In recent times, the number of illegal puppy farms has been on the rise, and since their discovery, are being shut down with immediate effect. This has resulted in many dogs ending up in rescue centres. There has never been a better time than now to adopt a dog from a shelter.
By choosing to ‘adopt’ rather than ‘shop’, you’re ultimately offering animals a second chance at life, with many having been cruelly abandoned or abused by their former owner. However, it must be said that becoming a dog owner can be hard work and shouldn’t be a decision to be made lightly.
If you’re considering adopting a dog in the near future, here are some pointers to keep in mind:
- Choosing the Right Dog
It can be very difficult to choose a dog that’s suitable for your family and you may find that you’ll be debating between your head and heart. Ultimately, the end goal is to find a dog that fits in with your lifestyle and has the right temperament, especially if you have young children.
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Remember, a dog is for life, so you need to be completely sure you’re making the right choice. It wouldn’t be fair on the dog if you discover things just aren’t working out. It would be advised to read through the biography of each dog that the shelter has provided to understand their characteristics and behaviours.
The staff at the rescue center are also likely to ask you to fill out a questionnaire based on your living situation, your ideal breed and preferred character; however, it’s always best to keep an open mind when adopting a dog, to widen your options.
- Behavioural Issues
Many rescue dogs have behavioural issues because of their past experiences. The most common ones are aggression or anxiety. Their backstory often shapes their character and as their new owner, it’s your job to address these issues through constant training and perseverance.
Do be aware that some behaviours when visiting the shelter (trembling, barking and growling) may be down to nerves due to being cooped up in kennels, rather than how they would react in a relaxed environment. It may take time for your new dog to adjust to living in a home again, so if you notice any signs of extreme stress or nervousness, you could try cbd for dogs.
- Getting Your Home and Garden Prepared
Before being accepted to become an adopter, your home will need to be inspected by a professional from the shelter to ensure that the environment is suitable for the dog you’ve chosen.
The shelter may also be able to provide some advice on your dog’s behaviors and how to nurture them. You may be expected to show the shelter staff where your new dog is going to sleep and prove there is enough outdoor space to exercise. They’re also likely to ask if you have any children or other pets, as some dogs may react badly to a busy home environment as a consequence of their previous experiences.