Living in San Francisco is amazing! While there’s so much to do and see that it’s difficult to get bored, you may still feel like something is missing. This is when you might consider adopting a dog.

The problem is that you have no clue where to start. All you know is that you want a furry friend and you want to adopt because you want to help an animal that has nowhere to go.

Don’t worry. We’ve got you covered. The following steps will help you prepare to adopt a dog in San Francisco.


Figure out if you can bring your pet home

Though San Francisco is full of pet owners, finding pet-friendly housing when you’re renting can be a serious challenge. So, if you’re already renting, you need to check your lease agreement to determine if pets are allowed.

If your building doesn’t allow pets, but you bring home a dog, your landlord is unlikely to accept “I didn’t know” as an excuse. In the best-case scenario, you’ll have to take the pooch back to the shelter. In the worst, your landlord could evict you.

Your lease might not mention pets at all, though it’s unlikely. However, this doesn’t mean that you can bring a pet home without talking to anyone. You will definitely have to talk to your landlord about it, especially since pet-friendly apartments often come with additional costs. Such as a higher security deposit and/or a monthly pet fee.

If you’ve decided nothing will stop you from adopting a pooch, your best bet to find pet-friendly housing quickly is to turn to a company like Blueground. They have a lot of pet-friendly apartments that you can rent in some of the best locations in San Francisco. All of the apartments are beautifully decorated, completely furnished, and fully equipped too.

a living room from a pet-friendly apartment with bay windows

Find out what your building’s pet policies are

If you’re lucky and your landlord has agreed to allow you to adopt a dog in San Francisco, you need to clarify a few things.Blueground offers fully-furnished, equipped and serviced apartments in some of the world's most sought after cities.Most pet-friendly buildings have specific requirements. They’ll often impose restrictions on breed and size, at the very least. So, before you start cruising all the dog adoption websites, make sure that you know what type of dog you can adopt.

If you fall in love with a 50-lb English Bulldog, but your building doesn’t accept dogs larger than 35 lb, you’ll have a problem. Therefore, it’s wise to discover what the conditions are before your heart breaks because you can’t bring Rover home.


Choose the right breed for your lifestyle

Once you know the restrictions you have to abide by, it’s time to research what breed would be suitable for your lifestyle. Remember, just because a dog is small, that doesn’t mean they make good apartment dogs. Some small dogs can be far more energetic, and a lot louder than bigger breeds.

For example, a Bichon Frise is an energetic dog that needs a lot of exercise. So, while they’re great apartment dogs, they’re not the best option if you’re not an active person.

Maltese on the other hand are small dogs that generally make good apartment pets, unless you leave them alone all day. They tend to suffer from separation anxiety, which means it’s only a good idea to get one if you have flexible hours or work from home.

a Bichon Frise lying on a bed

Prepare for your new pup

Before you start the hunt for your new pooch, make sure to get everything ready for their arrival. In some cases, it could take as long as a few weeks to adopt a dog in San Francisco. Sometimes, though, it can take as little as a few hours, so you don’t want to be unprepared.

You’ll have to find a good vet – preferably one that’s not too far away – as well as identifying nearby dog parks. Also, hiring a dog walking service might not be a bad idea either. Then there’s all the stuff your new furry friend will need. Prepare to invest in food, a collar, a leash, food and water bowls, a bed, toys, and so on.


Visit a few places to adopt a dog in San Francisco

San Francisco has a lot of organizations that care for animals who have no home, so you’ll have lots of options.

a boy and a dog playing with a Frisbee in a green park

Many of these organizations advertise the dogs looking for homes on their websites, so you can narrow down the places you want to check out. However, don’t try to adopt a dog in San Francisco without meeting them in person first. Just like with people, you never know what a dog’s personality is like until you meet them.

Some great dog adoption centers include:


Start the adoption process and take your pooch home

Depending on the adoption center, the process can take between a few hours and a few weeks. You’ll be required to fill out paperwork and provide proof of your identity and address. You’ll also have to pay a fee.

Some centers will also require interviews, home visits, and more. Don’t take it personally, though. They’re just trying to find loving homes where the animals will be properly cared for.

Once the adoption has gone through, you can take your pooch home. Ideally, take your new canine companion to the vet within a few days of bringing them home. Some centers will do this themselves, but an extra check-up won’t hurt.

Remember that when you adopt a dog, they might have previously had a rough time. So, be patient with your new companion because they might need a little time to adjust. Before you know it, you and your pooch will be happily cohabitating.

Rate this article


Share article

We use cookies to personalize content and ads, to provide social media features and to analyze our traffic. We also share information about your use of our site with our social media, advertising and analytics partners.

I accept