Thinking of adopting a rescue dog?

May 19, 2022 8:12:29 AM

The term ‘rescue dog’ covers any number of situations where a dog needs a new home.

Most commonly, family circumstances change and the family pet becomes displaced and ends up in a rehoming centre through no fault of their own. Sometimes owners divorce, emigrate, need care-based accommodation or, sadly, die. There are also instances, all too often, where dog ownership doesn’t meet expectations or a dog/owner match doesn’t work out. They can sometimes be bought as gifts, and land in a household that is simply not ready for the responsibility.

The pandemic saw a huge increase in dog ownership in the UK. However this has since resulted in problems as people have started to return to work, children are back at school and many households are no longer in the same position to care for their pet. Also, some dogs have developed separation anxiety as a result of the resultant changes at home and this behaviour can prove difficult to manage. Dogs Trust has some useful help for anyone who is trying to help their dog through this (link below).

Another route to dog rescue is by taking on a stray from abroad. Many agencies operate a matching scheme and bring dogs into the UK, usually asking for a small fee to cover their costs. There is a much-needed scheme being run through Dogs Trust and others to bring dogs to the UK from Ukraine.

So you can see there is no shortage of dogs who need a home.

It’s useful to understand why a rescue dog is where he is, particularly if there is history of aggression or nervousness around other dogs or children. This doesn’t mean they shouldn’t be adopted, far from it. Reputable rehoming organisations will get to know the dog before matching it with a new home – making sure that the dog and owner will be a happy match – a bit like a dating agency! 

So you’ve set your heart on adopting a rescue, congratulations! What do you do next?

  1. Have an idea of what kind of dog you’re looking for – have a shortlist of size, requirements and your ability/willingness to take on a dog who might need training, have medical issues, a short life expectancy or simply needs extra care
  2. Do your research and make sure your home and lifestyle are suitable – leaving a dog all day if you work away from home isn’t ideal unless you have the means to arrange daytime visits and walks from friends, family or dog walkers
  3. Ask your local vets to let you know if they hear of any dogs who need a new home – they are often first to know when strays or abandoned animals are found
  4. Talk to other people who have adopted rescues – get as much information as you can, especially around your preferred breeds. Use Facebook to make contacts and read the experiences of others: search on ‘rescue dogs UK’
  5. Search online for rescue centres and animal shelters – if you have a breed you particularly like, there is almost always a shelter that specialises in it. Check them out, making sure they are legitimate and not a puppy farm in disguise
  6. Expect to pay – nearly all organisations will charge you for a number of reasons: it separates you from someone who might be looking for a dog for less sincere reasons, it contributes towards the cost of any vaccinations or treatment the dog might have had and, if they are delivering to you, it will cover some of their expenses. Many rescue centres operate on goodwill, volunteers and donations so it’s not unreasonable to pay for their services
  7. Expect a home visit or at least a thorough interview – the dog shelters want to make sure you will be the best fit for each other. Also, managing a dog who is repeatedly returned to the shelter is hard all round so they will do the work to make sure the new dog/owner combination will be a success
  8. Don’t expect to show up and walk away with your new pet. A shelter will have an adoption process to ensure both parties are ready for the imminent changes in both their lives
  9. Be prepared to put in some time to work with a dog that might need extra help. Some rescues haven’t had the happiest of starts in life and will need love, attention, training and patience. They could need a careful diet as well as ongoing treatment, for example. Be sure you have the right dog for your experience, time and expectations, as far as possible. The rehoming organisation will be able to help with this
  10. Allow an appropriate amount of time for settling in. It can take a few days for your new dog to be less nervous, a few weeks to relax and sometimes months to know they are going to be there forever and that it’s safe for them to feel at home

The right diet for your rescue dog

How you decide to feed your rescue dog depends on its condition. Your Trophy Nutritional Adviser will be able to work with you to record his weight and advise you on the right kind of diet going forward. Additional, natural supplements are beneficial for joints, coat and overall health. Just ask for help and support, it’s what we are here for.

Ultimately adopting a dog from a shelter is a wonderful thing. You and your dog will both benefit enormously from the relationship and you will be saving him from a life in kennels. But, as with any dog acquisition, it’s vital that you understand the reality and are prepared to see it through, even if it is occasionally challenging. Be brutally honest with the rehoming agency, yourself and your family, before going ahead.

A successful adoption is fantastic and there are many dog owners who wouldn’t pursue any other route.

References

https://www.dogstrust.org.uk/latest/issues-campaigns/dog-welfare-crisis

https://www.dogstrust.org.uk

 

 

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Thinking of adopting a rescue dog?

The term ‘rescue dog’ covers any number of situations where a dog needs a new home.

Most commonly, family circumstances change and the family pet becomes displaced and ends up in a rehoming centre through no fault of their own. Sometimes owners divorce, emigrate, need care-based accommodation or, sadly, die. There are also instances, all too often, where dog ownership doesn’t meet expectations or a dog/owner match doesn’t work out. They can sometimes be bought as gifts, and land in a household that is simply not ready for the responsibility.

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