Adopting rescue dogs

We’re a nation of dog lovers, with thousands of puppies born every week and going to wonderful homes. But this has led to a lot of over breeding of dogs in recent years, and many dogs that were intended for good homes have ended up in dog shelters, rescue centres and charities up and down the country. So if you’re thinking of buying a dog, choosing a rescue dog or puppy is a wonderful way to give a dog a second chance to be part of a loving home again.

Why are there so many dogs for adoption?

Most rescue dogs have nothing wrong with them. They’re happy, healthy dogs that simply need a new home due to a change in circumstances that mean their owners can no longer take care of them or give them the home they need. There are also instances of owners simply not being prepared for the needs of the dogs they choose – fashionable breeds like pugs and French bulldogs have become very popular through advertising and social media but can come with health conditions. These often end up for adoption too, looking for an owner with the patience and experience to give them the care and attention they need.

Sadly, not all of these dogs will get a new home, as many shelters simply can’t house their dogs for more than a short time. This means too many healthy dogs are put to sleep for no reason other than not being able to find a home.

Why do people buy new dogs instead of adopting?

There are lots of assumptions that come with choosing a new dog over adoption. Many people think that when they buy a puppy, they can be sure of how their dog will turn out, based on their breed and pedigree – and that they’ll be able to raise and train their puppy to behave the way they want it to. Most of this is true, but that doesn’t mean that the same can’t be true for rescue puppies, or even older dogs for adoption.

There are many pedigree dogs that are put up for adoption – and for those that aren’t, not knowing the dog’s background isn’t really a problem. If the dog is a crossbreed, the traits of the parent breeds are a good enough indicator of their behaviour, and the team at the shelter will get to know each dog well enough to know their personality too. There are also plenty of puppies for adoption too, either due to their pregnant mother being put into the shelter, or they were part of an unexpected litter that now need a home. 

The biggest myth about rescue dogs is that they have some sort of health or behavioural issue. While this can sometimes be true, they can often be minor issues that shouldn’t stop the dog from being a lovable pet, especially for more experienced dog owners who have the time and knowledge to give the dog the care and attention they need.

What are the advantages of adopting a dog?

There are many advantages that come from choosing a rescue dog:

  • Rescue dogs are all behaviorally assessed by the shelter
  • The shelter will usually do the neutering, worming and flea treatment as part of readying their dogs for adoption
  • There’s often only a small adoption fee
  • Shelters and charities do a wonderful job for animal welfare, which you would be supporting
  • You can go back for advice and support after adopting your dog. There’s often a behaviourist on site you can speak with too
  • You’re giving a second chance to a dog that really needs it

Why adopt a rescue dog?

Dog shelters, charities and rescue organisations are dedicated to giving every one of their dogs a new home, with the right owner(s) to let that dog live their best life. Shelters won’t let new owners adopt a dog if they don’t fit with your personality, lifestyle or circumstances, because the last thing anyone wants is for the dog to go back up for adoption.

If you don’t have any luck finding the right dog for you at a larger organisation, local authority shelters or local dog charities can often be a better fit. The staff at these smaller sites can work more closely with you to find the right match. And many organisations can put you on a waiting list so that when the right dog for you arrives at their shelter, you can be brought together straight away.

If you want some advice on what breed to choose, have a look here.

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