National Responsible Dog Ownership Day: What to Know Before You Adopt in San Diego

Dogs make life extra special and joyful. The boundless energy, vitality and love they give to their human families is priceless.

If your family is considering adopting a new pup, read on to learn what you need to know about responsible dog ownership, and where to find your new furry family member in San Diego.

What to know before you adopt

While adopting a new dog is exciting, dog ownership is a big responsibility. It’s important to know what you’re getting into.

Before you sign off on the adoption paperwork and bring your new buddy home, be sure to consider the following so that both your family and your dog will have a happy life together.

    • Examine your finances, and have a clear budget – Besides the adoption fee, there are many other expenses that come along with dog ownership. Dogs need to be properly trained, and if you don’t have the time or expertise to do it, you’ll need to hire a professional. Among other things, your dog will also need bedding, high-quality food, a collar and harness, grooming and standard veterinary care and check-ups.
    • Figure out how much time you have to dedicate to your pup – Dogs are very social animals and crave constant love and attention. Many dogs don’t do well left if they’re left alone for long periods of time. If you work long hours or are away from home often, this could be a big problem for your dog. Doggy day care and professional dog walkers are options, but remember this can be a big added expense.
    • Determine if your home has enough space – Crating dogs may be necessary in some cases. But crating a dog for long periods of time simply because you don’t have enough room in your home isn’t a good idea. Choose a dog that will have enough space to comfortably move around your home and yard. You don’t want to force a Saint Bernard to live in a studio apartment.
    • Be aware of your dog’s potential problems – Prior to adoption, make sure to ask about any known behavioral or health issues the dog may have, and understand how much time and money it will take to address them. Also, if you have kids, it’s important to bring them along to meet the dog so that you can see how both parties react to each other.
    • Ask lots of questions – Dog ownership is a big step in your life and should be treated as such. Prepare a list of questions to ask the adoption facilitator before you meet with them. Don’t feel bad about asking them lots of questions – they appreciate and welcome the chance to help you.

    Where to adopt in San Diego

    San Diego county has numerous shelters, rescue organizations and foster networks that are committed to rehoming dogs and cats with loving families.

    The following organizations are excellent places for you to get started on the search for your newest family member:

    San Diego Humane Society – San Diego county’s largest open-admission animal shelter is a private, independent nonprofit that cares for over 50,000 animals across the county.

    Helen Woodward Animal Center – Located on 12 acres in Rancho Santa Fe, the Center is a private, nonprofit no-kill adoption facility that also helps educate the public on pet ownership.

    Second Chance Dog Rescue – As the name suggests, Second Chance is a local foster network that gives homeless dogs a second chance at VIP life by helping them find their forever homes.

    The Barking Lot – This non-profit dog rescue organization in San Diego rescues dogs from high- kill shelters and humane societies in Southern California, from Los Angeles down into Mexico.

    Baja Dog Rescue – Baja Dog Rescue is a nonprofit, volunteer-run no-kill shelter based in San Ysidro. They rescue and rehabilitate unwanted, abandoned and neglected dogs from the streets of both Baja and San Diego.

    PAWS of Coronado – PAWS provides care and medical services to the stray and abandoned animals of Coronado at their Coronado Animal Care Facility (ACF). All dogs and cats available for adoption reside at the ACF.

    PetSmart Charities Adoption Network – PetSmart’s adoption network includes numerous shelters and rescue organizations throughout San Diego county. Search through their expansive database by breed, location, gender and color to find your new best friend.

    Rover’s Retreat Dog Rescue – Rover’s Retreat is a nonprofit foster care network for dogs in need. They vaccinate, spay and neuter and provide any additional care or rehabilitation to get each dog ready to be placed in a happy, loving home.

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