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ADOPTING A DOG IS LIKE BUYING FINE ART

- More than 100,000 dogs await new owners in UK adoption shelters.
- Awareness campaign aims to show the great benefits of adopting a dog.

For many, the idea of adopting or 'rescuing' a dog carries with it a certain image. Some people mistakenly look at dog adoption as if it's buying cheap, discounted or broken goods. But, according to an initiative between national dog adoption website DogsBlog.com and Butcher's Pet Care, a UK family company that prides itself in having fed generations of family dog, nothing could be further from the truth.

As more and more dogs find themselves, through no fault of their own, inside the British dog shelter system, the image of the 'rescue dog' is in need of an update.

No longer are shelters the preserve of the 'problem dog', but they are packed with dogs of all types, from all manner of backgrounds. Going through the process of adopting a dog consider the following 10 points.

 

 

1. A pen and paper. You're going to meet a lot of dogs, and writing down a little bit about the ones who interest you will help keep you organised when discussing the dogs you've seen later. You'll want to be able to consider your choices when you're at home, away from the shelter; keeping records of the dogs you've seen will allow you to do that.

2. Comfortable clothes. Remember, it's a dog shelter, not a cocktail party, so dress appropriately! You're going to be getting down and at least a little bit dirty with dogs who may not have had a bath recently and who may not know that they shouldn't jump or climb on you; accordingly, don't wear anything that you couldn't bear to see paw-printed or drooled on. Jeans are a good bet; they'll also keep your legs protected in case you get scratched or nipped at by a pup. Wear comfortable shoes, too, so that you can walk around with ease.

3. Bring Your Family. Bring along as many members of your household as possible. Singles need not worry, but if you have family members or roommates who will be living with a new dog, they should also be involved in there selection. That might seem ridiculously obvious, but we've known many, many people who have adopted dogs and then returned them because "the kids didn't get along with her" or "she didn't like my in-laws." You shouldn't necessarily let children, especially young ones, influence your decision too much, but you at least need to be sure that they'll get along with and not be afraid of the dog you choose.

By the way, don't bring any other dogs or pets along with you unless you have permission from the shelter to do so. Most shelters don't allow outside dogs on their premises because of the risk of dog fights or disease transmission.

4. Time. Well, it's not exactly something you can pack into your car, but it's certainly important. Leave yourself enough time - probably at least a couple hours - so that you won't feel hurried as you talk to shelter employees and get to know a handful of dogs. If finding a few free hours to go shelter-visiting feels like a strain on your schedule, then you may want to ask yourself whether you're really going to have enough time for a dog.

5. Bringing a Newly Adopted Dog Home. Bringing home a new pet is similar to bringing home a baby. Establish a quiet, out-of-the-way place for your new pet and set boundaries for interaction. Just as your pet should not be allowed free access to the nursery, your child should not have free access to the new pet’s "home."

Interactions should be supervised at all times and limited, especially during the first few months..

Once the child and pet are comfortable around each other, invent games to play together, such as fetch.


6. What Kind of Food Does Your Dog Need? Consider this option carefully, many dogs can find themselves back in the animal welfare system due to behavioural problems that can be related to poor diet and so getting the right diet can't be underestimated.  Proper nutrition is as important to your dog’s health as it is to your own. Dogs are best fed as carnivores with wet food diets like Butcher’s Tripe or Chunks in Jelly/ Gravy varieties.


7. As a dog owner you have a moral and legal responsibility to ensure your dog is well behaved and under control at all times in public. For more information on how to overcome dog behaviour problems you could always seek dog advice online or ask a suitably experienced pet care professional. You need to know the laws relating to dog ownership.

8. When researching a particular breed or type of dog you should be prepared to establish a full understanding of how much grooming work will be required as well as typical ownership requirements for individual dogs. The really great thing about adopting a dog from a shelter is, you will receive brilliant, informative advice from the people who know 'your' dog best, the shelter staff. Always be prepared to listen to their guidance on whether a particular dog is likely to suit your lifestyle.

9. Dogs can be naughty and they can sometimes do things that make us want to pull our hair out. Always remain calm and considered when training your dog and when it comes to decisions on your dog's best interests. Many people jump too quickly into rehoming their pets when alternative solutions to the problem could easily have been found. Often, problems that seem impossible to overcome can actually be solved with just a little guidance from experienced dog owning friends or pet care professionals. Seek their advice as often as you need.

10. There are an estimated 100k dogs in adoption centres around Britain. Sometimes dogs arrive in rescue centres through natural causes such as owners passing away. Very often though dogs are simply abandoned for no other reason that poor decisions on behalf of hasty owners. Please, please, please take on board all of the information about what it takes to maintain a dog in a happy home. Dogs really are a lifelong commitment and they deserve the security of a stable home environment. You CAN get a superb, lifelong companion from a rescue...but be absolutely certain you are ready for the challenge. If you are, you will enjoy a relationship like no other!


Visit
www.dogsblog.com to find the dog of your dreams.

National Dog Adoption Month launches this September, be part of something special – bring joy, adopt a dog.




 
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