Pet RescueThings to consider when adopting rescue dogs
To adopt a pet, whether it’s a rescue dog or a new puppy, is a big commitment. If you are considering rehoming a dog from an animal shelter or a rescue centre, don’t forget to think about the following questions before making a decision.
Do you have the time and resources to rehome a dog?
Dogs naturally cost money to feed and house, but you will also need to be able to provide them veterinary care if they need it, as well as flea and worming prevention, vaccinations, bedding, a collar and harness/lead, toys, grooming... the list goes on.
Will a dog fit your lifestyle?
If you work 10 hour days and live in an apartment then rehoming a highly active, large dog may not be the best idea. Dogs need your attention on a daily basis to play, exercise and interact with you, keeping them happy and mentally stimulated as well as physically exercised. If you like to travel a lot, you might need to consider either a pet passport or looking at being able to house your pet at a reputable kennels while you’re away.
Is your home suitable?
Do you have a garden available for a dog to play in? Is it secure so that the dog can’t escape and run off? Even if this is a no, some people may live a short walk away from a dog park or field where their dog can exercise and let off steam.
Are you prepared for a dog that might have special requirements?
Many rescue dogs for adoption come with baggage, be that physical or emotional. Many have been abandoned, some mistreated and an enormous amount end up at animal shelters and rescue centres through no fault of their own; however this can leave them with issues such as separation anxiety or hostility towards other dogs/cats/children.
Are you willing to put in the hours to train a rescue dog?
As with any pet, you may need to dedicate some of your time to training your dog. Some rescue dogs come house trained but may lack in the recall department, whilst others may have never received any basic command training or socialisation opportunities at all. Your job is to patiently guide your dog through these abilities. Please be aware that some rescue dogs may have experienced situations that mean they may have ongoing issues, which you will have to prepare for.
Be prepared for rescue centre checks
Many rescue centres, such as dogs trust, want to ensure that all of their dogs are going to suitable homes; expect the centre to want to know about you and your family, your occupation and lifestyle and, in some cases, inspect your home for its suitability. Ultimately, taking on a rescue dog can be highly rewarding and you end up with a faithful companion. Do be prepared to put in the work to help them with their training, confidence and development to bring out the best in them. As always, taking on any dog is a lifelong commitment, both financially and in terms of time. Be aware some rescue dogs may have a past, but in many cases ended up at a rescue centre through no fault of their own.