Is rehoming right for you? 3 things to consider before adopting a rescue dog

Whether you’re experienced with pets or thinking about getting your first dog, bringing home a new member of the family is not a decision that should be taken lightly.
dog running on green grass with yellow ball in his mouth

Before adopting a rescue dog, there are a few things you should consider. Here is some key advice from our rehoming team. 

1. Think about the long-term costs of owning a dog.  

From dog food, toys and treats to pet insurance and unexpected vet bills, owning a pet can be pricey.  

The PDSA estimate that the average cost of owning a dog can be over £15,700 across their lifetime with an estimated monthly cost of £57-£97, not including costs such as boarding fees if you go on holiday, emergency vet treatment or costs for a special diet.  

This will vary according to breed size and individual needs, but it’s important to be aware of the long-term costs involved if you are considering rehoming a dog.  

2. Do you have the time to commit to a dog? 

Dogs are a lot like children, they need a lot of care, attention and love. Some breeds of dog need as much as one to two hours of exercise every day, whereas others will be happy with a few shorter walks. 

As a pet owner, you have a legal responsibility to provide for their five welfare needs:  

  • Health – their need to be protected from pain, suffering, injury and disease. 
  • Behaviour – their need to be able to exhibit normal behaviour patterns, for example running and sniffing.  
  • Companionship – their need to be housed with, or apart from, other animals as appropriate for their species.  
  • Diet – their need for a suitable diet.  
  • Environment – their need for a suitable environment.  

Providing daily exercise for your dog falls under health and behaviour requirements of this act.  

As well as regular exercise, your dog will likely need consistent and compassionate training. Many rescue dogs have experienced trauma or difficulties in their past which can make them anxious and sometimes reactive. 

Every dog is different so it’s crucial to spend time getting to know a dog, their background and behaviour throughout the rehoming process. Some dogs will need a lot of understanding and patience for the rest of their lives while others won’t require as many accommodations.  

If you plan to rehome a dog, think deeply about the amount of time and resources you can commit to training, exercising and caring for them, and speak to the rehoming team to understand the dog’s needs.  

little girl teaching a golden retriever 'paw' in a park

3. Which breed is right for you? 

Although every dog has individual personalities and needs, there are common traits amongst breeds, and it pays to research typical breed behaviours before committing to a dog.  

For example, breeds like German Shepherds and Border Collies which are often used as working dogs will typically require a lot of excercise and mental stimulation to keep them healthy and happy. Other dogs such as shih tzus, poodles and, surprisingly, greyhounds, generally need less exercise. 

Just remember that every dog is different. When rehoming a rescue dog, the kennel team know each dog very well and can help you get to know each animal’s specific quirks, habits and preferences. Please make use of their expertise and ask plenty of questions during the rehoming process!  

What next? 

If you’ve decided that rehoming a dog is the right move for you and your family, keep an eye on our website for a dog who will steal your heart and will match your lifestyle needs. Keep in mind that our dogs often get a lot of applications so please don’t be disheartened if you’re not initially successful, our website is regularly updated, and your ideal match might be just around the corner!  

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