Adopting a dog from a shelter or rescue centre has many advantages. The most important one is that you are saving a dog’s life. Rescue dogs in rehoming centres are always healthy, very well looked after and have all the necessary vaccinations and are already spayed and neutered.
There are many factors to consider which may influence your decision as to whether to adopt a dog or not. Maybe some of the questions below will help you decide if adopting a dog is for you.
How do all your family members feel about adopting a dog?
Before the big decision is made as to whether to adopt a dog or not, each person in a household should express their views on whether they will support the adoption. Who will be responsible for the dog walking? Are they happy to do it? Do they have time to do it? Everyone with responsibilities for looking after the dog should be totally on board.
Look for breed-specific characteristics
Research the breed and the actual dog in the kennels or the rescue. Know what you are looking at. Consider all your circumstances and who will be involved in looking after the dog. Match the right dog. There is no point in having a young boisterous dog or high energy dog like a Collie if you work all day. Greyhounds don’t need long walks but shorter bursts of running. They are then good to be left for longer periods. Speak to the rescue and know what the dog’s characteristics are and research the breed thoroughly. Know your lifestyle. Will you have time to train and care for an intelligent dog that might get bored easily like a puppy?
Can you afford it?
The price of keeping a dog can quickly add up. Before you commit to adopting a dog ask yourself if you can afford all the costs that adopting a dog could incur e.g. vets bills, accidents, illness, insurance, food, toys, bedding, pet sitting when you are out for a long time and boarding for holidays.
They will have had a varied past, even just moving from house to kennels to your home is disrupting. Basically there are very few behaviour issues that can't be solved with knowledge time and patience.
Do you have somewhere to walk them?
What are the local walks like? Are they dog-friendly? Can you take your dog off the lead? Do you have a safe garden that you can allow your dog to use?
You’ve made the decision to adopt – what next?
Pet proof your home
Look at your home from a dog’s perspective. Anything at their level could possibly be chewed. Remove wires shoes and kids toys. If your dog is going to be let out into the garden, make it secure!
Stock up on supplies
Make sure you have all essentials such as bowls, lead, food, treats, poo bags, a dog bed, and cleaning supplies!
Take time out
Maybe take a few days off or adopt on a long weekend. It’s essential to start bonding and getting to know them. A great way to bond is to start a little training exercise with Cobbydog treats!
Steve Hayes has rescued many dogs “I think the biggest tip apart from the usual ones is about bad behaviour. Just because a dog chews, fights, pees in the house it is not a reason to give up. It is usually a simple thing like a fear, nerves, separation anxiety, trying to take charge etc. But most behaviour issues settle down naturally with training and support. There are very few dogs that walk into a house and do what is expected. Particularly the rescues as they have had a varied past even just moving from house to kennels to your home is disrupting. Basically there are very few behaviour issues that can't be solved with knowledge time and patience.”“Saving one dog will not change the world, but surely for that one dog, the world will change forever.”
― Karen Davison