Adopt a dog from a shelter? (This is what you should consider)

You want to adopt a dog from the shelter? But what do you need to consider when making the purchase? How high are the costs? We'll show you that and more in this article. As a bonus, we have prepared a PDF checklist for you below. So that you are on the safe side!

Animal shelter 1
Table of Contents

You are looking for a dog? Then you can now do something against animal suffering and torture! 

Every day, horrific images flood our faces on Instagram, Facebook and the like. They show abandoned or neglected animals. Many end up in an animal shelter....

What initially looks like a temporary rescue quickly turns out to be a lifetime of custody. The animals become lonely in overcrowded animal shelters. 

Adopt dog from shelter, right for me?

Animal shelter

The acquisition of a pet always brings with it a great responsibility. Therefore, you should think very carefully about whether you want to take on this responsibility. 

Does your living situation allow you to have a dog? In many apartments dogs are not allowed or unwanted by the landlord. 

How much space can you offer your new roommate? In addition to plenty of exercise, the size of your home is also crucial when choosing a dog. 

Are you often at home or on the road all day? Dogs love the company of their humans and do not like to stay alone. 

Do you already have other pets? For a harmonious coexistence you need to make the right choice. 

It is important that all family members agree to the acquisition of a dog. You are entering into a long-term relationship with your four-legged friend. 

You should also be aware that a dog running costs brings with it. Food and vet visits will be permanent, as well as the dog tax. The purchase of accessories and toys also costs money.

Breeders, pet shops and internet forums

How to Stop Puppies

You also have the possibility to buy a dog from a breeder, from a pet shop or via internet forums. 

Should you decide to get a breeding dog, please make sure that it is a reputable breeder, whom you may also visit more often on site to have a closer look at his breeding facility. 

In addition, a breeder with passion will ask you extensively about your living conditions. Because he wants to make sure that his puppy is in good hands in the future.


From breeders or from the trade from abroad like Romania, Poland etc. you should keep distance. 

The animals are bred there in agonizing circumstances and are mostly sick. The breeders are not primarily concerned with the welfare of the dog or the placement of a healthy animal. 

They also don't really care who the future owner of the dog will be and in what circumstances the dog will live in its new home, as long as the money is right. Many of these animals are smuggled into Germany under disastrous circumstances.

Always keep in mind: By buying a dog, another dog in the shelter has to give up a new home and a loving family!


Why are animal shelters so overcrowded?

Animal shelter 2

German animal shelters are overcrowded and getting more and more crowded. There are about 550 animal shelters in Germany. More than 100,000 dogs end up here every year and usually stay for the rest of their lives. 

There are several reasons for this unattractive situation:

  • Spontaneous and rash purchases
  • Dogs as gifts (especially after Christmas, the number of animals given away increases dramatically).
  • Vacation (yes - for a few days vacation dogs are deported to the shelter for life)
  • High cost
  • Change in housing or living situation
  • Animal hair allergies, other diseases or death of the owners
  • Rescues from abroad

Reasons for shelter adoption

But why would you choose a dog from a shelter? 

Adopting from the shelter only brings benefits to everyone involved. You have the opportunity to do something really good. Every animal deserves a loving home with loving people. You can give a four-legged friend a second chance.

Advantages for the dog

Dogs need company and a lot of love. Even if they are cared for and looked after in the shelter, they do not get the attention they need. They miss their own family or a loving owner. 

Even though the shelter workers take care of the animals as best they can, they simply don't have the time. With the large number of animals, they are unable to meet all individual needs. 

So the dogs are often lonely and bored. Here you can counteract by opening the loving door of a new home to one of these dogs.

Advantages for you

A shelter adoption also comes with great benefits for you. 

You can actively do something against animal suffering and give a lonely dog a new home. Your new companion will show you more gratitude than any other animal. 

The animals often do not understand why they can not go back to their old family and suffer all the more. Despite this pain, you can quickly gain their trust. 

You can first get to know your new darling in peace before you decide for him. So you can check exactly whether your chemistry is right. 

If you are a good match and harmonize with each other, only the general conditions need to be clarified.

Advantages for the shelter

Once you have rescued a dog, a new place becomes available for an animal in need. This way you can help even more animals by adopting them. The protection fee only covers the medical and food costs for the adopted animal. No one enriches themselves with this money.

How much does a dog from a shelter cost?

It falls only one Protective fee of about 200 euros an. Another advantage is also the financial side. With a breeder you would pay the multiple. You get for it a veterinarian examined, vaccinated and dewormed dog. 

As a rule, the animals in the homes are healthy and lively. Males are mostly already castrated. So you can save those vet fees. 

How can I adopt a dog from the shelter?

You have a wide choice of animal shelters all over Germany. Also the Foreign animal protection offers you an interesting alternative. So you are not only bound to the animal shelter in your area. 

Animal shelters and the foreign animal protection have clear homepages. Here you can look at the dogs in advance. If your dream dog is there, you should first call the shelter and make an appointment to get to know it. 

Of course, you can also ask for a dog that suits you on the spot. The shelter employees know their protégés very well and can be very helpful in your selection.

A big prejudice is that animals from the shelter are disturbed and difficult. Your first visit to the shelter will immediately convince you otherwise. 

Dogs with different characteristics are waiting for a new home. Four-legged friends of all breeds, ages and different characters are represented there. 

Before you can take your new four-legged friend with you, you still have a few steps to take: An initial interview with shelter staff will serve as a first assessment. You have to give a detailed self-disclosure about your living, family and working situation. 

Through this self-disclosure, you help the shelter staff find the right dog for you. Not every dog that you like at first sight is ideal for your living situation. 

Once the selection has been made, nothing stands in the way of getting to know each other. For dogs, walks are a good way to do this.

If the chemistry between you is right, a preliminary check by employees of the animal welfare association is pending. They visit you in your home and check whether your details are correct. If everything fits, your new protégé can move into his future home.

Download checklist

Checklist Notes
Are there allergy sufferers in the family?
Will each family member take responsibility for him?
Do you / do you have enough time for the new family member?
Are there other animals at home?
Are there (small) children in the family?
Are you willing to pay the costs (food, vet, accessories, dog tax)?
Do you have enough space for a dog?
Does your landlord give you his consent?
Are there any foreseeable changes coming to your life situation?
What size and breed is appropriate for your living situation?


I hope that this article has helped you in your decision. You now have enough information and reasons for adoption. Take your time to go through the adoption checklist and then I am confident that you can make the right decision.

Do you have feedback or questions? Then feel free to leave a comment below for us.

Written by Claudia Weise
Written by Claudia Weise

I'm editor-in-chief at Hundeo and when it comes to dogs, my heart beats faster. My goal is to publish the best dog guides on the web. There is a lot of passion in every article and I welcome any feedback to constantly improve our content.

Learn More

Share Now:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *