Can You Play With Dogs At Shelters? [Must Read]

Regarding talking, dogs and playing usually go hand in hand. No wonder dogs are in shelters. Dogs are playful at most of their ages. Play, especially playing with people, can help dogs in animal shelters feel less stressed and be healthier physically and behaviorally. But the concern is, can we play with dogs at shelters?

There are no particular restrictions at animal shelters for visitors. But it is necessary to get consent from shelter staff or management before interacting with dogs at the shelter. The best possible solution is to volunteer at the shelter, which is highly accepted by shelter staff.

Visiting an animal shelter can be highly rewarding when looking for a new pet dog. Certain behaviors of certain dogs are appropriate or safe while we are in the shelter, while other behaviors of certain dogs are not. So, let’s discuss whether we can play with dogs at shelters? If so, can we visit animal shelters regularly? Rather than a shelter where we can interact with or play with dogs, there are numerous points to consider.

Are you allowed to play with dogs at shelters?

Are we probably allowed to play with the animals at an animal shelter? Possibly yes, we are permitted based on the specific policies of each shelter. But it’s also possible that the answer is no. Some shelters could forbid you from visiting to play.

There can be fair reasons for that prohibition. Before we can visit the shelter where the dogs are, some may require us to schedule an appointment.

As I mentioned, everything is based on each shelter’s policies. We might have to sign in at certain shelters, we might need a supervisor or volunteer to accompany us, special consent might be taken if we are taking those shelter dogs out with us, and we might be allowed to be alone in the room with the dogs at other shelters.

In some shelters, we might also need to go through a safety routine before entering rooms. Visitors shouldn’t be attacked or scratched by animals in shelters.

We won’t be alone for long, though, as volunteers or shelter workers frequently circulate through the dog and cat rooms to clean, feed, replace litter, change towels or blankets, and let dogs in and out of their cages (usually just one animal, sometimes two if they get along, is allowed out on the floor at any time). So if we’re there to play, we must prepare for many interruptions.

The best way to interact with dogs at a shelter is to become a volunteer there. We might help with some cleaning or other maintenance tasks.

Still, play is also part of a volunteer’s job because shelter animals require interaction to become adopted. Procedures are more accessible in animal shelters that don’t have as many facilities.

Still, even there, we can’t just stroll in and play with the dogs. The staff there will be pleased to have us as volunteers. As most shelters lack the necessary supplies, we will also be required to clean the kennels, feed the pets, take the dogs on walks, and, yes, even play with them.

We’ll need to take care of everything a pet owner would. And aside from adopting them, it is the finest thing we can do for the unfortunate individuals there.

It is wonderful and heartwarming. Please don’t assume it’s played if you want to get involved; give volunteering some thought.

Where can you interact/play with dogs?

You may feel like saying, “I wish I could have a dog right now, but I can’t.” Perhaps you simply lack the resources, or you share your home with someone who has allergies, or you might spend a lot of time away from home between work and social obligations.

So, a dog would spend much of its time alone in an apartment, which seems harsh.

Whatever the reason, we can ask our dog-owning friends and neighbors about various opportunities to spend time with dogs and engage in dog-related activities. In fact, I’m going to discuss some places where we can play with dogs. Let’s see what they are.

1. At the dog park

The dog park is a good place to interact with many other dogs. Dog owners in the area visit dog parks. So we can meet new people too. Having dog-owning friends that you can visit will be helpful.

We can go there because most dog parks don’t have rules stating that visitors must have dogs to enter.

2. Be a dog sitter for a friend or a relative.

This way will also help you interact with dogs. If one of our friends or relatives with a dog needs to leave the dog for any reason, we can be their dog sitter. Perhaps you can use some of the connections you made at the dog park to meet some adorable puppies.

3. At a dog sanctuary

We can choose a dog sanctuary if we love to visit dogs. There are plenty of dog sanctuaries worldwide, some of which non-profit organizations maintain. In there, we can meet injured dogs as well as disabled dogs.

4. Ask an aged neighbor to walk his/her dog.

Dogs provide great comfort and companionship to elderly people who cannot walk as frequently as they once could. These dogs require activity, but it can be challenging for older citizens to give their puppies that. Most of them would be grateful for our assistance with their dogs, and we’ll get our fix too.

5. In addition, at a dog shelter

And this is what we are talking about. Dogs in shelters require affection and company; we need dogs to love and be with. So, a shelter is also ideal for interacting and playing with dogs, primarily as volunteers.

Can you visit animal shelters regularly?

Yes! It is possible for us to visit animal shelters regularly if we have the consent of the relevant shelter. So it is important to get permission before visiting the shelter regularly.

We couldn’t wait to go back to a dog shelter we visited just to see the dogs. Because dogs are such adorable living beings whom we cannot abandon.

This also benefits animal shelters because it helps dogs, cats, and other animals become accustomed to gentle human contact and sounds.

The more frequently people visit their local animal shelters and the abandoned dogs in their care, the more they will support them. The favorable impression they create will encourage word-of-mouth among citizens considering adopting or donating.

Things to be aware of.

So far, we have discussed how we can visit dog shelters and play with shelter dogs, along with some other places we can interact with dogs other than dog shelters.

When going through these points, some factors should be of greater concern. So now is the time to look at those important things.

  • If a sign says “Keep Hands out of the Cage,” but you still want to stroke the adorable dog or puppy, don’t! You shouldn’t put your hand up against the cage or stick your hand, foot, or nose inside it.
  • You should never feed a pet inside a shelter. You might harm him or possibly kill him, as we don’t know whether he is suffering from any disease or something.
  • Don’t starve a dog down, make violent gestures toward him, or otherwise “tease out” a dog at the shelter. It’s neither humorous nor cool. The animal experiences great stress as a result.
  • Don’t bring small kids with you to the animal shelter. Loud noises or rapid movement may frighten dogs, cats, or other animals and make the situation worse.


A dog shelter is a great place where we can interact with dogs, although we have some restrictions on adopting a dog on our own. But on the other hand, seeing all the dogs, I cannot give a home to makes it painful too.

However, there are plenty of positive reasons to visit a dog shelter regularly. Even interacting with those dogs helps to relax our minds. These dogs then make a better impression on potential adopters and settle in faster.

Furthermore, if you plan on adopting a dog in the future, this experience will greatly benefit you. So, I hope this post has helped clarify some of your questions about visiting a dog shelter, and I look forward to seeing you in a future article similar to this one.

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