A dog is a complex living being who has different emotions and needs, just like humans.

A dog can live for up to 15 years. Adopting a dog means you make a lifetime commitment to that dog. It isn’t a decision that you should take lightly. Carefully consider whether you are able to provide a dog with a safe, secure and loving home for the rest of its life, and take responsibility for the health, welfare and wellbeing of your dog.

Part of WAG’s adoption process is ensuring dogs go to responsible forever homes. Here are some things you should consider if you are thinking of adopting a dog!

Can you provide regular healthcare for your dog?

Your dog will need yearly vaccinations, health check-ups, and deworming. Yearly vaccinations and a health-check up will cost approximately 40,000 RWF. You should deworm your dog every 3 – 6 months using a dewormer specially made for dogs, purchased from a veterinarian. This costs between 5,000 to 20,000 RWF per tablet.

Can you provide emergency healthcare for your dog?

On top of regular healthcare, your dog can also get sick and require veterinary help. Try to save money every month for your dog, in case he or she has to go to the vet for an emergency appointment.

Will you sterilise your dog?

If you adopt a puppy who is not sterilised, you will need to schedule this when they are around 6 months old. This procedure can be expensive, depending on your dog’s sex and size, so before adopting a dog make sure you have considered whether you can afford this.

Is your compound enclosed and secure?

Dog owners should never allow their dogs to roam freely on the streets. They are at risk of being hit by a car or abused. To provide a good environment for a dog, you should have a safe and secure compound where they can exercise, get fresh air and lie in the sun.

Are you planning on keeping your dog in a cage or dog house?

Dogs should never be confined for long periods of time in cages or kennels. Confined dogs can quickly develop behavioural health problems. If you do need to confine your dog, for example when you have visitors, ensure your dog is kept in a clean well-ventilated room or crate with a blanket or mattress to sleep on, a bowl of fresh clean water to drink, and toys to play with. Ensure that they are not kept there for more than 2 hours at a time.

Will you leave Rwanda at some point during your dog’s lifetime?

If so, you will need to make sure that he or she comes with you or stays with a responsible family member who can provide all the love, veterinary care, food, training, walking and care that your dog needs. All WAG adopters must make a forever commitment to their adopted dog, meaning that they are responsible for that dog for their entire lifetime.