We all know the benefits of having a dog, don’t we? They can be your friend for life, a companion, keep you fit, make you laugh, keep you sociable. But they are also a big responsibility. So, even if you have had a dog before, please think carefully before deciding to take one on. A dog – especially a rescue dog – can be very demanding.
So before you come to see us about adopting a dog, please think about how it will affect your life! And give some thought to whether a particular type of dog might be better for your lifestyle – old rather than young, small rather than big, sedentary rather than active!
Ask yourself some serious questions, and be honest about your answers!
- Can you make time in your life for that dog’s needs – walks and training and grooming?
- Do you work away from home most of the day? Can the dog go too?
- Is there really room in your home for that dog’s needs?
- Can you commit to your dog for its lifetime – maybe 15 years, possibly more?
- Does everyone in your home want a dog?
- Can you afford the vet bills and boarding costs?
- Who will go out in the driving rain to give your dog the exercise it needs!
Which type of dog should I choose?
Before you take on a dog, consider what type will suit you best. Do you want a dog to curl up on your lap at night, or one to wander the hills with you for mile after mile? One that will get on with cats, or be trusted with small children. A dog that can be trained to run or dance or catch or play flyball. One that needs endless grooming, or one that will roll and shake and always look like a mutt? Different breeds have very different traits – and some breeds are short-lived and can have serious health problems in later life – so do some research and talk to other owners.
In the case of a crossbred dog – and most rescue dogs are crossbred – remember it is more difficult to judge what the predominant behaviour trait might be, so get as much information about the individual dog as you can. However, many crossbreeds carry the best traits of both parents, and make wonderful companions.
An old dog rather than a puppy?
An adult dog may be a better option than a puppy, because the dog will probably be house trained and more settled. Your dog will probably have passed the chewing and destructive stage of life, and habits – both good and bad will have been formed! However, do remember that an adult dog will reflect previous upbringing, so there may be some problems to try to overcome.
The aim of any rescue centre is to find loving, long-term homes for dogs that have been the unfortunate victims of circumstance. Please remember these dogs may have had a bad start in life, most frequently through no fault of their own.
Do not be swayed by the appearance of the dog – a dog’s temperament and previous history are the important factors. For example, a rescue dog may not like cats, or may not be able to live with children. If the dog has behaviour problems (for example it cannot be left alone for long), our staff should be able to give advice to overcome the problem.
Choosing your dog
Do not make any rush decisions, or be swayed by the appearance of a cute puppy! Take your time, think it through, do your research and ask as many questions as you like. If you research carefully and make sure you are prepared and able to spend the time, money and energy on your new companion, you will reap the rewards. We are here to help you make the right decision and we are committed to finding the right home for every dog in our care.