How to Adopt a Dog with a Clean Bill of Health

When adopting a dog for the first time, it's important to know how to adopt a dog with a clean bill of health. In order to make sure the dog is in good health, you need to know what things to look for, such as whether the dog has been spayed or neutered, and whether he's had his shots. This will save the new pet owner and the dog a lot of headaches in the end.

Spayed or Neutered

Make sure that the dog is spayed or neutered to avoid the hassle of the dog getting pregnant or getting another dog pregnant, if they happen to get lost. Spaying is the process of removing the female dog's ovaries and uterus, while neutering removes a male's testicles.

Benefits of Spaying and Neutering

Having a female dog spayed not only prevents her from becoming pregnant, it keeps her from getting a number of cancers, such as mammary gland cancer. The chances of getting the cancer is reduced, depending on when she becomes in heat. For instance, if she has her first heat before being spayed, she is less likely to contract the cancer. It can also be reduced if she is past the second heat. Neutering can make a male dog less aggressive and more playful, but it also prevents cancers of the testicles and anus. A dog will still show some signs of humping and marking of their territory, but not as often. The testosterone in the dog won't be as high as it would be if they were not neutered.

Cost of Spaying and Neutering

Neutering costs from $45 to $135, depending on where the process is received. Spaying costs from $50 to $175 because it is a complicated surgery. On bigger dogs, it can cost up to $300 for neutering or spaying. A dog in heat can cost an extra $25. Spaying a pregnant dog can go up to $125. When adopting a dog, the shelter will include the spaying and neutering fee in the price.


New dogs can easily get ill, so it is important to get their shots every 3 to 4 weeks until they are 16 weeks old. In adult dogs, they can be given their shots every year. Some important shots that all dogs need are DHL-P, Lyme Disease, Rabies, Bordetella and Parvovirus.


Look to see if the dog is groomed. A dog that is scratching a lot, or that has long nails, dirty ears and shedding hair is not a well groomed animal.The dog will more than likely have more issues than the pet owner wants to handle.

Health Guarantee

Get a 2 year health guarantee in writing to make sure the dog is free of genetic problems. The guarantee also should state that a dog can be returned if any health problems arise with the returning of all money paid.