Just like getting any dog, there are several things you need to consider before adopting a dog to make sure that they are the right choice for you.


Adopting a rescue dog is a responsible decision for animal lovers and families looking for a lifelong friend. Shelters across Australia take in thousands of animals every year. By adopting through one of Petbarn’s adoption partners, you’re not only saving lives, but helping to support countless pets in the future.

A major benefit of adoption compared to buying a puppy from a breeder is that many of our dogs go through a behaviour assessment or spend time in foster care so you get to know their personality before you take them home. This way you can interact with your potential new best friend and make sure they’re the right one for you before you welcome them into your life.

However, besides their personality, there are other things you need to consider before adopting a dog to ensure that you can provide them with the care they need. Even if their puppy dog eyes seem irresistible, asking yourself the following questions will help you decide whether they’re right for you.

Will your home and yard suit their needs?

While some dogs are content to sit in your lap or curl up by the couch all day, others are always on the go and need lots of space to run around. A dog’s need for space is not always correlated with their size, for example Greyhounds are happy to relax while Jack Russell Terriers have endless stamina. With a mixed breed rescue dog, their energy levels can be hard to judge but the staff at the shelter should be able to give you some indication of their needs.

How much time do you have to exercise and play?

All dogs need constant love and attention so make sure you can give them what they need. Certain dogs have very high levels of energy and will need more than an hour of intense exercise every day, otherwise they may become restless and exhibit undesirable behaviours. Before adopting a dog, consider whether you have the time and the vitality to keep up with their needs.

Besides the fun activities like exercise and play, you will also have to spend time on taking care of your dog’s general upkeep. Feeding them, washing and grooming their coats, and taking them to the vet are all regular activities that need to fit in your schedule.

Do you have the budget to care for your pet?

While everyone’s happy to treat their dog to a new toy every once in a while, it’s the ongoing costs of caring for your pet, like feeding them, that might be harder to afford. All dogs adopted through Petbarn’s adoption partners have had certain medical and health procedures taken care of including being microchipped, vaccinated, desexed, and treated for parasites before you adopt them. However many of these are ongoing tasks that you need to budget for, for example all dogs should be taken in for a health check at their local Greencross Vets twice a year in order to ensure their ongoing health and for early detection of diseases. A major thing to consider before adopting is a dog is your budget and whether you can afford the best for your pet.

Is there anyone else you need to consider before making this decision?

While you might be the primary caregiver for your new dog, you must also think about the other people and pets in your household to make sure your dog will fit in with the whole family. Depending on their personality and past experiences, some dogs may prefer to be the only pet in the household and this is something you need to find out before you bring them home. Even if you live alone, you should prepare for unexpected events such as if there’s anyone who can look after your dog at short notice if something suddenly comes up.

How would you handle any existing health or behavioural concerns?

The staff at the rescue shelter will inform you if your potential new dog has any health or behavioural problems that they’re aware of. There may not be any but ask yourself if you’re ready for such a big responsibility. As dogs age, they’re prone to developing diseases and it will require more of your time and effort to provide this extra care for your pet.

Adopting a dog is a big responsibility but is extremely rewarding. If you’ve carefully considered all these factors and more, then this is the start of a wonderful experience for you! Petbarn offers adoption services in selected stores. We work with partner organisations like the RSPCA and we have helped save and rehome more than 25,000 pets. If you adopt through one of our centres, 100% of the adoption fee is donated to help animals and shelters in need. You can locate your nearest Petbarn Adoption centre by visiting our website.

Take our Dog Breed Selector quiz now!

Take our Dog Breed Selector quiz now!