How Long Does It Take to Adopt a Dog from PetSmart?

Taking the plunge to bring home a furry friend is a delightful decision, loaded with anticipation and excitement. It becomes even more rewarding when you choose to adopt from a pet store like PetSmart, which is known for its work with local animal rescue organizations. This guide sheds light on what prospective pet parents can expect during the process of adopting a dog from PetSmart.

Understanding the PetSmart Adoption Model

PetSmart itself does not house or sell dogs or cats. Instead, they partner with local shelters, rescues, and animal welfare organizations. These partnerships help to increase the visibility of pets that are up for adoption, providing them with a better chance of finding a forever home.

Starting the Adoption Process: Application and Review

Adopting a dog from PetSmart begins with completing an adoption application. The purpose of this application is to ensure that each pet is matched with a suitable home that can cater to its specific needs.

These forms usually ask for details about your living situation, past pet ownership, and your understanding of the responsibilities associated with owning a pet.

The Wait: Approval and Interview

The waiting period varies from one adoption agency to another, but prospective pet parents should anticipate a response within a few days to a week. Once your application is reviewed and approved, a representative from the adoption agency will reach out to you.

The next step generally involves an in-depth interview or home visit. This is done to confirm the information provided in your application and to evaluate if your home is a safe environment for a pet.

The Big Day: Adoption and Adjustment

Once everything checks out, it’s time to welcome your new furry family member home! However, the adoption process doesn’t end here. It’s critical to allow your new pet some time to adjust to their new surroundings.

Post-Adoption Support and Advice

PetSmart offers valuable resources for new pet parents. Their stores provide grooming, training, and a wide range of pet supplies. Furthermore, PetSmart also offers an adoption kit that contains valuable coupons, a free bag of dog food, and information on care and training.


Adopting a dog from PetSmart is a process that takes time, patience, and dedication. However, the end result—a loving bond with a four-legged friend—is more than worth it. While the time it takes can vary based on numerous factors, including the specifics of the rescue or shelter organization, prospective pet owners can typically expect the process to take anywhere from a few days to a couple of weeks.


Q1: What Kind of Dogs Can I Adopt from PetSmart?

Answer: PetSmart’s adoption events feature dogs of all ages, sizes, and breeds, brought by local animal shelters and rescue groups. These can range from mixed breeds to purebreds, puppies to seniors, and small breeds to large breeds. The goal is to find these dogs a loving home, regardless of their age, breed, or size.

Q2: What are the Costs Involved in Adopting a Dog from PetSmart?

Answer: The adoption fees vary as they are set by the individual adoption agencies and not PetSmart itself. These fees typically cover the cost of essential veterinary care like vaccinations, microchipping, spaying or neutering, and sometimes even initial vet visits.

Q3: Can I Take the Dog Home Immediately After Adoption?

Answer: This depends on the policies of the individual animal rescue or shelter. Some organizations allow you to take the pet home the same day, while others might require a home visit or additional checks before releasing the pet.

Q4: How Does PetSmart Ensure the Health of the Dogs?

Answer: PetSmart works with reputable local animal shelters and rescue groups. These organizations ensure the dogs have received necessary medical care, such as vaccinations, deworming, and spay/neuter procedures. It’s advisable, however, to take your newly adopted dog to your vet for a health check-up post-adoption.

Q5: Does PetSmart Provide Post-Adoption Support?

Answer: Yes, PetSmart provides a range of services and resources to help new pet parents. This includes grooming and training services, as well as an adoption kit with valuable coupons and information on pet care.

Q6: What Happens If the Adoption Doesn’t Work Out?

Answer: Many adoption agencies have a policy in place for situations where the adoption doesn’t work out. While they aim to ensure that each adoption is a perfect match, they understand that sometimes things don’t go as planned. In such cases, most organizations will accept the pet back to find them a more suitable home.

Q7: Can I Adopt a Dog from PetSmart If I Already Have Other Pets?

Answer: Yes, you can. The key here is to ensure that your existing pets and your potential new family member are compatible. The adoption agency may require information about your current pets and may also suggest supervised meetings to check compatibility.

Q8: Can I Adopt a Dog from PetSmart If I Live in an Apartment?

Answer: Absolutely. Many dogs adapt well to apartment living. During the application process, you’ll likely be asked about your living situation so the shelter or rescue group can help you find a dog that suits your lifestyle and environment.

Q9: What If I’m Interested in a Specific Breed Not Available at the Adoption Event?

Answer: PetSmart’s adoption events feature a wide variety of breeds. However, if you’re interested in a specific breed not present at the event, it’s recommended to connect directly with the partnering rescue organizations. They can inform you about upcoming events or even put you on a waitlist for your preferred breed.

Q10: Can I Reserve a Dog That I Like from PetSmart’s Adoption Event?

Answer: Policies regarding reserving a pet may vary from one organization to another. It’s best to communicate your interest to the representative from the rescue organization at the event, and they can guide you accordingly.

Q11: How Can I Prepare My Home for My New Pet?

Answer: It’s essential to pet-proof your home before bringing a new pet home. This includes securing loose wires, removing toxic plants, and ensuring small objects that could be choking hazards are out of reach. It would also be beneficial to set up a specific area for your new pet with their bed, food and water bowls, and toys.

Q12: Do I Need to Buy Any Specific Supplies for My Newly Adopted Dog?

Answer: Basic supplies for a newly adopted dog include a collar and leash, food and water bowls, a bed, dog food, and some toys. PetSmart offers a wide range of these supplies. Depending on the dog’s age and health status, you might also need puppy pads, senior dog care items, or health supplements.

Q13: Are the Dogs at PetSmart’s Adoption Events Trained?

Answer: The training level of the dogs can vary. Some may have received basic obedience training while others might need a bit more guidance. PetSmart offers a range of training classes to help with everything from basic commands to more complex behaviors.

Q14: What Should I Do If My New Pet Exhibits Behavioral Issues?

Answer: Adjusting to a new home can be stressful for a pet and may lead to temporary behavioral changes. Patience, consistency, and positive reinforcement are key during this period. If behavioral issues persist, consider seeking advice from a professional trainer or a veterinarian.

Q15: Does PetSmart Offer Support or Guidance for First-Time Pet Parents?

Answer: Absolutely. PetSmart offers various resources to help first-time pet parents, including pet care guides, training classes, and a knowledgeable staff ready to answer your questions. Plus, their adoption kits include essential information about pet care and feeding.

Q16: Can I Adopt a Dog from PetSmart as a Gift for Someone Else?

Answer: While the intention is noble, it’s crucial to remember that pet ownership is a significant responsibility. Many adoption organizations prefer the prospective pet owner to be present to ensure a good match. If you’re considering this, it’s best to discuss it with the person you’re gifting and the adoption agency beforehand.

Q17: How Often Does PetSmart Hold Adoption Events?

Answer: PetSmart holds regular adoption events, often on weekends. However, the frequency of these events can depend on the specific store location and the partner rescue organizations. You can check with your local PetSmart store for their schedule.

Q18: Can I Volunteer at PetSmart’s Adoption Events?

Answer: Yes, many of the rescue organizations that partner with PetSmart rely heavily on volunteers for their operations, including the adoption events. If you’re interested in volunteering, contact the rescue organization directly.

Q19: What is PetSmart’s Policy on Spay/Neuter?

Answer: PetSmart encourages the spaying and neutering of pets to prevent overpopulation. Most of the animals available at their adoption events are already spayed or neutered, or the procedure is included as part of the adoption fee.

Q20: Can I Return a Dog Adopted from PetSmart?

Answer: While PetSmart hopes every adoption will be a lifelong match, they understand that circumstances can change. If an adoption doesn’t work out, it’s generally the partnering shelter or rescue group’s responsibility to rehome the pet. They will have policies in place for such situations, which should be clarified during the adoption process.

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