If you have recently decided to rescue a dog, congratulations – this is one of the most beautiful acts of altruism. It is estimated that around 130,000 dogs go through rescue organizations every year, and out of those, 21 are euthanized every day.
This means that you could end up saving a dog’s life, but the process has to be successful. The last thing you want is to have to bring the dog back because you weren’t up for the challenge. Let’s take a look at some of the things you should know before getting a rescue dog.
Is Your Family Ready for a Pet?
A lot of people decide to get a rescue dog as their first pet to test the waters or to save money. But we would like to say right now that rescue dogs are not the best for new owners. They can be temperamental and have mysterious behavioral issues due to previous abuse and neglect.
Some will never be able to be completely trained and will act up from time to time, and many have separation anxiety issues. This is why it’s usually a better choice to go for these types of dogs if you or your family has experience of owning a dog.
Don’t Expect them to Love You Right Away
You should also never expect that a dog will automatically love you just because you’ve rescued them. In some cases, it might never work, and you will have to deal with that fact. You shouldn’t feel guilty if that happens, as it can sometimes be because of reasons completely out of your control.
You have to make sure, however, that you create the perfect environment for them. You should give them their own dedicated space in a quiet part of your home and the time to get used to it. Create a den for them. Dogs will naturally gravitate to them, as it ties them back to their wild ancestors.
Make sure that it has plenty of blankets and pillows so they have somewhere to retreat too. Also, ensure that they have enough toys to keep them occupied and leave them alone as much as possible at first. Let them feel comfortable with your presence and gradually introduce physical contact.
Adopting an Older Dog Vs A Puppy
Some people decide to adopt a puppy while others may want to have an older dog. Both of these have pros and cons.
A puppy is less likely to be traumatized, and will likely be easier to train. Older dogs, on the other hand, might already be house trained, but they may be stuck in their ways with bad habits firmly engrained. Be aware that it is often harder to retrain a dog than train them from scratch.
Older dogs, however, are often a better option if you have small children. That’s because they tend to be much calmer, whereas pups may play too aggressively with them. Going for an old dog also means that you might be saving a dog that was going to be put down.
If you’re going to go that route, you should know that many dogs will start experiencing health issues as they get older. Many of them, like humans, will start dealing with things like joint issues, for instance. So, you might want to start looking at supplementation and feed them high-quality food so can keep them alive, active, and healthy.
There are lots of diet supplements and natural products you can feed an older dog, which can help with health issues. One of the things we suggest you start looking into is bone broth for dogs. For more on the benefits, check out this guide bone broth for dogs by Native Pet. You’ll learn what bone broth is and how it can help your dog’s health. It also has a few tips on how to prepare it and give it to your pet safely.
They Don’t Know Your Rules
While a dog may have lived with a few humans before and is used to them, do not expect them to know the rules in your house. Expect them to cross your boundaries from time to time.
You have to set boundaries for them. They should know where they are allowed and when they’re not, and which behaviors are acceptable.
Can Your Budget Accommodate a Dog?
A lot of people end up returning dogs to the shelter, not because they were bad parents, but because they could not handle the costs. You will first have to think about adoption costs and all the other things that must be done like vaccinations and chipping the dog.
You then have to consider things like vet costs and insurance. In total, it’s estimated that you can spend anywhere from £70 to £105 per month on a dog, so you have to be prepared for that. These costs can go even higher if you have to hire a dog walker or use a doggy daycare service.
They Need a Lot of Maintenance
You also have to be ready for all the maintenance that comes with owning a dog. Many people are not aware that dogs need to get their teeth brushed regularly. Be prepared to have to brush their teeth multiple times per week. Don’t expect them to be cooperative either.
You will also need to take care of their nails and clip them regularly. Again, some dogs tend to get very aggressive when they see nail clippers, so you will have to be ready for them to fight back. But, with the right touch and positive reinforcement, it will gradually become easier.
Don’t forget their coat. Not only will you need to keep their coat nice and clean, but you will have to deal with all the fur they leave around the house. Brush their coat regularly to prevent matting and clean them regularly.
Be careful to not wash them too much, however. Dogs don’t need to bathe often, and overdoing it with shampoo could end up drying their skin and lead to various issues.
Keep them Moving
Dogs need to move, and if you aren’t an active person, maybe you should think twice about getting a pup. Older dogs also need exercise. This is often the time they need it the most. So, if you don’t have the time and dedication to get your dog the daily dose of fresh air they need, don’t get a rescue dog.
Make Sure You Have a Decent Place for Them
The worst thing you could do to a rescue dog is to chain them outside in the blistering heat or the freezing cold. If that was your plan, you will not be doing that dog any service.
Make sure that you have enough space for them in the first place. If you have a small space, check the dog you pick can live in close quarters and that they have at least one nice comfy spot that they can call their own.
These are all things you will have to prepare for before bringing a rescue dog home. The first few weeks will be crucial, so decide whether you’re up for it and know everything there is to know about dog ownership in general.
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