Do you want to Adopt a Dog in India? But not sure how to go forward? First, accept my heartiest congratulations for considering adoption. In India thousands of abandoned dogs flock the shelter homes daily. It is disheartening to see those innocent souls suffer. But people like you can help them regain the trust in humanity. This article will cover some important details on How to Adopt a Dog in India, the mental preparation, adoption procedure and much more.


Are you Ready to Welcome an Adult Dog?

Pet parents not only in India but across the world are usually inclined to adopt young puppies. As they may feel that it is easier to train them and make them adapt well to their surroundings. This is one of the reasons why a majority of abandoned dogs are adult or senior dogs. Lack of awareness and experience in handling pets can be another reason for this tendency. Many pet parents adopt a puppy for their ‘cuteness factor’ . But once those puppies grow up the ‘cuteness factor’ starts to diminish gradually in their eyes, especially in large dog breeds. Their requirement for physical and mental stimulation increases and that involves a lot of care and commitment.

Adult Dog on Adoption


Unfortunately, some people start to consider these requirements as ‘burden’ and ‘hectic’ . Then they just want to get rid of their responsibilities and abandon their pets. While you consider adopting a dog, please do consider all these factors. Abandoned dogs already go through a lot of anxiety, stress and trauma. You need to have enough patience to first identify those and then work sincerely to improve on those experiences. The intention to help is definitely praise worthy but the commitment it requires is a reality. Before you make you mind to Adopt a Dog, please think and re-think about these factors. Because another abandonment and rehoming would be very very heartbreaking for a dog.


Procedure to Adopt a Dog in India-

In India there are many shelter homes that rescue abandoned dogs and take care of them until they find their ‘forever homes’. They mostly lack funds and resources to take care of so many dogs and bear their medical expenses. The volunteers at these shelters work very hard to rescue and rehome dogs. So they have all the right to make sure that a dog finds the right home. To make sure of a dog’s safety, they follow a thorough house-check procedure and may ask you many questions before they hand over a dog to you. Please be patient and co-operate with them for a smooth adoption procedure. Some of the most commonly asked questions for potential adopters can be the following-

1) Your previous experience in handling pets.

2) Your income ( this is just to make sure that you can provide good care for the pet and not to judge you) and location details, age, family members etc.

3) Your identity proof and if you already have other pets at home.

4) Details of the main caregiver for the dog.

5) Your daily schedule(broadly) to make sure you can devote adequate time to take care of the daily walk, exercise requirements etc.

Dog Adoption Procedure- Volunteers

Every Shelter home follows their own adoption procedure and provides a detailed application form that you need to fill up. The volunteers would require your address to complete house-check and other formalities. Even after the adoption procedure is over, the volunteers would want to make a visit to your house and request for updates from you to check if the dog is actually doing well with their new family. Make sure that you are mentally prepared to go through these procedures before you decide to Adopt a Dog in India. This may sound hectic if you are not aware of these procedures. But think once..if you have to give someone else the responsibility of taking care of any of your family members, won’t you be equally concerned for their wellbeing?

Once you go through all the formalities as mentioned above, you are ready to get the custody of your dog formally. Make sure to collect your own copy of adoption papers. Also, do not forget to know details about the dog’s medical history, food habit etc so that it is easier for both you and your dog to adjust well with each other.

Commitments Involved in Adopting a Rescue Dog-

Adopting a rescue dog or a shelter dog may involve some short term and long term commitments. It is important for you to make a note of these before you go ahead and Adopt a Dog. The commitments are broadly as the following-

1) You need to make sure that the dog you are about to adopt, is suitable for your family and vice versa. Some rescued dogs may have trust issues due to their past experiences and trauma. You may need to foster them for some days to see if you can deal with it and if they feel comfortable in your home.

2) Neutering / Spaying a dog before adoption is a common condition that shelter homes put forward. This is to make sure that the dog does not end up in the hands of someone who may use them for breeding purposes. In most cases the adopter needs to bear the medical expenses for spaying/ neutering. Make sure that you have adequate funds to sponsor this.

3)An abandoned dog may go through a lot of trauma and abuse. This experience can negatively impact their behaviour. They may develop aggression issues and you may need help of a professional animal behaviourist to work on them. Before you commit, make sure you are ready to go through this procedure. A dog may need a short term or long term training sessions to heal and regain their trust. You have to be very patient and devote adequate time to help your dog in this process.

Dog Behaviour Training

4) If you already have another pet at home, then you need to make sure that both the dogs adjust well and feel comfortable with each other. It should be a rewarding experience for both the dogs and you need to devote time for their socialization process. Fostering can help a lot to see if it works. Do consider that before you Adopt a Dog.


Benefits of Adopting an Adult Dog:

The benefits of adopting an adult dog are many. And it can actually outweigh the challenges. Some of the benefits are mentioned below-

1) You can experience the joy and happiness of helping a poor soul in regaining their trust in people. This is an experience of a lifetime.

2) Adult dogs may already be aware of many things that you need to specifically teach a puppy. For example- toilet training, leash walking, basic obedience commands etc. It may take some time and practice to let them feel comfortable enough in your house and recollect the training they may have already received.

3) Adult dogs have already gone through their teething phase. So unlike puppies, they would not have a tendency to chew on your belongings.

4) Adult dogs tend to be more independent than puppies. Yes, they would still require your love and attention, but not as much as a puppy requires.

5) You need to feed an adult dog only 2-3 times a day. This makes toilet training( if they are not already toilet trained) much easier.

6) Adult dogs can adapt to new situations more quickly due to their maturity level. This may include quick socialization with other pets, bonding with other family members etc.

Find the Right Dog for You:

“All dogs are good dogs”.
While this phrase is absolutely true, all dogs may not be suitable for all households. Once you decide to Adopt a Dog in India, make sure to do your own research to find the right dog for you. This may involve paying many visits to different shelter homes in your area. As I mentioned earlier, fostering is an excellent way to take care of this.

Find the Right Dog for you

You have all the right to choose a dog that you can better care for. If you have many family members and house help to take care of a dog with high exercise requirement then adopt one accordingly. Or if you think a small dog/ lap dog would be more suitable for you, be very clear about it in your mind. Remember, it is not wrong to have choice. But it would be wrong and heartbreaking if you take up a responsibility that you cannot adhere to.

Do’s and Don’ts-

Finally, there are some Do’s and Don’ts of adopting a dog that you need to keep in mind.


1)Research adequately about the dog that fits well in your situation.

2)Sincerely adhere to adoption formalities.

3)Cooperate with volunteers in house checking process.

4)Complete adoption formalities and keep a copy of adoption papers for your future reference.

5) Adopt only from registered shelter homes.

6)Be clear and honest while putting forward your requirements in front of the shelter homes.

7)Take your time to decide and choose fostering if you have an option.


1) Don’t entertain adoption requests from unknown persons.

2) Don’t stop cooperating with adoption volunteers once you get the custody of the dog.

3) Don’t hurry while socializing an adopted dog with other pets. They need sufficient time to adjust.

3) Don’t go for an undocumented adoption procedure. Thoroughly check adoption papers and rules by yourself.

4) Don’t adopt a dog for mating purpose. There is a reason why professional breeders are there. Please don’t fall for such unethical practices.

5) Don’t adopt a dog due to anyone’s persuasion on influence. It is a serious commitment and you should be the only one taking a final call.


Adopting a dog is a rewarding experience. And adopting a rescue dog is a noble cause. Every living being requires an emotional nurturing and welcoming an abandoned pet to your family is a great cause that deserves much appreciation. If you think you have the time and resources to take care of such a dog then please go for it.

Image of a Dog at a Shelter Home

Thousands of abandoned dogs wait at the shelter homes in the hope that someday, their hooman would find them. That they would have a family again to love and care for them. They deserve it..and you deserve applause for the thought. Cheers to that thought! There is a misconception that it is very difficult to Adopt a Dog in India due to the lengthy process it involves. But this is not true. A process can be much easier if it involves cooperation from both the sides. There should be no compromise with ‘due process’ . Let’s hope that each one of us can contribute to this great cause by adopting a pet whenever we can, wherever we can!

Happy Pawrenting!