If you are thinking of offering a home to one of the thousands of dogs awaiting adoption in animal shelters across the country then first of all thank you for considering this option rather than simply deciding to buy a puppy. There are far more dogs in the UK than there are willing dog owners, and evermore dogs are born each day as a result of dog breeding for profit and through owners not spaying or neutering their pets.
Charities like the RSPCA spend considerable time, effort and money rehoming dogs to people who want to adopt and they do so cautiously so as not to hurriedly place dogs for adoption only for the placement to fail.
Here are the five basic ‘rules’ if you are considering adopting a dog.
- Do Your Research
What type of dog do you want? Is there a particular breed you have in mind, or do you just know the sort of size of dog that you could comfortably accommodate in your home and garden? What sort of characteristics do you want in a dog: loyalty, playfulness, companionship? Do you want a puppy or would you be prepared to consider adopting a dog?
- Do Your Maths
How much will it cost to:
- Feed your dog (ask the staff at the RSPCA if you are unsure of how much a particular size of dog would eat)?
- Insure your dog (or have your dog treated by a vet for unexpected health problems)?
- Vaccinate your dog and treat it for or prevent parasites? (Also ask how often you would have to do the latter).
Then work out how much all of this would cost you on a monthly basis and decide whether you can really afford to keep a dog. There are other expenses, like buying collars and leads, toys and bedding, but these are usually one-off costs.
- Don’t Overestimate Yourself
If you are thinking of rehoming a dog as part of a fitness drive, to encourage you to get out of the house and exercise more often, be honest with yourself as to how likely it is that you will really get up every morning and take your dog for a walk, even in the winter months. Choose a dog that will suit your energy levels.
- Adopt for the Right Reasons
Never adopt a dog to teach your children ‘responsibility’ by handing over all responsibility for that dog to your children. By adopting a dog you, the grown-up, will be the owner and have all the responsibility for caring for it.
- Do Be Patient
Rescue dogs may take a while to settle down in a new home. They may have experienced great hardships, abuse or neglect and it will take a while for them to adjust to having a safe, happy home. Give them plenty of time to adapt to their new rules and environment and don’t be afraid to ask RSPCA staff for advice.
Follow these rules and find a dog that you can care for and love for years to come.
- License: Creative Commons image source
This is a guest post by Claire Chat a new Londoner, jewellery passionate and animal lover. She blogs about Jewllery, Pets and Travelling in Europe. If you want Claire to write you specific content, you can find email her here or contact her on Twitter (Claire_Chat).