Adopting A Rescue Dog – Things to Consider

Are you considering bringing a dog into your happy family?

While there are many options to find the right pet for you, it’s a great idea to consider adopting a rescue dog. Unfortunately, unforeseen circumstances mean many dogs are left without a home and end up at a shelter or refuge. By adopting a rescue dog, you are giving it a new lease on life, showering it with happiness, joy and love.

When considering what rescue dog is right for you, it’s important to consider several factors.

Things to Consider
Bringing a furry kid into your family is a big and usually long-term long commitment. Therefore, you should spend a fair amount of time considering and researching if it is the right decision for you. Every dog has its own personality traits, background and behaviour so it’s important to find one that matches your lifestyle and situation.

• Breed
Every breed of dog is unique and with it comes its own traits and personality. Some breeds of dog require large amounts of daily exercise, while others may require less – and the size of the dog does not necessarily mean more or less! Before deciding on the perfect dog for your home, research into the dog’s breed and likely traits, including exercise requirements.

There are some great Facebook groups where dog owners of particular breeds share their knowledge. Have a look online and speak to other owners about their experience with that breed of dog. This will give you a much better understanding of the dogs’ requirements and what makes them so special.

Is The Breed Suited To Your Lifestyle?

• Behaviour
It’s important to train your dog from a very early age to ensure it’s well behaved in the future. If you decide to adopt a rescue dog, it’s a great idea to speak to a dog behaviourist to get a better understanding about how best to train it. A good dog behaviourist will help you understand the reasons behind the dogs’ behaviour, and help you train them correctly.

• Age and Expected Life
Consider the dog’s current age and likely life expectancy. There are many puppies along with older dogs, looking for their forever homes. It’s not fair for any dog to have multiple owners throughout their life. Take your time to consider if your situation is likely to change in the future to prevent you from keeping the dog. It may be worth adopting an older dog if you are unsure of the future and would prefer a shorter-term commitment. There are many older dogs looking for a beautiful home to show them love.

• Child Friendly
If you are bringing a dog into a family home with young kids, it’s important to ensure the dog interacts well with children. Take your children with you when looking for dogs to see how they behave. If the dog shows any sign of aggression or potential harm, it may not be the best dog for your family. It’s important to remember that the shelter environment is very unusual compared to the home environment so the dog’s attitude may change once you take it home.

• Suitability Around Other Animals
It’s hard to gauge whether a dog will interact well with other animals such as cats or birds. Ask the adoption organisation about the breed of dog and if it’s likely to get on with other animals. If it is an older dog, it might be a promising idea to ask about the dog’s previous home (if available) to get a better understanding of how it interacts with other pets.

Will They Get Along With My Existing Pets?

Adopting A New Dog into Your Family
When looking for a new addition to your family, there are so many benefits you should consider that come from adopting a rescue dog.

Benefits of Adopting a Rescue Dog
• Provides loving dogs with a forever home
• You can find one to match your personal traits
• Rescue dogs usually come with all vaccinations and health checks included
• You’re potentially saving that dog’s life

It’s Important to Consider
• It may be a bit harder to identify the breed of dog and it’s unlikely you will be able to view the parents
• The dog may have had a rough life and been mistreated so it might take some added love, care and patience to help it feel more confident and gain trust
• As the dog is held in an unusual environment, it may be harder to assess its personal traits

Luckily there are some FANTASTIC organisations out there that dedicate their time and effort to finding homes for rescue dogs. Have a search online for local pet adoption agencies in your area.

It’s important to note that adopting a dog or any animal is a big commitment. Make sure you spend time assessing your situation and lifestyle before making the decision.

Author Bio: This article is written by Alex Hamilton, who recommends Bark Busters WA – Dog behaviourist and training experts based in Perth, Western Australia. You can catch him on Google+.

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