Adopting A Rescue Dog: What to Expect

First, congratulations! Even if you haven’t adopted your new rescue pup yet, just looking for one is wonderful.

Adopting a dog is an incredible thing and truly does brighten your world and the world around you.

There are so many homeless pets that are completely dependent on the humans around them, and you’re doing a beautiful thing by adopting.

It can be tricky adopting a rescue pup, especially if you have never done it.

So here are some important things that will help you find your pup, set you up for bringing them into your home, and ways to make the transition both easy for your pup and for yourself.

1. Where to Find a Rescue Dog

The first place you can look is to check out ASPCA’s national database which will show you locals rescues near you.

The adoption process will vary depending on the shelter/rescue.

Sometimes a home visit/inspection is required to make sure your home is a good fit.

Another thing will be adoption fees, which usually covers things like vaccinations, food, spay, and neutering, etc.

Don’t worry, this fee is very low and in fact, barely covers the cost the shelter spent on the pup.

Buying a dog from a shop or a private breeder will cost you much, much more than adopting.

Also, know that rescues and shelter may not be the same thing.

Rescues often foster the pups out, so you’ll have to make an appointment to see the pup you’re interested in.

2. Are there any health issues I need to worry about?

Yes, and no. Shelter dogs are often mixed-breeds which are good, and studies have shown that mix breeds are healthier than purebred dogs on average.

However, if you’re adopting a dog from a puppy mill, you’ll want to speak with the staff about issues to look out for.

Puppy mills are notorious when it comes to breeding pups in an unhealthy manner and environment.

You can also face dog’s anxiety, seizures, epilepsy, cancer, pain, chronic Inflammation, autoimmune disease and so on.

Certain breeds are more susceptible to hereditary diseases such as epilepsy, respiratory issues, etc.

If you’re looking to adopt a dog of a certain breed, then make sure to research common hereditary issues.

3. So what type of dog should I even get?

Some recommend mixed breeds because they often have healthier genetics since there’s less inbreeding.

They’re also not as sought out and are in found in a higher number of shelters compared to purebred dogs.

If you have no preference, then I highly recommend you look into adopting a “bully” breed. These breeds have the highest euthanization and lowest adoption rates, and it’s a shame, because they are loveable, goofy, intelligent, and make great family dogs.

4. Should I be worried about behavioral issues?

This will depend on the age of your pup and their history.

Older dogs may require more work for behavioral issues since they have been abandoned, but they make wonderful dogs.

Plus, they may already be trained and housebroken so you’ll have an easy time than you would with a puppy.

The shelter will walk you through everything they know about the dog, and what you should expect and can do to help.

5. Bringing your new pup home

Before you bring home your new best friend, you’ll want to make sure your home is doggy proof.

Make sure you have a couple of comfortable areas set up for them.

Have an area that is nice and open, as well as a crate that the dog can comfortably hide in.

Try and keep excitement levels down until the dog is comfortable in their new surrounding, especially with kids.

Your new rescue may act differently when you first bring them home than they did at the shelter, so make sure if they have space and ability to get away from all the excitement if they need to.

Speaking of a crate, you should always have one before you ever bring home the pup, especially if they are young.

Crate training may seem rough, but it’s the best way to train young pups.

At the shelter, it’s always a good idea to ask what food they have been feeding the pup.

Sometimes when you immediately switch their food it can upset their stomach, so it’s better to slowly switch over to a new type.

6. Setting up an appointment with a veterinarian

The shelter will most likely give you paperwork on all shots and known medical history, but make sure to ask if they do not.

This will be helpful when you take your new rescue to a veterinarian, which will most likely be within the first month – your shelter will recommend when you should and can give suggestions on where to go.

Some shelters/rescues may require that you already have a vet in mind or rarer cases require a vet to sign off.

Hopefully, you’re now feeling better about adopting a rescue dog.

We wish you the best of luck in the search and adoption process.

Again, you’re doing a wonderful thing.

If you need more information and need a place to purchase items that will help make a successful transition you can check out sites like BarkFroce or Innovetpet.

These sites offer useful blogs and sell items that help with behavior, medical and general daily items for upkeep.

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