K9 Magazine Guide to Adopting a Dog
For many, the idea of adopting or ‘rescuing’ a dog carries with it a certain image. Some people mistakenly look at dog adoption as if it’s buying cheap, discounted or broken goods. But, according to national dog adoption website DogsBlog.com nothing could be further from the truth.
As more and more dogs find themselves, through no fault of their own, inside the British dog shelter system, the image of the ‘rescue dog’ is in need of an update. No longer are shelters the preserve of the ‘problem dog’, but they are packed with dogs of all types, from all manner of backgrounds.
Our guide will show you some of the key things you should know if you’re thinking about adopting a dog.
You’re now no doubt getting excited and counting down the days before you meet the dog’s you’ve selected as potentially your ideal canine companion, so what should you do next and how do you prepare for meeting them and who should be there? Bring along as many members of your household as possible. Singles need not worry, but if you have family members or roommates who will be living with a new dog, they should also be involved in meeting the dogs.
That might seem ridiculously obvious, but we’ve known many, many people who have adopted dogs and then returned them because “the kids didn’t get along with her” or “she didn’t like my in-laws.”
You shouldn’t necessarily let children, especially young ones, influence your decision too much, but you at least need to be sure that they’ll get along with the dog you choose. The family dynamic is influenced greatly by the presence of the dog. When a dog enters a new home, the first thing that they want to do is find their place in the pack. Good, consistent training is enough for the dog to learn very quickly their role in the family but this transition is made all the easier if introductions to the rest of the family are done as soon as possible.
The one thing a dog craves is stability, especially if he or she has been in and out of the welfare system. Meeting all of the family at once is a great way of gradually getting the dog accustomed to its new environment. Spend time getting to know the dog with the family present, but also take care not to overload the dog’s senses with a whole gang of you at the same time. Let the dog approach you and be warm and welcoming when he or she does.
Keep introduction sessions brief so that the dog doesn’t begin to feel pressured or anxious, it can be an odd experience for a dog that is used to solitude to suddenly become overwhelmed with human contact from new people, but its something they’ll happily get used to over the next exciting few weeks as you get to know each other. Don’t be surprised if the rescue ask you to meet the dog more than once, this is something some rescues do as a matter of process so that the dogs are able to build up a relationship with you before they come home.
There are an estimated 100k dogs in adoption centres around Britain. Sometimes dogs arrive in rescue centres through natural causes such as owners passing away.
Very often though dogs are simply abandoned for no other reason that poor decisions on behalf of hasty owners. Please, please, please take on board all of the information about what it takes to maintain a dog in a happy home. Dogs really are a lifelong commitment and they deserve the security of a stable home environment. You CAN get a superb, lifelong companion from a rescue…but be absolutely certain you are ready for the challenge.
If you are, you will enjoy a relationship like no other!
The Advantages of Adopting a Rescue Dog
Mum, dad, can we get a puppy? It’s a plea that many parents will know only too well. Niall Kennedy asks, how do you go about adopting a dog to make sure that the dog is happy and there isn’t too much upheaval in your home?
If you are thinking of adding a dog to your family, consider adopting your new best friend from an animal shelter or other rescue organisation.
You’ll not only get a good feeling from helping a homeless pet, you’ll get an outstanding companion. The staff at these organisations carefully check the animals for sound health and good temperament. In addition, some shelter animals have had the benefit of training to develop good manners while they waited for a new home.
Through no fault of their own, a lot of great dogs wind up in animal shelters hoping for a second chance at happiness. People relinquish their pets to shelters when they are no longer able to care for them. Sometimes this is because the owner was unprepared for the responsibility that comes with caring for a dog.
Often, however, caring owners struggling with life-changes or trying to cope with family tragedy realize their pet would be better off with someone else. They bring them to the shelter because they know the animal will be well cared for and placed in an excellent home. You can find just about any age, size and breed of dog at an animal shelter. So, if you have your mind set on a puppy, a shelter is a good place to look. However, if you would like a more mature dog that is likely already housebroken, you’ll also find these kinds of canines at the humane society or animal center.
Upon arrival, shelter staff carefully evaluate each animal for physical and behavioral soundness. They make note of quirks, and work with specialists to eliminate negative behaviors. Most shelters have adoption rehomers who interview potential adopters to understand their needs and lifestyle. This is nothing to worry about – the rehomer just wants to make sure that so they can make the perfect match for dog and owner.
This is an opportunity for you to find out about the dogs at the shelter too. There are a number of questions you should ask the rehomer.
- Why is the dog available?
- Does the dog have any behaviour problems?
- How is the dog with other animals and children?
- Does the dog have any health problems?
- Is the dog spayed or neutered already?
You will find it easy to pick your new dog with this expert advice. In fact your only problem may be not taking all the dogs home with you! Bringing your newly adopted dog home is exciting for you, but may be a little overwhelming for her. Keep her on a leash as you take her from room to room, giving her plenty of opportunity to sniff. You may want the first stop on your tour to be the backyard or wherever you want her to relieve herself.
The excitement of a car ride and coming to a new place can give her the need to empty her bowels or bladder. Dogs are creatures of habit, so the sooner you establish a firm routine, the more comfortable your new dog will become. Always feed her in the same spot and at about the same time each morning.
You’ll find she grows to anticipate “what comes next.” For example, if you always feed her after you bring in the newspaper, you’ll notice she becomes very excited when you open the door to step outside. Dogs catch on quickly. Remember, though, the reason why many dogs are in animal shelters in the first place. If you don’t have the commitment to look after the dog properly, think again.