Like with many other things that you plan on adding to your life, adopting a dog requires a bit of planning. Some people decide on a breed solely based on appearance at first, then do their research on how to care for their chosen breed. Others find the dog they love and learn about them as they go on. Still others think about their lifestyles first and pick a breed of dog that fits the bill.
The planning part ultimately deepens when the dog you plan on adopting requires special care, like dogs with disabilities, rescue dogs, sick dogs, and senior dogs.
For this article, we focus on what to chew over if you ever think about adopting a rescue dog in particular.
Contrary to popular belief, rescue dogs don’t always come from rough, inhumane places. People sometimes just surrender their pets to shelters, and the list of possible reasons for this sad option is long. Especially lately, multiple shelters have been facing overcrowding issues, and adopting a dog can be a great option to those wanting to help out and willing to welcome a new addition to their family!
Now what are some important things to consider when choosing the right rescue dog for you?
I said it at the beginning, and I will say it again. First and foremost is research! The level of research done should increase if you’ve never had a pet before.
For the veteran fur parents out there, less research is probably okay if you already know what you’re dealing with and you have a clear choice on which dog you’ll be getting, but a little refresher isn’t going to hurt anyone.
If you’re unfamiliar with being a pet parent, there are quizzes that you can take to see which breed suits your kind of lifestyle. See this Dog Breed Selector from the American Kennel Club for example. Maybe take a quick test just to see what result you’ll get after reading this article?
Each breed requires a different kind of care, of course. There’s a general type of TLC that every breed needs, but then there are certain breeds that require more exercise or more grooming, for example. Choose a breed that suits your lifestyle. Alternatively, you can adjust your lifestyle to suit your chosen fur friend better!
Behavioral problems can sometimes be hard to remedy without professional help. These problems often originate from a dog’s early years, and rescue dogs can be of any age, so prepare to devote a chunk of your time to training your dog as soon as you adopt them so they stay well-behaved.
Household Circumstances: Kids and/or Other Pets
This is really important! The previous points can all be applied to just one person, the hypothetical single “you” that can adopt a dog without many other factors. This point though, emphasizes the “you” that doesn’t live alone.
Adopting a dog when you have young kids running around the house, that’s a big factor. There are dogs who are classified as child-friendly or family dogs. Golden Retrievers are a great example, as they have become the ultimate icon of being the “goodest boy.” Chihuahuas on the other hand, small as they may be, are often not really compatible with families that have kids. However, individual animals vary, so you should talk with someone at your chosen shelter about which pets are good with kids.
What about other pets that you may have? A sudden new addition to your “pack” can be daunting and stressful to both your pets and the dog that you’re going to adopt. Research whether the breed that you want interacts well with other breeds or any other kind of animal. If you already have a specific dog that you’re eyeing adopting, check with the animal shelter whether they get along well with the other dogs.
But let’s not stick with just facts on paper. If you can, bring your child along when you go to the adoption shelter. See if a spark occurs as you look for the newest addition to your family!
There you have it! Important things to consider if you choose to adopt a rescue dog.
It’s always important to do your research! Don’t be shy; ask your local animal shelter as well. They’ve been with their dogs for a long time, so they have a grasp on what their behavior is like, and they may even keep information sheets on a dog’s previous owner if you want to ask them direct questions about a dog.
Again, don’t let general breed facts deter you from choosing a pet. Dogs have their own personalities too, and they should not be categorized solely based on their breed. Best of luck finding your new furry best friend!