Getting a rescue dog is a very exciting prospect – congratulations! However, it is important to consider all aspects of a rescue dog’s recovery before doing so. They are much more demanding than some pets. Here are seven things you need to know before adopting a dog.
Saving a dog is one of the most exciting and rewarding things you can do. Bringing a rescue dog home for your children can also be a rewarding business. Giving your children a purpose outside of their own lives can teach them many useful life skills, including passion and empathy.
Here are seven tips for parents.
1) First agree on the rules of the house
Before rescuing a dog, a clear set of ground rules should be established. Prospective owners should take into account the dog’s routine, asking questions such as: who will walk, feed and groom it?
In addition, day-to-day activities must be taken into account.
When you ask your dog to do things, all members of the household should use the same words. If one family member uses DOWN to mean “sleeping” and another uses DOWN to mean “stop jumping,” it can be very confusing for your dog! Before you take your dog home, agree on the words you will use to indicate your dog’s behaviour.
2) Choose the right dog for your family
When you choose a rescue dog, it’s hard not to run out of the shelter with the first cute dog you see. However, it is important to consider whether this dog is the right one for your family before signing on the dotted line.
Rescue dogs often have a behavioral problem. This is not to say that rescue dogs are bad dogs, quite the contrary! Rescue dogs need a commitment of time like any other dog, but having already been rehabilitated, it is of the utmost importance that these dogs now have a stable life. Rehabilitating them a second time would be difficult for everyone involved.
Therefore, when you go to the shelter to choose a dog, it is important to consider how that dog will fit into your lifestyle and that of your child. The shelter staff should be able to help you find the ideal dog, which may require a little patience.
3) Meet your new dog first
Several home visits to meet your adoption potential will be an essential step – ideally for everyone living in the home. Meeting your new dog several times will not only allow you to get to know him better, but also to measure the interest of your children.
Although acquiring a new dog may be too exciting at first, if only a phase for your children, their interest will decrease very quickly with multiple visits to the shelter. This will allow you to make an informed decision about their level of engagement.
4) Be patient
At this time, we do not have any data on how long it takes a rescue dog to settle into a new environment. Some dogs move into their new home and climb onto the couch as if they had always lived here. Others may take some time and need extra support before they feel perfectly comfortable in their new space.
You and your child need to create a safe space for the dog. It is usually a crate or other closed den, but it can be any space where your dog can feel safe. The secure space should contain a cozy bed, something that smells familiar to your new pet, and fresh drinking water.
Explain to your children that the safe space is like your dog’s room. They are not allowed to enter your dog’s room unless there is an emergency, but they can ask the dog if he wants to get out by offering him treats or a walk. Whatever the dog’s decision, they have total control over their environment in this secure space.
5) Get dog identification plates and microchips
Buying a well-fitting collar with your dog’s medal information is an essential purchase when your new dog comes home for the first time.
As your home will be an entirely new environment for him, if your dog escapes, the new land will leave him totally lost. Having an ID plate and a microchip containing up-to-date information about your dog will allow rescuers to quickly return your dog.
It is essential to have up-to-date information on your dog’s ID plate, including the owner’s name, address and phone number, throughout his life, but even more so when he returns home.
This is another activity that you and your children can do together. Going to the pet store and choosing a collar and medals can be a very fun activity, as can getting your child interested in your dog’s safety.
6) Create a program
If you have several children at home, it may be a good idea to set a schedule around the commitments of everyone in the family. Having a chart to check your children’s food, walking, grooming and care needs can help them feel progress and success.
For example, if you know that your children have a wednesday night football training, so they won’t be able to feed and walk the dog that night, it may be helpful to plan this in advance.
Having a chart also helps you ensure that your new dog is cared for. It can also be extremely rewarding for your children to take care of something.
7) Other things to know before adopting a dog
When bringing a dog home, it is important to consider the well-being of everyone. While a rescue dog can be a fun and exciting project for you and your children, it is also important to remember that a dog is a huge commitment in terms of time and money.
For example, a dog needs company for most of the day. In comparison, rodents tend to be fairly independent and prefer to spend their days sleeping, and perhaps one of these pets would be better suited to your needs.
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