Adopting a Rescue Dog – General Advice

What qualities do you like in a dog? You should consider energy level, grooming needs, train-ability and temperament. Is it important that your dog is good with children? What about height, weight or breed? There are lots of questions to consider when rescuing a dog.

You might start with the questions below. Once you have answered them continue to the feedback provided:

Why do you want a dog?

For my children
If you want a dog for your children then you will want a dog that is extremely sociable and generally good with children. Although you will encourage your children to take responsibility for your new dog, the primary responsibility will always fall to one of the adults in the household. Realise that even if your children promise to feed and walk the dog, you will be the primary care-giver of your new dog and you must supplement their care with longer walks, playtime, trips to the vet and so on.

Some dogs will follow you from room to room around the house, others are more independent and will be happy to do their own thing while you do yours. If companionship is important to you, bear this in mind when choosing a dog. Ask the Dogs in Distress fosterer for more information on any dog by visiting Dogs and Pups Available for Adoption in our forum.

Are you taking on a dog who will provide a service or who will become a member of your family? If security is a concern in your home perhaps you should consider having a house alarm installed rather than adopting a dog. Some dogs will alert you to people coming up your driveway. For some people this is a good thing. However if security is a primary reason for adopting a dog we would urge you to reconsider.

Jogging Companion
Choose a mid-size to larger breed or they’ll have trouble keeping up with your pace. Also, you will want a dog that is a more active, for example one of the sporting breeds. To take to agility classes Most dogs love agility training – dog size or breed isn’t an issue. Agility training is a great way for you and your dog to socialise with others and enjoy outdoor activity.

What is your lifestyle like?

I work full-time

Dogs that are left alone for long periods of time can develop separation anxiety. They may become bored and pine for you while you are away. They may become destructive. Are you in a position to work from home for some days or the week, can you bring your dog to work or leave him with a responsible friend or family member while you are working? Can you install a dog flap to allow the dog access to a secure outdoor area while you are away?

I am home a good deal of the time
This is the ideal situation if you are adopting a dog.

I like to keep my house clean, neat and tidy
Remember that after a walk dogs will carry dirt into your house on their paws. It is not possible to train them to wipe their feet. Most dogs will shed to some extent. Some breeds drool a lot. In some cases a pup or dog may need to be house trained and during this time accidents can happen. If you would describe yourself as ‘a neat freak’ you may need to reconsider the idea of getting a dog, because even the best-trained ones can occasionally make a mess somewhere in your house.

I am very active and would like an active dog
Many dogs will fit the bill in this category. Even small dogs will happily climb mountains and complete long hikes.

I would like a companion but would rather have a calm, quiet dog
If this is your sole objective, you should be looking for a dog with a fairly low activity level. Dogs up to three years of age can be particularly active so an older dog may be more appropriate for you. Ask the Dogs in Distress fosterer for more information on any dog by visiting Dogs and Pups Available for Adoption in our forum. They will be able to provide you with information which will help you decide if one of our dogs is suited to your lifestyle.

Can your finances support caring for a dog?

Finances are not a problem
Great – you will have enough money to cover food costs, routine veterinary care, kenneling should the need arise, health emergencies, annual vaccines, flea control, dog beds, toys, etc.

I will need to budget, but have carefully considered all of the costs
Make sure that you are aware of all the financial requirements of caring for a dog and can handle it in your budget.

My finances fluctuate, so it will be hard to budget. What do I need besides food anyway?
You need to do more research in order to consider all of the costs listed in the answer above.

Finances are tight. I am not sure what the total costs might be.
There are considerable costs associated with owning a dog. You may not be in a position to adopt a dog.

Once you are sure that you can offer a dog a good home, Dogs in Distress can help you to choose the dog that is best suited to you. To learn more visit Choosing a Dog

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