A guide to dog adoption

August 18, 2022

An Australian Shepherd dog in a pink and rose gold Valgray for Dogs collar while outside with its South African owners

What does the puppy and dog adoption process entail? Firstly… Owoohoo! Don't even get us started on how HAPPY we are to see you here! Secondly, we're so excited about you wanting to adopt a dog (or dogs!) because many loveable souls in animal shelters deserve to live their best lives in a forever home filled with love.

Lastly, we know how intimidating the doggy adoption process is. The requirements for would-be dog owners make finding and bringing a new dog home even scarier, right?! So, without further adieu, here is our guide to dog adoption!


Valgray's guide to dog adoption

Pssst! If you're NEW to owning a dog, give Valgray's guide for new pet owners a read.

A Great Dane in a Valgray for Dogs Bone Grey and gold dog collar sitting face to face with its owner in the South Africa veld.

Most animal shelters have criteria you must meet to adopt a dog or puppy. And, just like human child adoption, you will need to prove you can care for your new furry family member.  
Below are examples of some of the criteria for prospective dog adopters:
  • Your age and the dog's age
  • Job and working hours
  • Willingness and financial ability to accept all the care and needs of the dog/s 
  • Enough income to cover the dog/s needs and care
  • Access to a safe enclosed area for the dog/s to exercise and play
  • Full access to secure 'toilet areas' 
  • Age of children (if any)
  • Other pets (if any)


Tips for the puppy and dog adoption process


A happy black dog with its tongue hang out while walking on a Valgray for Dogs leash at F.A.L.L.E.N. Angels Pet Rescue
Valgray for Dogs adoption tip 1: Adjust your expectations
Visit different local animal shelters, dog homes and rescues organisations multiple times to get more familiar with the dogs before deciding. 

Your 1st visits to dog homes, shelters or rescues 

Expectations and mindset when adopting a dog

It's important not to head to a shelter with the idea that you will meet 'your dog' right away. We know the excitement of bringing home a doggo of your very own is all that's on your mind at the moment, but you've got to manage your expectations because they:
  • Stop you from getting to know each dog properly
  • Blind you to dogs with tons of potential 
  • Are a surefire way to leave any visit feeling disappointed and de-motivated
Valgray for Dogs adoption tip 2: Keep note of dogs that catch your eye 
Write down the dogs' names, descriptions and current homes and arrange to see the dogs who pulled at your heartstrings most.

What to expect at a dog shelter

During your visits, you'll see a lot of puppies and dogs, all of whom need a loving home. 

Valgray for Dogs adoption tip 3: Don't rush
Spend as much time with the dogs as possible to get to know them.

We know you are eager to adopt an adorable pooch (like right now!), but being a pet parent means a lifelong commitment and friendship with your pooch, so be patient when searching for the dog destined to be yours.

Valgray for Dogs adoption tip 4: Reserve judgement
Don't rule out dogs just because they seem too energetic. Shelters usually confine dogs for long periods, which builds up energy and makes them seem hyperactive.

What to ask when adopting a dog or puppy

A small white mixed-breed dog panting with excitement during Valgray for Dogs visit to F.A.L.L.E.N. Angels Pet Rescue in Cape Town

You've FINALLY found the one (...and two, three and four—we won't judge)! Now it's time to ask all the important questions before taking your dog home.  

What is my dog's health history?

You shouldn't leave a shelter without asking about a dog's previous health history and vaccination records because this information will help you understand your dog's care and health needs.

Questions to gather information on your dog's health history

  1. How long have they lived at the rescue? 
  2. Is there any information about their history before arriving at the shelter? 
  3. Are they safe around other animals and kids? 
  4. When was their last round of inoculations?
  5. When were they last dewormed?

 When can I bring my new dog home?

 A black and white bull Terrier sitting on a geometric print carpet while wearing a Valgray for Dogs grey and gold collar with tags

Years ago, some dog charities would let a dog go to their new home straight away, but today, it's standard for most rescue organisations not to allow dogs to go with a new owner before:

1. A full health check-up

To ensure your dog has no underlying problems and is completely healthy before you take them home with you. 

2. Inoculations update

Dogs need vaccinations and regular boosters to prevent a host of illnesses and diseases, including 'core vaccines' for:

  • Canine distemper 

A contagious and often fatal severe viral disease. Distemper affects a dog's breathing, digestive system and nervous system. 

Puppy vaccinations A minimum of 3 doses between age 6-16 weeks
Dog vaccinations
(older than 16 weeks)
 2 doses given 3-4 weeks apart
  • Infectious canine hepatitis/Adenovirus

Canine Adenovirus 1 (CAV-1) is a viral disease that can be fatal. CAV-1 affects the liver and other organs. Canine Adenovirus 2 (CAV-2) causes breathing problems and is one cause of kennel cough. 

CAV-1 inoculations for canine hepatitis depend on the vaccine.

CAV-2 for kennel cough

Puppy vaccinations 3 dose minimum, between 6-16 weeks old.
 Dog vaccinations
(older than 16 weeks)
2 doses 3-4 weeks apart
  • Canine parvovirus

A contagious and often fatal viral disease. Parvovirus (CPV), aka Parvo, causes severe vomiting and diarrhea.

Puppy vaccinations At least 3 doses between 6-16 weeks old.
 Dog vaccinations
(older than 16 weeks)
2 doses, usually 3-4 weeks apart
  • Rabies

A fatal viral disease that's easily transmissible to humans. Rabies attacks the nervous system and often causes extreme fear and aggression.

Puppy vaccinations 1 dose from 3 months old onwards
 Dog vaccinations
(older than 16 weeks)
1 dose 
  • Parainfluenza

Canine parainfluenza virus (C.P.I.V.) is a highly contagious respiratory viral disease that causes flu-like symptoms and coughing.

Puppy vaccinations Given at 6-8 weeks, with 1 shot every 3-4 weeks until 12-14 weeks old.
 Dog vaccinations
(older than 16 weeks)
1 dose
    There is also a wide range of 'non-core' vaccines that your dog may need, based on their current health condition. 

    Valgray for Dogs adoption tip 5: Dogs need vaccine boosters
    Canine distemper boosters Puppies: After 12 months
    Dogs: Every 3 years or as recommended.
    CAV-1 and CAV-2 boosters Puppies: 12 months after initial treatments
    Dogs: Every 3 years oras directed.
    CPV boosters Puppies: After 12 months
    Dogs: Every 3 years or as recommended.
    Rabies boosters Rabies 1 year: Yearly for puppies and dogs
    Rabies 3 years: 2nd vaccination after 12 months, and boosters every 3 years
    Parainfluenza boosters 1-year boosters and re-vaccination every 3 years.

    3. Sterilisation

    You may have to wait a little longer to take your darling dog home after spaying (female) or neutering (male). Dog shelters do this to:

    • Allow dogs to recover in familiar surroundings
    • Decrease emotional trauma after a big procedure
    • Keep an eye on their stitches
    • Reduces chances of infection 
    • Ensure you don't have to visit a vet to have stitches removed

    You're probably wondering why the wait for sterilisation is necessary. To prevent unwanted fur kid pregnancies, obviously! 

    During your visits to local animal shelters, you'll see loads of puppies and older dogs who need homes. If dog charities don't stop the cycle of unwanted pregnancies that result in abandoned puppies, they become part of the problem! There are already too many precious pups in this world looking for homes. So, waiting a few extra weeks (usually around 2-4 weeks) isn't that big a deal. 

    Valgray loves rescue dogs!

    Marco and Rhode, owners of Valgray for Dogs, standing in front of the F.A.L.L.E.N. Angels Pet Rescue signage in Cape Town

    Obviously, we're team ADOPT, and we believe everyone should experience the absolute joy of giving a dog a second (or, in some cases, first) chance at having a great life in a loving home. 

    So, Valgray's pledged to gift every dog successfully adopted from F.A.L.L.E.N. Angels Pet Rescue a gorgeous, easy-to-clean collar with personalised, engraved name tags because they deserve the very best in life!

    Haven't considered visiting F.A.L.L.E.N. Angels Pet Rescue to find a dog? It's just 30 km north of Cape Town and well worth a visit! Contact info@fallenangels.org.za to arrange a visit, or view their website at www.fallenangels.org.za to see some fabulous floofy friends waiting for someone to find them and take them home.

    That's our guide to dog adoption! We hope it makes finding and adopting a dog less intimidating. Next is our blog on How To Measure Your Dog's Neck Using Everyday Household Items.

    Please note this blog is for information purposes only. Valgray for Dogs always encourages dog owners to consult a veterinarian before making any decisions regarding canine care, meals, medical issues, oral care, training and behavioural conditions.

    Click here to learn more about Valgray and our story.



    By shopping with Valgray, you're not only selecting a brand, but you're also becoming a part of the Valgray family and embracing a lifestyle centered around animal welfare, supreme comfort, and impeccable fashion. Our dog collars and accessories are locally produced to radiate elegance and coziness, ensuring that your furry companion is not only the most stylish but also the happiest pup around. We recognize that our customers consider their dogs as family members, which is why we design our dog products with emphasis on quality, style, and comfort. To learn more about our exceptional products, browse our online store or alternatively, reach out to the Valgray team. We're eager to have a conversation with you and share our fashionable products!

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    The Valgray Collar Sizing Guide
    Valgray luxury dog accessory product sizing guide & sizing chart for all size dog collar blog banner. Image from The Valgray Collar Sizing Guide page.


    Collars for all dog sizes!

    Valgray is one of the few brands that cater for the truly tiny pooch with our X-Small collars. We also go the extra mile to ensure we cater for the giant breeds with measurements reaching up to 75cm.

    Never try to guess your dog's neck size! Avoid disappointment by first making sure you measure your pup’s neck for the most accurate sizing.

    Then, refer to our sizing chart below to find the most appropriate collar size for your doggie. Remember to select a collar size that will fit comfortably and allow for movement.

    I don't know how to measure my dog's neck?

    Don’t have a tape measure lying around? No problem! To learn how to measure your dog's neck safely with various household items, click here.

    Valgray luxury dog accessory product sizing guide & sizing chart for extra large, large, medium, small and extra small dog collars. Image from The Valgray Collar Sizing Guide page.

    Personal customisation

    We try our best to cater to every breed, but some doggos might need a little extra at-home customisation to achieve the perfect fit. Our PVC-coated nylon straps are soft, making adjustments at home very easy. Use a standard leather punching tool to add additional holes, or use a utility knife to trim the length of your collar.

    Interested in learning about the paws and humans behind Valgray? Learn about our journey and how we give back on Valgray, This Is How Our Story Started!