When adopting a dog, it’s important to find one who is compatible with your lifestyle. You shouldn’t just adopt the cutest one at your local adoption center. It’s a long-term commitment, and biting more than you can chew can lead to a stressful living situation for both you and your new pet. Here are four tips on how to find the right dog to adopt: 

Determine What Breed and Size Suits You

Larger breeds will require larger living spaces, which means it’s probably a bad idea to adopt a Newfoundland when you’re living in a college dorm or studio apartment. Different breeds of dogs may also exhibit different temperaments. Older or more protective dogs might not be suited for households or apartments that already have a dog. Younger and more active breeds, on the other hand, might not fit with a senior citizen who has limited energy and mobility. 

Determine Your Own Capabilities as a Dog Owner

Some dogs will have undesired behaviors and will require ongoing training; some have health complications or injuries that will require rehabilitation. Are you financially stable enough to pay for medication or surgical procedures if your dog needs it? Do you have training on dog behavior and can anticipate when your dog might attack another dog or human? 

Visit Your Local Shelter

Local shelters are a much better route to take when trying to adopt a dog compared to adopting one through social media or an online platform, like Craigslist. You get a firsthand idea of what to expect from the dog, and an experienced veterinarian can answer any questions you have about the dog or pet care in general. 

Find Established Rescue Groups 

If you want more options or if your local shelters have long waiting lists, you can also find a dog to adopt through rescue groups on the web. Facebook and Instagram are common platforms in which rescue organizations find volunteers and donations to sustain their operations. They post photos and stories of the dogs they rescue and are always looking for homes for these animals since their facilities can only take in a certain number at a given time. 

Don’t adopt a dog on impulse. Too many dogs have been adopted only for their owners to return them back because of incompatibility issues. Assess your situation first and look at all your options before making a final decision.