than later.


Grooming Supplies

  • Brush/Comb: Depending on your dog's coat type, regular brushing can help keep their fur healthy (and help to keep the dog glitter to a minimum!). Choose one suitable to their size and coat type.
  • Nail Clippers: Keep your dog's nails trimmed to avoid discomfort and injury - as the dewclaw doesn’t wear during walks on hard/rough surfaces like their other nails it is important to check it to make sure it doesn’t overgrow.
  • Shampoo: Dog-specific shampoo for bathing - we love Animology’s Deep Clean shampoo, and there are also special shampoos designed for white dogs & those with curly coats, for example, and for those doggos that like to roll in anything smelly they find while out and about we recommend Animology’s Fox Poo shampoo.

3. Keeping Your New Friend Healthy and Safe

Veterinary Care

  • Veterinarian: Find a reputable vet for regular check-ups, vaccinations, and health advice.
  • Vaccinations and Preventative Care: Ensure your dog is up-to-date on vaccinations and flea, tick, and heartworm preventatives.


  • ID Tag and Microchip: As mentioned above, an ID tag with your name and address and a microchip  are legal requirements in the UK, and also provide extra security if your dog gets lost.

4. A Polite & Personable Pupper: Training and Socialisation

Training Supplies

  • Training Treats: Small, tasty treats that are perfect for rewarding good behavior during training sessions.
  • Training Pads: Useful for house-training puppies or for older dogs that need a bit more time to adjust.

Training Classes

  • Obedience Classes: Consider enrolling your dog in obedience classes to learn basic commands and good manners (if you're local to us, we recommend the fabulous Lucy Green!).
  • Socialisation: Expose your dog to different environments, people, and other animals to ensure they are well-adjusted and confident.

5. Play Time! Toys and Enrichment


  • Chew Toys: Help keep your dog’s teeth clean and satisfy their natural chewing instinct.
  • Interactive Toys: Puzzles and treat-dispensing toys, like those from customer favourite brand Sodapup keep your dog mentally stimulated.


  • Regular Exercise: Ensure your dog gets plenty of exercise through walks, playtime, and outdoor activities. This helps keep them healthy and happy.

6. Love and Patience

Time and Attention

  • Bonding Time: Spend quality time with your new dog to build a strong bond. This includes playtime, training, and simply being together.
  • Patience: Adjusting to a new home can be challenging for a dog. Be patient and understanding as they adapt to their new environment.

Final Thoughts

Adopting a dog is a happy and exciting occasion filled with love and companionship. By being prepared with the right supplies, knowledge, and a loving attitude, you can make sure your new furry friend feels right at home. Visit our dog shop in store or online at for all the essentials.

Sending you and your new doggo woofs and kisses!