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What should you think about before adopting a dog?

Facts & Tips

Written by Karin Lundgren

Licensed Veterinary Nurse

I have been working for the last 10 years doing what I love - making sure our pets, especially cats and dogs, are healthy and happy. After graduating from SLU, in 2013, I have worked in both larger animal hospitals and smaller clinics, with anaesthesia, dentistry and nutrition.

Meet the team

Adopting is a fantastic opportunity to give a homeless dog a loving and safe home. But it is also a big responsibility and a decision that will affect your life for many years to come. Before you take the plunge, there are several things you should think about. In this article, we will answer the most common questions about how to adopt an adult dog or puppy and provide guidance to make the best decision for both you and your four-legged friend.

Why adopt a dog?

Adopting an adult dog or puppy from an animal shelter or rescue organization gives homeless dogs a second chance for a loving home. There are organizations that work with this both in Sweden and abroad, and the reasons why the dog needs a new home can be many. Abroad, it may be a street dog, while in Sweden it is more common for dogs to be relocated due to, for example, behavioral problems, previous owners not being able to keep the dog, or the dog being taken into care due to neglect. A shelter dog can have a lot of previous experience in its emotional baggage, and it is therefore extra important to be prepared for all the extra work and patience it requires.

What should I consider before making the decision to adopt?

Before you decide to adopt a dog, it is important to do careful self-reflection. Think about your lifestyle, time and financial possibilities and how a dog would fit into your daily life. Puppies require extra time and training to grow up into safe and balanced dogs. It is also important to consider which breed or mix is ​​best for your situation, as different dogs have different needs and personalities. Also, be honest and assess what you can handle - many dogs can come with stress, fears or other behaviors that require an experienced dog owner with a lot of time and patience, and may not suit someone who is getting their first dog.

Our ambassador Linda has adopted her podencos Elfin and Molly - read more about her experiences and tips for those of you who are considering adopting!

How much does it cost to adopt a dog?

The costs of adopting a dog can vary depending on where you adopt from, the type of dog you choose, and whether it is an adult dog or a puppy. Usually the adoption fee includes vaccinations, neutering and a basic health check. There may also be a fee to cover additional costs for the animal shelter or rescue organization. However, many relocations or adoptions are done privately from the previous home to the new one via advertisements, where the cost can vary. Always keep in mind that the actual cost of the dog is always the smallest investment, regardless of where it comes from - the costs of owning a dog are veterinary care, insurance, feed and everything else a dog needs to feel good! You must therefore have the financial means not only to buy the dog, but also to give it a good life for many years to come.

Where can you adopt dogs?

There are several options for adopting a dog or a puppy. Animal shelters, rescue organizations, and rehoming organizations can all be places to find dogs that need a home. In addition, there are also online platforms and websites that specialize in matching homeless dogs with potential owners. If you are looking for a particular breed, sometimes the breed clubs have dogs out for relocation, where, for example, the dog has been returned to its kennel and is looking for a new owner. At the bottom of the article we share links to some organizations in Sweden.

What should you consider if you adopt a dog abroad?

If you choose to adopt a dog from another country, there are a few more things to consider. Make sure you choose a responsible and reliable organization that has an ethical approach to adoption. The organization must be serious and able to answer all your questions and tell you about their dogs and how they work. Before adopting, make sure you are aware of the risks and challenges of international adoption, including transportation and quarantine rules, infection prevention and vaccinations.


Adopting a dog is a rewarding and meaningful experience and can be life-changing for the dog. Adopting is also a big responsibility and it is therefore important to make a thorough preparation before taking the big step. It can take a lot of work with a dog with a history of traumatic experiences, but that work is returned a thousandfold when you win the dog's trust and love!