Rescued Pets: How to Choose Your New Best Friend
Rescued pets are sometimes complex animals because of their past experiences. They’re already a few years old and, in those years, in many cases, they’ve learned that people can be a threat.
On the other hand, dogs, whether they’re rescued or not, are companion animals and, in general, they enjoy interacting with people. This doesn’t mean that they’ll want to be with you 24/7, because animals, just like us, also need their space.
They’ll find that space at home, but they’ll also need to find it outside, hence the need to take them outdoors. They need to run and explore, and, in this sense, they’re no different from us.
Therefore, if you’re thinking of adopting one, think beforehand about how you plan to meet their walking needs. Dog walkers are a great option, but they’re an added financial burden.
1. The long-term commitment: dogs can live 10 to 20 years
What are your long-term plans and goals? If you’re in college, are you planning to move back home with your parents? What will your life be like after college? Ten hours of work each day? Going out with friends every night after work?
You should think about these long-term plans before you adopt. Dogs can live well over ten years, depending on their size. Make sure you find a type of dog that fits into your future plans.
2. Can you afford to pay for a rescued pet?
Animal protection associations don’t receive financial subsidies, but depend on the financial support of individuals. When adopting a pet, they’ll often request a fee or donation to cover the veterinary expenses the pet incurred while it was under their care.
You should keep in mind that rescued pets require certain minimum expenses. Even if you find a “free” dog, you’ll still have to pay for food or veterinary care. Here are some of the costs involved in adopting and owning a dog:
- Among the fixed expenses are the adoption fee, and dog food (the amount varies depending on the size of your dog).
- Collar, leash, and identification tag.
- Toys and bones.
- Dog bedding.
- Annual medical check-up and vaccination.
- Monthly flea and tick prevention (depends on the size of the dog).
- Optional expenses: periodic baths, training classes, insurance policy, etc.
3. The age of rescued pets: is a puppy really a better choice than an older dog?
You should also consider the advantages of either adopting a puppy, a young dog, or an adult dog. For example, puppies require a lot of work when it comes to instilling certain habits. They also chew incessantly because of teething. If you don’t want your things chewed or don’t have the time or money to train a puppy, then consider adopting an adult dog.
There are plenty of older dogs that need homes too! Older dogs have many benefits and are usually already potty trained, obedience trained, and require less exercise.
4. Socialization: is adopting a dog better than buying a puppy?
It doesn’t matter whether you decide to buy a puppy from a breeder or adopt one from a pet shelter. In both cases, the first step is to find a reputable breeder or rescue center. Many people say that they want a puppy because they want to make sure they’re the ones raising them. Also, many people have the idea that a puppy is a more appropriate dog in a home where there are children.
An important part of the adoption process is to take the test that’s usually required of prospective adopters by the adoption agencies. There they ask questions about your hobbies and your type of home, among other things, in order to find the dog that best fits your situation.
After that, the most usual thing is that you’ll send an application to the shelter that has the animal you’re interested in. They’ll then contact you to get to know you and explain what’s involved in the adoption process.
5. Suffering: shelter pets come with baggage
It’s true that some rescued pets have fears and behavioral problems as a result of their experiences. However, these same problems can occur even if you choose to buy a puppy from a breeder.
Are you ready to deal with potential problems? Would you seek professional help if necessary? Don’t expect your new pet to be perfect in everything. There’s no such thing as a perfect pet!
6. Will you have time to train your puppy?
Training your dog isn’t an option, it’s a must. Many dog owners have an idea of how they want that dog to behave.
Television shows and movies project “the image of the perfect dog” to us. This perfect dog runs off-leash, comes when called, and never gets into trouble.
But the fact is that dogs that actually behave this way have undergone many hours of training. Dogs aren’t born with a natural instinct to understand people; it’s your job to train them to understand you, and also to avoid dangerous situations.
The degree to which you’ll have to train your dog will depend on its learning history and where you want to set the bar for its behavior.
7. What requirements do you need to adopt a pet in your country?
Each country is different when it comes to requirements to adopt a pet, but here are some common guidelines.
- Be of legal age. You must prove your age with a valid proof of ID.
- Possess a proof of address. Either the person is the property owner, or, in the case of renting, proof that the tenant allows pets in the property.
- Sign an adoption contract. The contract is a commitment to:
- Look after your pet and keep it in optimal conditions.
- To provide them with the health services they need.
- Not to submit it to reproduction processes.
- To notify the association about any problems suffered by the pet.
- Return the dog to the association if you’re not able to look after it.
In conclusion, many animals need your help. Abandoned, injured, or abused pets are waiting for a foster home where they can be loved. If you’re committed to being a good owner and you’re determined to adopt, then why not start to look at animal shelters’ websites or pay them a visit?
All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.
- Castañeda-Hidalgo, H. (2011). Contra el maltrato de los animales. CienciaUAT. Volumen 5, Numero 4. Pp. 8-11
- Fernandez, L. (2013). El maltrato animal desde un punto de vista criminológico. Derecho y Cambio Social. Año 10, Número 33.
- Cendón, M.; Holm, A. (2012). Abandono de animales de compañía. Deontología y veterinaria legal. Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona.