Why Is It So Hard To Adopt A Dog? 

Adopting a dog can be one of the most incredible things that you can do. Rescuing a dog not only changes their lives for the better, but yours too.

Why Is It So Hard To Adopt A Dog?

You’ll have so much love and affection for one another, and the most loyal companion you can find.

However, adopting a dog is not always an easy process. But, we’re here to guide you through it all. 

Why Should You Adopt A Dog?

We always say ‘adopt, don’t shop’, as there are so many breeders, many of which are unlicensed and untrustworthy.

This can result in puppies not selling or many dogs ending up in homes, shelters and rescues (Find out Why Are There So Many Pitbulls In Shelters?). 

Whilst dogs are well cared for in rescues, they don’t often get that one on one experience, or the joy of living within their own home with comfy beds and the full attention of an owner.

In addition to this, adopting a dog can mean saving the life of the dog, especially if the shelters are overcrowded, resulting in the euthanasia of some animals. 

You can also give the dog a second chance at life. This is particularly important for those dogs who have behavioral issues, or trust issues and anxiety.

They may struggle to find homes, and shelters may not have the time or money to spend on training them and ensuring they can overcome issues of aggression, fear, or territorial behaviors. 

If you have the time, support and experience to take on a dog who needs a little extra TLC, then you will find it one of the most rewarding experiences in life.

Some dogs end up in rescues because they were surrendered by their owners, or their caretakers have passed away or moved away.

This means that they are left in a shelter, unsure why they no longer have that bond with their owner, but still have so much love to give. 

Why Is It So Hard To Adopt A Dog? 

If you’re here, then you know why it’s important to adopt a dog, but the process is not always easy.

In fact, many people choose to buy from breeders because the process is a difficult one.

So, we’re here to provide some context as to why it is so hard to adopt a dog.

When you visit a shelter, you may find that it is very hard to take a dog home. This is because shelters have a duty of care towards the dog.

They want to find the perfect home for the particular dog, breed, lifestyle and behavior that they demonstrate.

This can limit the risk of the dog being returned if it’s not what the adopter expected. 

Dogs are just like people and have their own sets of needs and requirements.

Some will require a large backyard, an owner that can exercise them often and keep them active, whilst others may need a patient owner who can give them the time they need to relax and trust people again.

For other dogs, they may need to go to a home without children or other pets as they could have come from a background of abuse or neglect, and could be fearful of certain genders, people or animals.

Some people may try to adopt a dog without knowing their background or without researching the breed.

It could be unsuitable for their lifestyle if they work long hours or are not very active.

For instance, a dog like a Husky would need a lot of exercise or they could become destructive or even aggressive when not stimulated enough.

This could result in negative behavior and the owner may bring them back to the rescue. 

This is why the screening process for adopting a dog is very strict.

The rescue needs to feel confident that the dog will be well cared for and protected in its new home. 

How To Adopt A Dog

The process of adopting a dog may vary from shelter to shelter, however there are some common things to consider (Find out Some Red Flags When Adopting A Dog).

For instance, for most rescues, you will need to fill out an application to see whether you are a suitable match and candidate for the dog you like. 

This application may ask questions about yourself, your home and lifestyle.

Sometimes these questions may seem very personal, but it is only to gauge whether you are a good fit for one another. 

You may also have to be interviewed in person by the rescue workers. If your application is successful, then the next step is to have a home visit.

This is to check your home is suitable and safe for the dog. You may need to build a fence around your property, and ensure hazards such as cables are all covered up safely. 

Some rescues will also have age requirements, or the dog may need to have a home where you already have a dog to build up confidence in them. You will likely also need to provide identification during this process.

The next step is to have a meet and greet with the dog with all members of the household involved. This is to see whether the dog takes to you and trusts you.

Finally, if you reach this point, and the adoption is okayed to go forward, you will likely need to pay an adoption fee, however this is often around $200 which is much cheaper than purchasing a dog. 


To summarize, as you can see, rescue dogs need a lot of care and attention.

Some also have specific requirements such as a no child home, or a home with a large fence and no other pets.

This is why the adoption process can be so difficult, as rescues need to ensure that the dog goes to the right home and family for their needs.

Emily Andrews