4 Things You Should Know Before You Adopt a Dog
Rescuing a dog is one of the kindest things you can do, and it gives you the chance to literally save a dog’s life by giving them a safe home to live in. However, while it’s a noble gesture, it also comes with challenges.
If you can’t deal with the responsibilities and day to day struggle of not only owning a dog but a rescue dog, then you will have to live with the guilt of being another failed owner. This is why it’s important that you know everything there is about owning a rescue dog before you make your decision. Here are 4 things you should know before adopting a rescue dog.
Rescue Dogs Can be Difficult
One of the things you should know about rescue dogs is that they will often require a lot more care and attention than other dogs. They might have aggression issues and need more behaviour training. Some may have some severe conditions, while others may have been emotionally scarred by their previous owner.
This is why you’ll need to learn how to deal with these types of dogs, especially aggressive ones. If you’re looking for a great resource to learn all you can beforehand, we suggest you check out the Fluffyhund blog. Whilst they mainly aim their content at German dog owners, they do have tons of great articles on behaviour, and they have a piece specifically about dog aggression, knowing the signs and reasons being it, and how to deal with it. They also have general articles on dog health and safety, nutrition, and breeds.
Be Careful with Breeds
Speaking of breeds, you should be careful when picking one, especially if it’s your first time owning a dog. As a matter of fact, we would advise against anybody’s first dog being a rescue one. If you must, you have to make sure that you steer clear of certain breeds. While you won’t always be able to choose the specific breed you want, knowing which ones to avoid will save you a lot of trouble.
If you’re going to adopt and you’re not familiar with dogs, we suggest that you avoid Bulldogs, Jack Russells, and Border Collies. Yes, Collies. While they can make great dogs, they were meant to be workers and need a lot of activity. So, unless you’re ready for it, they might be a bit more than you can handle. These dogs can also get very nervous and will need an owner that will be able to understand their needs.
Do your research on breeds, and what they’re like. You’ll be able to make a list of dogs you should avoid, and maybe a few breeds to consider.
Healthcare Can Get Costly
You should also know that pet health can cost a lot, and you’ll need to find a good vet for your dog as soon as possible. We suggest that you start looking at pet insurance right now and what you can expect to pay. You should also start visiting vets within the first week and find a good clinic with a team and vet that will mesh with your dog. Note that many shelters will also have relationships with vets in the region and will be able to get you a free first visit for a check-up. You’ll also be able to learn some things about the specific breed you chose and some common health issues with them.
It Can Take Some Time
You have to understand that the transition from shelter to home won’t happen instantly, and it might take some time for them to warm up to you. It’s common for dogs to get nervous once they’re put in a different environment. Some will be jumpy and get startled by something as simple as a vacuum cleaner. Some will have strange habits or will start being destructive. Others might close down and not be as outgoing as when you first saw them.
It’s different for every dog; some will be hyperactive and run up and down your house while others will stay in their corner. The best piece of advice we can give you is to observe their behaviour and meet them where they are. It’s important, however, that you never take a confrontational approach. You will need patience and to work on being a loving and nurturing presence to them.
Another thing you have to be ready for is them trying to run away, as this will sometimes happen before the owner can even get the dog home. This is why you should make sure that you take all the precautions necessary so that they don’t escape, like properly securing your garden, for instance.
Adopting a dog is indeed a great gift, but you have to be prepared for what it entails. Make sure that you keep our advice in mind, and speak with other people who’ve adopted pets who’ll be able to describe what it’s like in more detail.