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How to adopt a dog in India: A complete guide

by Lana Paws on September 06, 2022

How to adopt a dog in india

Did you grow up craving the love and companionship of a dog? Or you have grown up with a dog and can’t wait to bring home a new furry member. Whatever may be the reason, you’re finally ready to become a dog parent. It’s certainly the most exciting feeling for a dog lover, full of immense possibilities and new memories.

So what next?

Is buying a dog from a breeder the best option?

Certainly not. Bringing home a dog or any living animal is not like buying a commodity. Whenever possible, look into adopting a dog from your nearest adoption home or rescue centre.

If you are someone who adores animals you would have definitely heard the saying, “adopt don’t shop.”

What is the backstory of this campaign?

The adopt don’t shop campaign

adopt don't shop dogs

We may or may not be aware of the fact that animals sold in stores come from breeding facilities whose main goal is to earn profits. The living conditions and health of these animals are compromised by breeders with the idea of making more money. The adopt don’t shop campaign focuses on the goal of putting an end to these unethical breeding centres and help animals who have been neglected find a permanent and happy home.

How can you help break this chain?

Simple, with a single choice of choosing to adopt and not buying your next dog.

Shelter homes are the perfect places to look for a dog who could be everything you have ever wanted from your furry best friend. From big to small, furry to snuggly, puppies to older dogs you can find a pet awaiting a new home. By taking one step towards adoption, you are doing so much more than just saving a life, you are taking one step towards putting an end to breeding centres or puppy mills and you help provide a loving home to your new best friend.

What is the process of dog adoption in India?

how to adopt dogs in India

The composition of shelter homes in today’s day and age is majorly comprised of stray dogs who end up there due to illness, malnutrition and lack of living space. Shelters provide a home and basic nutrition and health facilities to these dogs. The other category of dogs are those pooches who have been left there by their previous owners and are now in a lookout for a new family.

You can adopt a dog in India by following these easy steps-

A. Be sure about the kind of dog you want

Before adopting a pup/dog make sure you make note of your lifestyle, living condition, space available and family members consent in mind. Bringing home a dog is as much of a commitment as bringing home a new baby for at least 10-15 years or the natural life span of the animal. If you have babies or senior citizens at home, ensure you keep that factor in mind while you adopt your pet.

B. Explore the shelters and adoption centres near you

Visit the shelter/ adoption home a few times and bond with the animals there to get a feel of what it would be like to have a pet at home. Some animals in the home could be shy or apprehensive of your visit, make sure you make these pets feel loved and safe. Enquire with the caretakers of these pets about their routine, history, vaccinations etc. Make sure you bond with the dog in the shelter home and know that he/she is comfortable with you before you take them home.

In addition, do your research on the adoption centre and ensure you complete all the paper work. As dog lovers, it is also our responsibility to call out and flag animal centres and shelters that follow malpractices in the name of saving lives. 

C. Vaccinations and Medical history

As soon to be pet parents, it is of top priority that you secure all your pets past vaccination and medical records. It is of extreme importance for you to know the history of your soon to be pet so that you can take utmost care of him/her in the best possible way. Enquire with the shelter about any and all past trauma/ injuries and sicknesses of your furry friend.

D. Follow the guidelines of the adoption policy

The majority of animal shelters adhere to a set adoption process that includes submitting an adoption form and additional credentials. The adoption application may include questions regarding taking the dog to the veterinarian, providing for the dog at home, vacation plans, etc., as well as the worst-case scenario—if you end up having to give up the dog at some point in the future. Additionally, original copies of your identification documents and evidence of your address will be required. While some shelters may rely solely on the information provided on adoption papers, others may additionally conduct house inspections. It enables them to determine whether your family and home are prepared for the dog. The adoption procedure varies at each shelter home in India. Most significantly, all you have to do to apply for adoption is fill out a form and submit it together with documentation of your identification and address.

E. Bringing home your new pet

After completing these essential steps and identifying the verification, it is finally the day to bring home your new pup. Remember that adoption is not going to be easy for you or for your pet. Give them time to acclimatise and be sure of the fact that they are now in a safe environment. Dogs may have past trauma/ separation anxiety/ depression etc but be patient. Your pet is going to be your best friend for life. All you need is a little love and compassion.

ALSO READ- New puppy checklist: A complete guide for first time pet parents

Advantages of adopting an older dog versus a puppy

why adopt older dogs than puppies

More often than not, we tend to lean towards the idea of adopting/buying puppies. It is equally essential to think about the older dogs who have been left behind at adoption homes and shelters. While puppies need utmost love and care, older dogs too deserve the same love and affection in a safe and happy home. In addition, older dogs may already be toilet trained and are calmer as compared to younger puppies who require a lot more time and energy in their initial months. Having said that, sometimes older dogs may require special care if they are unwell or have certain health conditions. Thus, it’s absolutely essential to figure out which dog will be best suited for your family and lifestyle even before you start the process of dog adoption.

Why is dog adoption the better choice?

how to adopt a dog in india

Save a life

One of the numerous advantages of adopting pets is that you help in saving and giving a better life to an animal. Many dogs who are left behind at adoption centres go through life threatening changes and traumatic pasts. By adopting your pet, you give them a second chance at life. By choosing to adopt your dog, you are not only providing a home to an animal that really needs it, you are also freeing up space in shelter homes to bring in new rescued dogs.

Many shelter dogs are already trained and vaccinated

Pets from healthy homes are sometimes left in adoption centres. These pets have completed the vaccination and potty-training stage. They are aware of the fact that their business is not to be done anywhere in the house and thus are easier to manage. However, sometimes they may also come with certain traumas due to their past and need a lot more love and care.

Option of adopting any breed of dog

A wide range of dogs are looking for homes in animal shelters. From German Shepherds, Golden Retrievers and Dachshunds to mixed breeds of Mudhol to Combai among others are available for adoption. You can choose to meet and spend some time with the dogs to know which dog will be best suited for your home.

Adopting a dog is FREE!

While majority of shelter homes allow you to adopt animals for free, some do charge a nominal amount as compared to dog breeders whose main goal is to earn profit. Most animal adoption centres work on a non-profit goal who survive on donations from those who love and care for animals.

You take a step towards eliminating puppy mills

One of the biggest and most important benefits of adopting a dog is you get to take a stand against breeders who unethically breed puppies and dogs in conditions that are cruel and inhumane. By adopting even one animal, we take one step towards eliminating these puppy mills. Dogs from puppy mills are raised in conditions of poor medical health and questionable environments. Puppy mills will be in business as long as people buy from them, but by choosing to adopt your dog you can be sure that you are not contributing to this system.

Adopting helps more than just one pet.

Shelter homes often go over capacity in trying to rehabilitate and rescue hurt, abused and lost dogs. When you adopt an animal, you free up space and funds for another dog/puppy looking for help.

Adoption is not easy. It needs immense time and patience. The team at the shelter works tirelessly to treat sick animals, treat animals that have been injured, and do everything they can to get the animals ready for adoption. Unfortunately, not all of them are as lucky. Many healthy animals lose their lives as a result of shelters having to put animals to sleep owing to a lack of room. Rehoming a pet allows you to provide a loving, stable home to an animal who has been abandoned and neglected.

We frequently hear that dogs in rescue centres are defective products. While some of them may come with added emotional and psychological baggage, there’s nothing that a lot of love, care and security can’t fix. Such animals require more patience and work on the part of the family members but winning their love back and seeing them thrive because of the life you chose for them could be life-changing for you too!

Why adopt a stray dog?

Why adopt a stray dog?

The streets of India are filled with stray dogs. When a solution is right in front of you, there is no need to search too far for your ideal dog. Stray or Indie dogs have a robust immune system and can withstand the challenging conditions of life on the streets. The main purpose of a stray animal's life is to find food and survive. Unlike what most people believe, they are highly trainable and make for a perfect home pet.

Adopting a stray dog helps to cut down on the overall number of canines that end up on the streets and are relatively low maintenance. Indie dogs are usually considered high energy dogs and thus require an active lifestyle to stay healthy and happy.

One can also choose to adopt their community dog/s by feeding them regularly and looking after them in medical emergencies.

PETA launched its latest pet adoption campaign in India and targeted states of Mumbai, Kolkata, Hyderabad, Chennai, Bengaluru, and Delhi.

The PETA India Senior Campaigns Coordinator Radhika Suryavanshi says, “It is irresponsible for anyone who thinks to buy or breed animals when there are already millions of homeless Indian dogs and cats languishing on the streets and in shelters.” This campaign, launched on Independence Day revolves around the goal of encouraging citizens to be patriot towards the animal community and adopt ‘desi’ dogs instead of foreign pedigree dogs. According to a PETA study, "Pedigree" dogs sold by breeders and in pet stores are frequently denied access to necessary food, exercise, affection, and socialisation. Many foreign dog breeds, such as boxers, German shepherds, and Labrador retrievers, experience abnormally high rates of genetic and hereditary disorders because they are bred for specific exaggerated physical qualities, such as flat faces or long backs. Purebred dogs frequently suffer from respiratory issues, cancer, heart illness, bleeding issues, skeletal malformations, and vision issues. Indian community dogs, on the other hand, are stronger and in better health as they are in the right climate as opposed to pedigree breeds that are often bred for profit without any regulation.

ALSO READ- Did you know about these indigenous dog breeds of India?

dog adoption can save lives

Approximately more than a thousand animals loose their lives everyday due to dire living conditions and lack of care. Adoption is one of the many ways to be a part of something large and contribute towards the better tomorrow for many animals. Remember the policy of ‘Adopt, don’t shop.’ Be patient with your dog after you adopt a pet, especially during the first three to six months, and give yourself time for the adjustment phase. Reassure your dog that he or she is now safe and in a loving environment. This companion will soon become both your best friend and your entire universe!

1 comment
by Ashwin Kumar Singh on January 12, 2023

I want to adopt a dog


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