What To Look For When Getting A Rescue Dog

Adopting a pet animal, specifically a dog, is a huge responsibility, especially for first-time dog owners. It can be really overwhelming. When considering where to get your first pet dog from, you should consider adopting one from a shelter, also known as rescues. 

But why do dogs end up in a shelter? The answer to this question includes many different reasons. 

  1. People who do not neuter or spay their dogs end up with unwanted litter, so they give it away. 
  2. The sudden death of the dog owner when the animal is left on its own with no one to take care of him.
  3. Lack of supervision and training the dogs make them send their pets to a shelter. 


Whatever the reason is, their loss is your gain! All the rescues and shelters are filled with such adorable, well-mannered, and gorgeous dogs. So, if you are thinking of getting a rescue dog, you would definitely need a guide to get you to the pet of your dreams that would be a perfect fit for you and your family. 

According to global research, approximately ten million dogs are euthanized in rescues each year. Therefore, you can save at least one of the innocent lives by getting a rescue dog as your perfect pet.

Myths Related to Adopting Dogs

Myth # 1: If I adopt it from a rescue, I do not know what kind of dog I am getting…

Wrong. No matter where you get your pet dog, the reality is that it will still be a complete stranger for you initially. Even if you get it from a pet store, there is no guarantee that the shop owner fully knows about the dog’s temperament. 

Myth # 2: I would have to contact a breeder for a purebred dog…

You would be amazed to see how many purebred dogs you would find if you visit a shelter or a rescue. 

Myth # 3: People leave their dogs to shelter because there is something wrong with them…

There are several reasons dogs end up in shelters, except for this one. For example, people might shift to houses where pets are not allowed, no space for litter, affordability, or lack of interest. 

Choosing The Right Rescue Dog

Adopting the perfect rescue dog can be a little overwhelming for first-time pet owners, as it is not a small task. To save you from all the daunting, we have compiled a few points for you to consider before you take your rescue dog to its forever home.

Analyze the dog's health, and behavior ask for an assessment report.

When adopting a rescue dog, it is essential to look for one that matches your personality and lifestyle. Any reputed rescue home or shelter would provide you with the behavioral and health assessment report of the pet you will choose. All reputable shelters carefully analyze every dog they put up for adoption and its health, energy level, and personality. Therefore it is necessary to ask if the shelter does not provide you with the information. 

Check how well-mannered the dog is.

Many dogs are well-trained to demonstrate different types of behaviors. So, when you are looking for your pet-to-be, you can do quick assessments to check how well-trained your future dog is. This will help you determine how much training your chosen dog will need right away. For example, call out to them and see if they respond instantly if they have a name. Tie a leash to them and notice if the dog stays calm or constantly tries to pull itself out. And also if the dog follows basic commands like sit, lie or stay, etc.

Notice the animal's energy levels.

Before finalizing your four-legged friend, you should notice the dog’s energy levels and how much time you would need to dedicate to him in the near future. You should be aware that the adoption and the ownership would not work out if your pet’s energy level did not match. For example, if you reside in a smaller house, you should not go for pets that enjoy running all day long. If you adopted a high-energy dog in such a scenario, he might stay unhappy forever. Vice versa, if you live in a house big enough for your pets to run around, then a high-energy dog would be a perfect fit!

Dig deeply into the dog's history before choosing one.

You need to make sure about the entire history of the dog you are thinking of choosing. This would help you determine your pet’s background and personality so that you work on catering to its needs as best as possible. The questions you should ask the rescue home authorities could be for how long the dog has been living in the shelter, was it a stray dog before or someone’s pet, if the dog was left to the shelter by the owner himself, etc.

Take notes of the dog's behavior when offered food.

This is a basic yet one of the most important aspects to consider when choosing a shelter dog. Depending on the dog’s personality, you may find it guarding its food. It means the dog might become protective of its food when offered to it and even growl or bite if someone comes near its meal. Although this kind of behavior is pretty typical in most dogs, when they have to fight for food as a stray dog or a puppy, an over-aggressive response to food offering can be a little dangerous for your household. Ask the authorities to offer food to the dog in front of you so you can assess its behavior by yourself before making the final decision.

Check if your prospective pet socializes with humans and other dogs around.

You can learn the most of your prospective pet’s personality only by the first impression. For example, a dog that has socialized in the past mostly stays friendly to people and other animals around. Socializing dogs are also more comfortable in difficult situations. Therefore, when you are at a rescue home, be sure to notice the very first reaction of your dog when you go near it. Was it cautious, friendly, or aggressive? This first impression would give you the whole idea of how your chosen pet would react around different people and animals when you take it home.

Decide beforehand if you need a hybrid or a purebred dog.

Since every dog has different behavior and personas according to its breeds, it is essential to do thorough research on what kind of a pet dog you need. For example, if you are going to look for a Husky, prepare yourself mentally that you would need to brush its hair at least twice a week. Or, if you are interested in a golden retriever, you need to ensure that you have enough room for the pet in your house because they grow to enormous sizes within no time.

Find out your prospective dog's age.

Make up your mind if you need an old or a young dog that will be suitable for your lifestyle, home, and schedule, before going to step into the shelter for adoption. If you want a puppy, you should know that younger dogs require a considerable amount of time and patience to train and socialize. 

Are you ready to take a pet's responsibility?

Just because you want a pet does not mean you are an ideal candidate for one. Many people long for having furry four-legged friends but are not mostly ready to take the responsibility. Therefore, before adopting a pet dog, sit down, and analyze if you really have the time, commitment, energy, and budget for adopting a four-legged buddy. If you find yourself backing away from the thought of adopting a pet, then it might not be a suitable time for you! 

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