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Are You Ready To Bring Home A Rescue Dog?

Deciding to adopt a dog is a real act of kindness.  You are choosing to give that dog a second chance at a happy life:  many people who adopt dogs feel that their dog knows that it has been ‘saved’ and is all the more grateful and loving for it.  Campaigners for animal rights point out that buying dogs from pet shops or breeders when there are so many dogs in shelters needing homes is tantamount to treating dogs as commodities, buying and selling them for money rather than for love. 

Animal charities, like the RSPCA, run dog rescue centres for abused, neglected or abandoned dogs and puppies and their first task is to minimise any suffering that those dogs have been through.  They tend to their injuries and check for any lingering illnesses or ailments.  They feed and water them, make them comfortable and then take stock of each dog’s temperament and personality. 

Dogs can take some time to settle down in a dog rescue centre.  Whether they have been the victims of abuse or neglect, or have simply been given to the RSPCA because their owners simply cannot afford the time or money to care for them anymore, they are in an alien setting and may appear skittish, aggressive or withdrawn at first and it can take some time for their true personality to re-emerge. 

It is one of the jobs of the staff at charities such as the RSPCA to monitor and work with the dogs in their care to maximise the possibility that they can find a good home.  As a potential adoptive dog-owner, you will need to be honest with the staff at the dog rescue shelter about your family life and commitments so that they can accurately assess which dogs will suit the amount of time, energy and space you have in your life for a new pet.  They will also be able to tell you whether a dog is or is not suitable to be placed in a home with children.

Unfortunately, some dogs in rescue centres do develop certain medical conditions that might not surface for some time.  For example, some dogs (especially of pedigree descent) can develop hereditary conditions.  If you buy from a reputable dog breeder they should be able to tell you whether a dog has a history of any medical conditions within its family: dogs adopted from rescue centres are unlikely to come with that sort of detailed information on their past. 

Behavioural problems are often the result of misunderstanding of a dog by its new owners.  It is important if you know that your dog has come from a neglectful or abusive household that you understand what it may have been through and what you can do to minimise the long-term effects of that treatment.  For example, if your dog has previously been starved, it may be over-protective of its food and growl or bite at anyone who comes near at meal time. 

It can take patience and experience over time to get to know your dog and for it to feel truly safe in your home.  It is worth asking for expert advice on how to interpret and manage your dog’s behaviour from the staff at the RSPCA to give your dog the best possible chance of settling in its new forever home.

Deciding to adopt a dog is a real act of kindness.  You are choosing to give that dog a second chance at a happy life:  many people who adopt dogs feel that their dog knows that it has been ‘saved’ and is all the more grateful and loving for it.  Campaigners for animal rights point out that buying dogs from pet shops or breeders when there are so many dogs in shelters needing homes is tantamount to treating dogs as commodities, buying and selling them for money rather than for love. 

Animal charities, like the RSPCA, run dog rescue centres for abused, neglected or abandoned dogs and puppies and their first task is to minimise any suffering that those dogs have been through.  They tend to their injuries and check for any lingering illnesses or ailments.  They feed and water them, make them comfortable and then take stock of each dog’s temperament and personality. 

Dogs can take some time to settle down in a dog rescue centre.  Whether they have been the victims of abuse or neglect, or have simply been given to the RSPCA because their owners simply cannot afford the time or money to care for them anymore, they are in an alien setting and may appear skittish, aggressive or withdrawn at first and it can take some time for their true personality to re-emerge. 

It is one of the jobs of the staff at charities such as the RSPCA to monitor and work with the dogs in their care to maximise the possibility that they can find a good home.  As a potential adoptive dog-owner, you will need to be honest with the staff at the dog rescue shelter about your family life and commitments so that they can accurately assess which dogs will suit the amount of time, energy and space you have in your life for a new pet.  They will also be able to tell you whether a dog is or is not suitable to be placed in a home with children.

Unfortunately, some dogs in rescue centres do develop certain medical conditions that might not surface for some time.  For example, some dogs (especially of pedigree descent) can develop hereditary conditions.  If you buy from a reputable dog breeder they should be able to tell you whether a dog has a history of any medical conditions within its family: dogs adopted from rescue centres are unlikely to come with that sort of detailed information on their past. 

Behavioural problems are often the result of misunderstanding of a dog by its new owners.  It is important if you know that your dog has come from a neglectful or abusive household that you understand what it may have been through and what you can do to minimise the long-term effects of that treatment.  For example, if your dog has previously been starved, it may be over-protective of its food and growl or bite at anyone who comes near at meal time. 

It can take patience and experience over time to get to know your dog and for it to feel truly safe in your home.  It is worth asking for expert advice on how to interpret and manage your dog’s behaviour from the staff at the RSPCA to give your dog the best possible chance of settling in its new forever home.

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This is a guest post by Claire Chat a new Londoner, travel passionate and animal lover. She blogs about 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).

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