How to Adopt a Dog That’s Right for Your Space

Organizing Tips

puppy sleeping with a toy in his kennel

There may be no greater gift for your family, or for an animal, than to bring home a pet for the holidays, but you should consider planning ahead to organize your living space before you adopt a dog so that your gift is a success. Also be sure that you’re choosing a pet that fits your household.

Of course it is important to consider the size of your space and your lifestyle before you select one. If you know the breed, or consult with a vet, you should be able to tell how large the animal will get. Size, however, isn’t everything. Great Danes are considered giant lap dogs and are not normally as active as some canines a fraction of their size and, surprisingly, would do better in a smaller living space than those animals.

“Look at what you do and the things you will do into the future,“ said Ricky Whitman, a spokeswoman for the Pasadena Humane Society & SPCA “If you run and want a dog to do that with you, don’t choose a dachshund. If you sit on the couch and watch TV a lot, make sure you have a dog that likes to do that.“

If you are obsessed with a tidy yard, be sure you steer clear of a breed known for digging and other yard destruction. A lot of dogs grow out of the habit if they have it as puppies, but others are more likely to carry it into adulthood. Ricky urged owners to be patient and to go for training over time. “Dogs aren’t born knowing what to do,“ she said. Older dogs are sometimes easier to adopt because they are mellower than puppies and often already know how to live with a family, with potty training experience and the like. “It’s not true that you can’t teach an old dog new tricks,“ Ricky said.

dog with a piece of garden hose in his mouth

You can make just about any dog work as long as you know what you’re getting into, that a very active dog in a small apartment is going to require more monitoring and constant walks.

When you do get a dog, if it is active and likes toys, be sure to provide plenty as a distraction from damaging your house or yard, especially while it is still teething until about eight months. Ideally, consider furniture slip covers that are machine washable and walls painted in semi-gloss paint, as if you were adopting a child. Throw rugs are easier to keep clean than wall-to-wall carpet. Give a dog his own bed in rooms you frequent so he has a space besides your furniture to crash on. Visit the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals website to learn more on prepping for a new pet.

There are differences of opinion about adopting a dog around the holidays or giving a pet as a gift. Ricky believes that it is better for the family to choose a new pet as group or the new owner to go on his own to pick out an animal to ensure there is a strong bond and that the pet is a good fit. The Pasadena pound and others like it offers gift certificates from its store on site that can be given under the tree with the promise of visiting in person later. The ASPCA supports adopting pets around the holidays as gifts, according to its recent article.

If you’re not quite sure whether you’re ready to adopt, consider fostering a pet for the holidays through, which is also a site that displays animals for adoption.

Most of all, be sure to give the dog your time and attention. Enjoy!

Do you have tips or fun stories about adopting a pet? Please share below or tell us on Facebook, Pinterest, Google , or Twitter!

by Ann Griffith Google

Photo upload terms and conditions

  1. Maximum file size accepted is 5 MB.
  2. Public Storage reserves the right in its sole discretion to decline to use any photo submitted.
  3. Images must be your own.
  4. You must have permission of anyone featured in the photo before uploading for use by Public Storage.
  5. Photos must not infringe upon the copyrights or trademarks of any person or entity.
  6. By submitting, you agree that Public Storage can use and shall own the photos and all rights therein.
  7. You understand and acknowledge that you are receiving no compensation in exchange for submitting images, though some images may also be used as part of a giveaway if announced on social media for that time period.
  8. Submitting the photo does not automatically enter you to participate in any contest or sweepstakes.
  9. By submitting a photo, you agree that Public Storage may use your image (and the likeness of anyone featured in that image) for advertising or the like and in any media of any kind, including any social media channel, without compensation of any kind. The photo may be used in this matter at any time and without further notification or release. The photo will be kept by Public Storage and not returned to you.
  10. By submitting a photo, you agree that Public Storage may contact you with questions about you and other people and activities represented in the image.
  11. By submitting a photo, you agree to defend, hold harmless and indemnify Public Storage and each and all of the agents, representatives, insurers, employees, attorneys, successors, subsidiaries, parent companies, affiliated companies, assigns, officers, directors, and shareholders of Public Storage, both present and past (collectively referred to herein as “Public Storage”) and the like against any and all claims, including claims of infringement of any intellectual property rights, proprietary rights, rights or privacy and publicity, moral rights and rights of attribution raise by third parties in connection with any photo submitted.
  12. Public Storage is not responsible for any injury, losses or damages of any kind resulting from the submission of your photo.
  13. Public Storage assumes no responsibility for letting you know whether the photo was or was not used.
  14. Public Storage assumes no responsibility for notifying you of why your photo is or is not used.
  15. Public Storage assumes no responsibility for any error, omission, deletion, defect, theft, destruction or alteration of any photo.
  16. You release Public Storage and each and all of the agents, representatives, insurers, employees, attorneys, successors, subsidiaries, parent companies, affiliated companies, assigns, officers, directors, and shareholders of Public Storage, both present and past from and against any and all claims which you have now or may have in the future for invasion of privacy, defamation, violations of rights of publicity or any other cause of action arising out of distribution, copying, display or other use of the photo in any way.
  17. Your submission shall be exclusively governed by the laws of the State of California, without regard to conflicts of law provisions. You (or your parent/legal guardian if you are a minor) submit to the jurisdiction of California and agree that any dispute shall be resolved by binding arbitration to be held in Los Angeles, CA via the Rules for Commercial Arbitration of the American Arbitration Association. In the event that arbitration is prohibited by law, you agree that any lawsuit or legal action with respect to any submitted materials must be brought in the state and federal courts in Los Angeles County, Los Angeles. You and Public Storage agree that claims may only be brought in an individual capacity and in the name of an individual person or entity and that claims must proceed on an individual and non-class and non-representative basis.