Before you commit to spending hundreds of pounds on a pedigree puppy, take the time to consider an alternative- re-homing a rescue dog.
Every year around 100,000 dogs are abandoned in the UK. Contrary to popular belief, very few of these dogs are ‘problem dogs’. Most have been abandoned due to their families moving, new babys, death of an owner and other domestic problems- none of which are the dogs fault.
There are many benefits to rescue dogs. Most are older than six months old so they have been house trained and no longer chew everything in sight and some have even been trained. Many rescue centres also insist that their dogs are neutered and vaccinated before they leave the home so this is another worry taken off your mind.
Things you should consider:
Most rescue homes will want to do a home check before they let you take a dog. Gone are the days when they would let you take a dog as long as you could prove that you had a dog bed and a can of dog food. You must be able to prove that you are able to exercise your dog regularly, have an adequate home and garden and will want to see if you have any other pets. They will also take into consideration the character of the dog and whether it fits in with your lifestyle- there is no point in adopting a dog that hates children if you have three kids for example.
Some dogs may well have been abused or mistreated. As such they may have abandonment issues, may be nervous, aggressive or have medical issues. As a potential owner you must be willing and able to deal with these problems and be prepared to give your dog a lot of love and patience.
The reward for dealing with this initial bureaucracy is often the most fun, beautiful, happy, healthy dog that you could ever wish for, plus the warm glow of knowing that you have given an unwanted dog a new home.
For more information about rescue centres either ask your local pet supplies store or contact one of the main rescue centres such as The Dogs Trust, The RSPCA or the Blue Cross.
Finally, if you are stuck on having a particular breed of dog, why not consider looking at pedigree rescue sites. Most breeds have them (a list of some of them can be seen on ‘The dog rescue pages’) and they can provide you with a wealth of breed specific information as well as a gorgeous new pet.•