Throughout the country, there are rescue centers with dogs ready and waiting to be adopted by a family and to become part of their lives. There are many good reasons to get a rescue dog as your next pet, and of course, providing an animal from the shelter with a loving home is a rewarding experience.
Deciding to get a pet is never a decision to take lightly, and there are many important considerations to take into account. All pets are a big responsibility, and this is a fact that should not be forgotten.
Think about how much time you have free to offer a dog, will it be left for long periods while you work?
Will you be able to cover vets bills, food, insurance etc.?
Do you already have a dog, and will it be upset by a new arrival in the family home?
Consider what breeds of dog are best suited to you, do you like to go on long walks which you could take your dog on too?
Would you prefer a puppy or an adult dog?
Would you like a pedigree rescue dog so that you can be better informed about the dog’s characteristics and traits?
Would you prefer to have a long-haired dog or a dog with a short coat?
How much time would you have each day for grooming a long-haired dog?
How and why did the dog end up at the animal rescue center?
What does the center know about the dog’s past, was it mistreated in some way or abandoned, or has the dog’s owner passed away, or become unable to care for it?
Has the dog already been spayed or neutered? (some rescue centers automatically do this, so it is worth checking with the staff when you visit).
Do they know what breed the dog’s parents were? (This could provide you with more of an insight into the dog’s character traits, as well as indicating how big the dog will grow to if it is a puppy).
Does the dog have any ongoing or current health issues?
Choosing to bring a rescue dog into your life is an incredible thing to do, but there is much to consider before you head to the shelter to see all the dogs.
Bear in mind that a rescue dog is likely to be affected by its past treatment, this may mean that it will struggle around other dogs, either by being aggressive or timid. If the latter is the case be sure to understand how to break up a dog fight, and in the unfortunate event that your dog suffers an injury ensure that you register with a vet. If a human is hurt then after seeking medical advice a dog bite attorney may be able to help.
Remember that past mistreatment may mean that it takes a while for your new dog to realise that you can be trusted, so patience is crucial.