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What You Need to Know Before Adopting A Rescue Dog

by Louise W. Rice
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If you are considering adopting a canine companion from a rescue organization, you are in the right place!

Dogs are known for their unconditional love, devoted companionship, and undying loyalty. In fact, research shows that having a dog can have numerous health benefits as they can help you exercise, lower blood pressure levels, decrease feelings of social isolation, and encourage healthy coping mechanisms to reduce stress. It is no wonder that dogs are said to be our best friends. 

So if you have set your eyes on the perfect dog at your local pet rescue organization, there are a few details that you need to keep in mind so you know you adopted the right dog. We have compiled a comprehensive list to guide you in your decision-making process before welcoming your future best friend into your home. 

You Need To Review Their Medical History 

Before adopting a rescue dog, first things peruse through their medical history and review any past vaccinations, procedures, or pre-existing conditions. Ensure you are updated on any allergies, skin conditions, stomach issues, infections, and injuries. This is important because it helps prepare you for the future, make appropriate arrangements and adjustments in your house, and it may be beneficial if you have kids in the house. 

Additionally, you need to make a list of basic pet care costs such as dog food and treats, possible medical costs, any special medical arrangements specific to your rescue dog, the best veterinary clinics in town, and a cost-benefit analysis of the right medical care plan. But is pet insurance worth the cost? Our answer is one hundred percent yes! 

Inviting a dog into your home is akin to having a new family member. You need to do everything you can to take care of their needs, including the occasional run to the vet clinic. Sometimes, pet injuries can set you back financially, and you may struggle to find the resources to help your dog. That is why it is wise to factor in possible emergency care costs with an insurance plan so that your dog gets the best possible medical care. 

Don’t Believe The Common Myths  

When it comes to adopting a rescue dog, there are some myths that need busting. 

The most common misconception is that all rescue dogs are mistreated, abused, or traumatized. While this may sometimes be the case, it is not always true. It is quite possible that the dog needs rehoming because the previous owner had a change of circumstances and wants to find their dog a new loving home. So before settling on adopting your new dog, make sure that you have all their background information. 

A common assumption is that rescue dogs always have some disease and may not make for ideal pets. The truth is that rescue dogs are taken care of at the shelter home, treated for any existing and known medical issues, and spayed, neutered, checked for fleas, dewormed, and vaccinated. Shelters also put in effort and energy to socialize and train dogs to increase their chances of finding a new home. 

Another common myth is that you can’t find pure breeds at rescue organizations. In fact, dogs of all kinds of breeds and ages are housed at these shelters. You can run a quick internet search if you are interested in a specific breed and check out places dedicated to housing them. 

Your New Pooch May Need Training And Time To Adjust

Adopting a rescue dog means that you need to invest time and energy to train them and teach them some tricks. While small pups are easier to handle, it is quite possible to train older dogs as well. 

Older rescue dogs may have some training under their belt, so you may need to familiarise yourself with their good and bad habits. This will require some patience and trial and error, but you will get there. Allow some time for house training, and start by teaching them the right place to urinate and defecate. Next, set a timetable for their meals and allow them to get comfortable with your daily schedule to ensure they get used to a routine. 

training dog

This process requires positive reinforcement and encouragement in the form of treats, praise, and even a smile so that your dog feels welcomed and appreciated. However, this doesn’t mean that you don’t call them out on their bad habits. It is important to set the rules while training your dog to ensure that they obey you and that you can trust to leave them in your house unsupervised. 

If you feel overwhelmed, don’t hesitate to revisit the shelter house and ask for advice. The training process is as much for your dog as it is for you. While your companion settles into their new surroundings, you also need to adjust and build a meaningful relationship with your dog. 

Once you feel your dog has settled in and adapted to your surroundings, you can change the language in which they respond to you. In fact, you can even try changing their name after the adjustment period. This is a great way for your dog to transition into a new life and a welcoming home. 

While there are many steps to train your dog, rescue dogs need time to adjust and adapt. If you have other dogs, don’t expect your new pet to automatically get along with them. You need to be considerate since a transition from a shelter home to a practically alien territory may be stressful and odd for them and may even cause some form of separation anxiety. So consider easing into the process of training them rather than rushing it, and be wary of any anxiety-inducing triggers from their past. 

Final Thoughts

Dogs are great for your physical, mental, and emotional well-being. On the other hand, adopting a rescue dog can be incredibly rewarding as it is an act of compassion. 

Take your sweet time in getting to know them and their personality traits. Remember to get your house pet-proofed so that you make the environment as safe and accessible as possible. Try to introduce your friends and family one by one to make sure your dog doesn’t feel overwhelmed. 

Last but not least, get ready for a beautiful journey of self-discovery and growth while bonding and taking care of your dog. You will be surprised how quickly you get attached to your dog and grow to connect with them on an emotional level.

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