What To Know About Rescue Dogs
Adopting a rescue dog is a uniquely rewarding and joyful experience. So much so that, in recent times, the demand for animal adoption has soared as an increasing number of us choose to give a dog a second chance at life. Good news all around!
The process of bringing a dog from a shelter home naturally raises questions, such as how to bond with your rescue dog, how to retrain a rescue dog, or simply how to care for a rescue dog, which can be overwhelming. With this in mind, we’ve set out to provide the answers so that whether you’re currently deciding if adoption is the right choice for you or have recently adopted but need some extra guidance, you’ll be able to do the best possible for our canine friends.
Common Misconceptions About Rescue Dogs
There are many myths in circulation about dogs from shelters, meaning that many animal lovers sadly bypass pet adoption.
A false belief is that pets from shelters came into their position due to behavioural issues, meaning that they are not socialised. In reality, most dogs entered the shelter because of a change of circumstances in the owner’s life, such as financial difficulties or property move, or something as straightforward as an unplanned litter. Basically, the dog themselves didn’t play a part in the decision.
Another common misconception is that shelter dogs suffer from poor health. In reality, all dogs that come to a shelter are evaluated for behaviour and health, receiving excellent medical care, plus are neutered, dewormed, vaccinated, and treated for fleas and ticks. Rest assured, you won’t have to worry about any nasty surprises!
There is sometimes the concern for pedigree dog lovers that they will only find cross breeds at shelters. The truth is that you can discover canines of all shapes, sizes, and breeds waiting to find a new home.
Finally, as a prospective rescue dog owner, you may wonder if you’ll be a suitable candidate if you work full-time or live in a property without a garden. As a shelter assesses each case individually, and with every dog possessing different needs, this simply isn’t the case.
How Long Does It Take To Train a Rescue Dog
One of the most frequently asked questions is, how long does it take to train a rescue dog? The good news is that most shelter dogs will have had a level of training before coming home with you, meaning they are surprisingly adaptable. That said, like humans, dogs need time to become comfortable in new surroundings.
Depending on the rescue dog, it may take several days to weeks for your canine to become fully responsive to training. As is the case with all dogs, successful training is dependent on trust in you as their owner. Luckily, there are steps you can take to assist and potentially speed up the process.
One of the best ways to build a bond between you and your dog is by playing, which is where toys come into the equation! Start slowly by leaving toys lying around the house so that your dog can get used to them in their own time.
If your dog appears anxious at first, you could try hiding a small treat under the toy so that your canine family member learns that toys signal good times.
Many new adopters wonder how to retrain a rescue dog, but the process is generally easier, faster, and a lot more fun than you would perhaps first expect.
How To Care For a Rescue Dog
Before collecting your new furry friend, it’s important to prepare your home for your dog’s arrival. Decide where your dog will sleep and if they will have designated areas of the property. Now is also the time to go shopping for necessary items, such as water and food bowls, collar and leash, plus a crate and comfy bed for your pampered pooch!
It can be easy to overlook some of the everyday products required to keep your rescue dog in good health during this exciting period. Care for your dog’s physical and mental wellness by ensuring you have a supply of essential treatments and supplements; from calming chews and multivitamins to toothpaste kits and omega oils, these are the goods that will have a profound impact on your dog’s energy and spirit.
For the less fun part, mess and foul odours are sometimes inevitable when you have a dog, which means stocking up on clean up products is a wise choice if you want to keep your home sanitary and smell-free.
Even if you’ve never been a dog owner previously, with so much information and support available, learning how to care for a rescue dog needn’t be a challenge.
How To Bond With Your Rescue Dog
When a dog finds themselves living in a shelter, their trust in humans is at a low. After experiencing a difficult change in circumstances, they may be feeling jaded or suffering from a loss of confidence. Knowing this, you are perhaps questioning how to bond with your rescue dog.
More than anything, a rescue dog needs stability and a predictable routine to learn to trust again and form an emotional bond with you. Try and plan your day so that you can commit to walking your dog at a set hour and keep mealtimes regular.
Obedience training is an excellent way for you and your dog to develop a strong connection. An interactive form of communication, your dog will be solely focused on the task at hand and able to put emotional hurdles to the side.
Lastly, never underestimate the power of touching and talking; dogs are highly social animals who thrive on interaction in whatever form. A simple pat on the head, calling their name, stroking their coat, or belly rub will comfort your dog and leave them feeling reassured in your presence. You’ll know you’re on the right track when your rescue dog seeks out your company - and not just for the food!
Why You Should Adopt a Rescue Dog
Welcoming a rescue dog into your home is an exciting life-enriching experience. By choosing a dog from a shelter, you’ll be able to speak with the carers who can offer information on a dog’s personality, along with likes and dislikes, which allows for the best chance for you and your new furry friend to be suitable companions. In the knowledge that each dog undergoes a complete health check, and that support is available throughout the adoption process, you’ll be able to focus on what really matters - providing the loving home they deserve.