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Please help me with adopting a dog!

(6 Posts)
StuntGirl Tue 12-Feb-13 14:39:09

We have now decided to adopt a rescue dog, but I'm feeling rather overwhelmed with it. There are so many unwanted dogs it breaks my heart sad I don't know how to start deciding where to go and who to pick! I want to make sure we do our research thoroughly and only take on what we can manage, I couldn't bear to be another person who lets these dogs down.

Could anyone give me their experiences of adopting a dog from a rescue centre? Also, if you adopted an older dog, how did you find the experience and were there any special issues you needed to take into consideration given their age (I'm thinking insurance for illnesses and things)? What steps, if any, did you take before bringing a dog into your home?

cazinge Thu 14-Feb-13 00:37:02

I could bore you to death with the tale of our dDog but posting on phone (feel free to pm me).

We startetd looking online then visited local Blue Cross twice (I think) & Dogs Trust twice - the 2nd time I had seen ddog online so we went to see her iyswim. We were quite specific in what we wanted re size, age & sex but weren't fussed about breed.

Because of her histoy we had to do lots of visits but we didn't both have to go each time. From 1st visit to bringing her home was just over 2wks. We had to attend an adoption talk & because of her issues a 1-2-1 with a behaviourist plus there was a homecheck.

Didn't take any steps at home other than planning where she'd sleep (which went out the window after 2wks of howling) & bought her food, bed, toys, etc.

I would recommend insurance anyway because you hopefully will never need it & it will be a 'waste' of money but I would never want £ to be the deciding factor if she became ill.

Hope that helps. One thing I would say is that despite her 'issues' which she still isn't completely over I think she has been 'easier' than had we got a 8-12wk puppy.
Good luck in your search x

Stunt Girl, I'm sorry you've had so few answers, but I think the problem is that your OP is so vague it's difficult to know how to help. There are many different rescue organisations - some large national ones like the Blue Cross, or Dogs Trust, or Many Tears. Then there are smaller all breed rescues, and then there are breed specific rescues. For popular breeds like Labs - there will be many over the UK, for rarer breeds there will be one or two who specialise in rehoming. Health issues are very much driven by the age and breed of the dog - for instance we do greyhound rescue - these usually come off the track as young adults and apart from the odd racing injury are typically v healthy and long lived. If you wanted a Cavalier then you should prepare yourself for pretty much guaranteed health problems including things like heart issues and the strong possibility your dog will not live to be very old. sad

You should think about your lifestyle and your DC - how old are they? How many? Are you a sporty outdoor family who will spend hours yomping across a windswept moor, or are you happy with a gentle potter round the park? Nothing wrong with either of these but the right dog for the outdoors yomper would be far too high energy for the gentle potterer and would have problems. And please don't get a dog because you think it will "get you out more" wink - if you don't like spending time outdoors now, then having a dog won't help. You should also think about money and the costs associated with the dog - food, kennels, training, and insurance is VITAL, especially if a breed prone to health problems. As a broad rule of thumb, bigger dogs will cost more to feed etc but some smaller breeds will have high insurance (Cavs again as an example).

Good rescues will help you through the process, and all reputable rescues will do a homecheck, and take time to ensure the right match between you and your dog. Good rescues will also offer support, advice and backup after adoption as well as a welcoming group of people who organise things like picnics, quizzes, dog shows, events so you can go along and show off your darling PFD new family member smile.

Wolfiefan Thu 14-Feb-13 23:15:50

Research different types/breeds. What grooming, walking etc can you commit to? Perhaps consider a rescue where dogs are fostered so they have an idea of what they are like in a home. Some rescues don't let you wander round and pick. They bring you likely candidates.

We decided on type first to suit lifestyle (lurcher greyhound) then researched rescues. Lots of staff, lurcher and greys in rescues so might be worth thinking about those types first

tabulahrasa Fri 15-Feb-13 08:52:04

Work out what you can realistically do in terms of exercise, what you'd prefer in terms of grooming and size and get in touch with a rescue - if they know that and your circumstances and experience they'll be able to reccomend suitable dogs.

One of the easier things about rescuing an adult dog is that you don't need to worry about breed traits - it's an adult dog so you already know what it is like.

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