Finding a home for a dog – are you ready to adopt or rehome a dog?

We have a feeling your family is ready to grow when you are thinking of adopting a dog. It is a big step. Your dog need to know you are in charge and you have rules to live by. The leadership and order you show your dog will have a big impact on its’ behaviour. This will make its transition from the shelter to your home easier, faster and more rewarding. Bringing your new dog home is an exciting and fulfilling experience.

To get your relationship off on the right foot with your dog here are some tips on how to prepare.

#1 – Be flexible

Accommodate your dogs need, know it has a mind of its own and adjust your life and get your routine set that works for both you and your dog. Slowly introduce your dog to your friends, new places, maintain a good sense of humour during the transition time to make your dog feel wanted.

#2 – Available basics

Just like how you prepare for a new born baby ensure you prepare for your dog. Shop for an ID tag, leash, collar, bed, food and water bowls, food, anything the dog might need to avoid last minute rush. The dog need to find an orderly place not a confused home.

#3 – Rules to family member

Ensure the dog is trained and shown its place from the word go. Ensure all family member are responsible and agree to particular roles of caring for the dog. If you agree that the dog should rest in its’ crate your child should not allow it on the sofa. Some ground rules should be set and make sure that all family members agree to follow and enforce them. Ensure your dog is helped to adjust. Being in a new environment your dog might be anxious, hide behind seat, stay in one place, this is all normal but help your pal adjust slowly. For a few weeks your dog will be going through an adjustment period be patient and understanding. Helping him through this tough time and showing him how wonderful his new home really is will make him fit in quickly.

#4 – Slow introduction

As much as you want to introduce your amazing dog to your friends do it slowly. If possible introduce one friend at a time to avoid confusing him/her. The walk to the park can wait a few weeks to avoid interactions with many people at once.

#5 – Bonding session

Once in a while have time with your dog. Talk to him/her with a soothing voice and pet him gently. Touching and petting your dog is a powerful way of communication and will show him he is safe, loved and your relationship will set off to a beautiful start.

#6 – Time alone

Give your dog some time alone every day to learn its surroundings. Your dog will love that and watch from a distance to ensure he is safe as you give him some ‘me’ time.

#7 – Vet visit

True love is hard to find. Your dog is your best friend as a priority ensure the first week or immediately you take your dog to the vet for check-up. Just to be certain it is not sick or just a regular check-up especially if you have other pets in the home. Bring any vaccine and medical records supplied by the shelter or rescue from which you adopted your dog from.

The first visit is great as it will show your dog personality and past history, so ask a lot of questions to the veterinarian. Also have your dog acquire a tag, collar or micro chipped for easy identification in case of getting lost or wandering away it will be easy to reunite you with your dog.

Myths of dog adoption

Most people have myths of dog adoption, some people think that most dogs do not have a home due to their fault. The truth is dog shelters and rescues are full of lovable, active and healthy adoptable dogs just waiting for someone to take them home. Dogs brought at the shelter can come from divorced homes, the dog owner could have died, due to financial constraints the dog owner might not be able to sustain the dog anymore and gives it up, the owner might not have time for the dog to offer it attention and love which the dog needs. By adopting a pet you are giving room to another pet for shelter that is out there.

A shelter or rescue will want to know more about where the dog will call home the goal is to balance the interest of the two of you, the adopter and the dog. They have a procedure to get to know you.

Adoption Procedure

They will want to know your housing situation is it renting or owner occupier, the number and ages of children in your household if any, the name and contact of your veterinarian, your previous experiences with pets, your activity level, lifestyle and expectations for a new pet and the type and number of pets you own.

Most shelters have the animal best interest at heart and want to ensure the pet is matched with responsible, appropriate owners and have a screening process in place for this. The process vary from shelter to shelter but it involves:

#1 – Questionnaire

It has a variety of questions to help know the adopter better on living standards, household members and pets, ages of children if any, your lifestyle and activities.

#2 – Interview

This is a follow up face to face on what was answered on the questionnaire to know you better or to clarify any information given.

#3 – The meet and greet

This process is where you have multiple pets at home they accompany you to the shelter to meet the new pet, if you have.

#4 – Adoption contract

This is signed if everything goes well.

Many shelters and rescue groups have information about their adoption process on their websites so you can know in advance what to expect. If possible examine the adoption process thoroughly before going to the shelter.

If your family is ready for dog adoption they are several organisations that take care of rescued dogs and also dog welfare. Some are perfect as they ensure your dog is snipped, vaccinated and micro chipped to help you settle fast into a new life together and avoid paying huge veterinary bills as you take them home.

We will feature three organisations.

  1. Rehoming at RSPCA.

RSPCA helps animals in England and Wales. Every year thousands of animals including dogs suffer from neglect, cruelty and abuse. With your help we can end this misery. RSPCA have many animals in their care who have never experienced life of a loving family home and want a person who will give one of their animals the happy future it deserves. Their dogs are unique, loud, quiet, fluffy, big, and small and come with a personality readymade, a past that is unique to them and a lot of love to give. The organisation does not rely on government funding but on your support. The RSPCA understand the adopted dog can be sick or uncomfortable in a new home and it might be difficult for the new owner hence they provide guidance for your individual dog so you should not be worried. They also have an online dog advice booklet-dog pre-adoption booklet that advices on health environment, behaviour, diet and company for smooth transition, you will not feel left alone with your dog. I just had a look at the RSPCA website https://www.rspca.org.uk and they have a lot of fantastic beautiful dogs who are housetrained waiting for a loving family to adopt them. Now it is up to you to give them the love and care they deserve by housing one.

  1. DogsTrust

DogsTrust mission is to bring about the day when all dogs can enjoy a happy life from the threat of unnecessary destruction. Founded in 1891, it is the largest dog welfare charity in the UK (United Kingdom). In 2016 DogTrust had a great year as it cared for around 15,300 dogs across all their 21 centres. This is awesome. Around their centres they have currently 908 dogs needing new homes and have a good variety to choose from. The figure changes with time and you can keep checking in their website https://www.dogstrust.org.uk . The dogs ranges from puppies, older dogs, dogs with injuries/ Medical conditions and even healthy dogs. DogTrust works with foster carers who play a huge role in a rescued dog’s life. The DogTrust fully takes care of the dogs’ food, veterinary treatment and advice for their foster carer before a permanent home is found for them. This works very well for people who cannot adopt full time, you just volunteer to take care of them. It does not cost anything, just your time and love. Looking after the dog give you some fulfilment, something to get up for and brings the best in you and your dog as you care for it.

  1. BlueCross

BlueCross is a registered charity in England and Wales and Scotland. They find homes for unwanted cats, dogs, small pets and horses across the UK and find the right person for their pets. They provide veterinary services to pet owners who cannot afford and give free talks and workshops to educate them on their pets. For more details check https://www.bluecross.org.uk

The dog adoption topic is wide and cannot be exhausted in one article. The basics have been highlighted and now finding a perfect dog for your family is a phone call away. Make that important decision and give a home to one deserving dog. You can be a permanent dog owner or foster carer the dog will appreciate the love and warmly home atmosphere.

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