Am I ready for a dog? | Things to know before you adopt a dog

Puppy Dog

Welcoming a dog into your home is a serious commitment, both financially and in the time and effort, you’ll need to invest to make sure they are healthy, happy, and settled. You are taking on the responsibility for a dog who will rely on you for food, shelter, water and most importantly, love, exercise and attention! It’s not a commitment to be taken lightly and it’s important to consider the fact that if you choose a smaller breed, a dog could become part of your family for up to 20 years!

We suggest you talk through your thoughts with your friends and family who already own a dog, then do your own research, and make sure your new dog is right for you and your living situation. Rescue groups spend a lot of time getting to know the dogs in their care, so they will be able to give you good advice about whether a particular dog or dog breed will suit your home and lifestyle.

Bringing a dog into your home is serious stuff, but there are so many rewards at the end of your journey. In return for your care, your dog will love you unconditionally and be a wonderful addition to your family, by bringing you improved physical health, reducing your stress levels and quite possibly improving your social life (All scientifically proven facts!). So enjoy the search for your new pup, take your time and we look forward to welcoming you to the family!

What kind of dog should I get?

The kind of dog that will be right for you will depend very much on your home, lifestyle, and of course your personal choice. Some dogs require far more exercise than others, some don’t like being left alone, and some need the company of other animals. One of the fantastic things about adopting a rescue dog is that many of the dog’s traits and personalities are already well known by the rescue group who has been caring for them, so it’s a good idea to let the rescue group know as much as you can about your lifestyle and family so that they can help find you find your perfect match!

Some of the things that they will consider are:

  • Your living situation (house or apartment)
  • Family situation (children, other animals)
  • The amount of time the dog will be alone (your travel, working hours)
  • Your leisure activities – will your pup be included?

How much exercise do dogs need?

Making the time each day to exercise your dog will become a very important routine for them, and is also hugely beneficial for you! Not only does it improve your physical health and reduce stress levels, but it is also a wonderful opportunity to bond with your dog and other dogs in your community! Every dog is different in terms of how much exercise they need each day, so ask lots of questions and do your research.

Small dogs can be full of energy, whereas some larger dogs may only need a 30-40-minute walk a day, plus additional mental exercises!  If you adopt an older dog, they will slow down and just like us, may not need the same amount of exercise as they age. Rescue groups will be able to give you an idea of the amount of exercise the dogs they have in their care will need, and they will know the age and temperament of all the dogs in their care.

Small dogs such as Terriers, working dogs like Kelpies, and snow dogs like Huskies, have enormous amounts of energy and can run for extended periods. The more exercise they have the more balanced they will feel, and a good routine will help avoid any behavioural problems developing such as chewing, digging, or excessive barking.  So before you choose the cutest looking dog on Adopt-A-Dog, make sure you consider their needs first, and the amount of time you can spend exercising your dog both mentally and physically.

Tips on Applying for a Rescue Dog

When you’ve decided that you’re ready to adopt and have spotted the dog that you think will suit your family, it’s time to get that application in!

The benefit of a rescue dog is that their carers already have a clear understanding of what their ideal forever home will look like, so the more information you provide in your application, the closer they will be able to match you to a suitable dog for your family, home and lifestyle.

Here are some tips on submitting a great application, and remember, don’t be afraid to share as much information as you can about your home and lifestyle – the more open you and honest you are, the better the outcome!

These are some of the things that every rescue group likes to know about potential homes for their dogs:

  • Who makes up your family unit, or shared living space? Always include ages of children and the elderly if applicable
  • Would you consider your home to be a busy, active, and noisy one, or a quiet and relaxed one
  • Do you work at home, part-time, full-time, or are you retired and home most of the time
  • How much exercise will you be willing to provide a dog – are you after a running buddy, daily visits to the park or a much slower, strolling companion
  • Based on the dog’s adoption profile, why do you think they would suit your home and family?
  • Do you have any current pets in your home, and if so, can you describe their personalities, likes and dislikes

It’s important to remember that the rescue groups know the dogs in their care better than anyone, and always want to make sure that their happy new beginnings are also their happy ever afters!

If your first application hasn’t been successful or you haven’t heard back from a rescue group, please don’t be too discouraged. Most rescue groups are entirely volunteer-run by people with other full-time jobs, and they may not be able to respond to all enquiries. It can sometimes be very hard for rescue groups to choose just one application from the many great ones that they may receive; just because you weren’t chosen this time doesn’t mean that they don’t think you would be a great dog owner – it’s just a case of waiting for that perfect fit to come along!

Did you know SavourLife donates 50% of their profits to help rescue dogs?
Explore their range to help support dogs in need!