Rescuing a dog can be a very rewarding experience. Sadly, many dogs still end up in rescue centres every year, for a multitude of different reasons. Some people find themselves in difficult circumstances and feel that it would not be fair to keep their dog with them, while others don’t think getting a dog through enough and end up in a situation that they can’t handle.
Either way, rescue dogs rely on people like you to take them from the shelter and provide them with a secure, loving forever home. Before you get a rescue dog, it’s worth spending some time thinking it through to make sure that it is the right decision for you and that you are in a position to give a rescue dog the best life. Here are some important factors to consider.
Why do you want a rescue dog?
First of all, ask yourself, why do you want a rescue dog? In fact, why do you want a dog? It’s important to understand that owning a dog is a huge commitment and definitely not something that you should decide on a whim. A dog will take up a huge part of your day, and over its lifetime can cost you thousands of pounds, so it’s important to make sure that this is something that you are ready for.
Do you want a dog for companionship? Because you want something to love? Because you have always had dogs, and feel lost without one? Do you want to give an animal a better chance in life? There’s no right or wrong reason to want a dog, but you do need to be sure it’s the right decision for you.
Have you got the time?
Dogs demand a lot of time and attention. They are not the type of pet that you can leave in another room and let them entertain themselves. Your dog will need walking at least once a day, depending on their breed, energy level, and temperament, and they will want to spend time with you in the day too. If you work long hours or are barely home, you should question whether or not a dog is for you. If you are not going to be home with your dog very often, can you provide an alternative for him, like a regular dog sitter, dog walker or doggy daycare facility?
Does your lifestyle fit?
Does your lifestyle fit in with owning a dog? Of course, this will depend on the type of dog that you rescue – a smaller, lower-energy breed will probably be fine with going for a short stroll around the park every day compared to a big, high-energy dog built for agility who would be better suited for an outdoorsy type person who spends a lot of time staying active. Carefully consider your lifestyle and think about how the dog is going to fit into it. Consider the best type of dog to match your lifestyle – rescue centres have a huge variety of dogs on offer, so there’s sure to be one that’s a good fit for you.
Can you afford it?
There’s no denying that having a dog can get expensive. On top of all the regular expenses like dog food, grooming, toys, accessories, training classes, dog walkers, dog sitting, pet insurance, and vet fees, you’ll also need to be financially prepared for any emergencies that might arise. Over the course of your dog’s lifetime, you could easily end up spending thousands of pounds on the basics alone; are you ready for that kind of financial commitment?
For most rescue dogs, the most important thing is that you are able to provide them with the stability and security that they have not had so far. Many rescue dogs have already been through a lot, and they need somebody who is patient and committed to them for the rest of their lives. You will need to be ready to commit to offering a stable environment for your rescue dog, which could include anything from being willing to buy the same food that they’ve been used to so far to continuing any specialised training or healthcare treatments that they have been undergoing.
Your dog’s health and wellbeing
Any good pet parent is first and foremost concerned with the health and wellbeing of their dog. When you rescue a dog, you will need to be willing to do the best thing in terms of their health and wellbeing, often at any cost. This could mean switching to a raw food diet if they develop a food allergy or you notice any other dietary symptoms such as a dull coat, itchiness, or lethargy. Switching to a raw food diet is easier than ever for any dog, with dog food delivery from Bella and Duke. This supplier delivers pre-made, pre-packaged nutritious raw dog food meals that are tailored to ensure that your dog is getting all the nutrients that they need from their diet.
It is a common misconception that all rescue dogs will have behavioural problems, and this is one of the main reasons why so many great dogs go without new homes for so long. The truth is that while some rescue dogs, particularly those who have been mistreated in the past or have been a stray, might take longer to acclimatise to their new lives, many rescue dogs are actually well-trained, well-behaved pooches who have simply fallen on hard times. However, that being said, if you take on a rescue dog you should also be prepared to take on any behavioural issues that might only become apparent when they move into their new home. You will need to be prepared to be extremely patient and ready to invest in training and support to help your pooch adjust if needed.
Type of dog
If you want to get a rescue dog, then it’s time to put aside your prejudices against certain dog breeds, if you have any. For example, it’s a common misconception that Pit Bull Terriers are vicious dogs, and many of them end up in rescue centres for this reason – when really, most of them are big softies at heart. Remember that any dog can be aggressive if they have been mistreated in the past, and it’s really down to the humans around them and how they treat them. Regardless of the breed of dog that you go for, it’s worth getting a full picture of their history and learning as much as possible about them before you bring them home.
Choosing a dog
If you have been through all of the above and are still set on getting a rescue dog, then it’s time to go and choose the newest member of your family. The best option is to set up a visit to the rescue centre in person rather than simply looking online since chances are, your dog is going to choose you. A good rescue centre will charge a fee to make sure that the dog is neutered or spayed, vaccinated, and given worm and flea treatment before coming to you, and they will check your home to ensure that it is suitable first. You should provide a secure garden for your dog – this is usually a prerequisite for adoption.
Getting a rescue dog can be extremely rewarding, but it’s important to be ready for the commitment. Remember, many rescue dogs have had trauma in their lives, so be prepared to take on a dog with a few issues.