What Should You Know Before Adopting a Dog?
Am I ready for a dog?
Welcoming a dog into your home is a serious commitment.; both financially, and in the time and effort you’ll need to invest to make sure they are healthy, happy, and settled. You are taking on the responsibility for another living being who will rely on you for food, shelter, water and, most importantly, love and attention! It’s not a commitment to be taken lightly and it’s important to consider the fact that a dog could become part of your family for up to 20 years! Talk it through with your friends and family, do your research, and make sure your new dog is right for you and your living situation. Rescue groups spend a lot of time getting to know the dogs in their care, so will be able to give you good advice about whether a dog will suit your home and lifestyle.
It can be serious stuff, but there is gold at the end of the rainbow. In turn, your dog will love you unconditionally, be a wonderful addition to your family, bring you improved physical health, help your stress levels and improve your social life. All scientifically proven facts! Enjoy the search for your new pup and we look forward to welcoming you to the SavourLife family!
What kind of dog should I get?
The kind of dog that will be right for you will depend very much on your home and lifestyle, and of course it’s a very personal choice. Some dogs require far more exercise than others, some don’t like being left alone, and some need the company of other animals for example. One of the fantastic things about adopting a rescue dog is that many of the dog’s traits and their personality is already well known by the rescue group who has been caring for them, and so it’s a good idea to let the rescue group know as much as possible about your lifestyle so that they can help find you the perfect match! Some of the things that they will consider are your living situation (house or apartment), family situation (children, other animals), the amount of time the dog will be alone (your travel, working hours), and your leisure activities – will your pup be included?
How much exercise do dogs need?
Making the time each day to exercise your dog will be very important for them, and is also so beneficial for us! Not only does it improve your physical health and reduce stress levels, it is also such a wonderful opportunity to bond with your dog! Every dog is different in terms of how much exercise they need each day. Small dogs can be full of energy, whereas some larger dogs would need a 30-40-minute walk plus additional exercise options too! Just like us, as dogs get older they will slow down and may not need the same amount of exercise. Rescue groups will be able to give you an idea of the amount of exercise the dogs they have in their care will need.
Small dogs such as Terriers, working dogs like Kelpies, and snow dogs like Huskies, have enormous amounts of energy and can run for extended periods. The more exercise they have helps burn off excess energy, if they don’t it could cause behavioural problems, such as chewing, digging, or excess barking. Make sure you consider the amount of time you can spend exercising your dog carefully.
What should I feed my dog?
If your dog is eating well and getting all the nutrition that it needs, it’s likely that less time and money will be spent taking your dog to the vet for illnesses or allergies, and picking up number twos in the backyard! A dog’s overall health can be in a large part determined by their diet.
Make sure the food that you feed your dog is natural, has a high protein and meat content, and has vegetables, fruits, vitamins, minerals and amino acids. It should be balanced and follow standards like AAFCO. It’s important to feed an age appropriate food, for example a puppy specific food if you have a dog under one year.
Be careful with feeding your dog too many scraps of human food; there are many human foods that are not only bad for your dog but can also be hazardous to their health. Do not give your dog any chocolate, avocado, bread dough, raisins, grapes, onions and some artificial sweeteners.
Buying a premium quality food may seem more expensive at the time, but long term it will save you money and benefit your dog’s health and happiness! You can check out our range of all-natural Australian-made food and treats here
Will I need to train my dog?
Any dog, at any age, will benefit from training, and most thoroughly enjoy it (and the treats that go with it!)
Training is especially important for puppies and dogs under 2 years of age, to set them up to be happy and confident in social situations and around other dogs and people. Most rescue groups and your local vet will be able to recommend puppy schools or trainers in your area. Some trainers and behaviourists will be able to do home visits to work on particular problems you may be having.
It's great to reinforce training with your dog throughout their life, whether it's tricks or just working on basic obedience. Some breeds will especially enjoy dog sports or agility training to keep their busy minds active!
A well-trained dog is vital for the dog, the pet-parent and the wider community.
When do I need to take my dog to the vet?
It’s important to make sure that you have a good, reliable veterinarian. It’s great to get recommendations from your friends or your local rescue group. Your vet is like your family GP for your pup, so find one you are comfortable with and one close to home.
Always make sure you are aware of where the closest 24-hour vet is for emergency visits late at night and at weekends. Keep their details recorded somewhere where everyone can easily locate it, so if you need to act immediately, you can.
Pet health insurance has become quite important in a modern family, it ensures you are covered in case your dog falls very ill or injured, just like human health insurance. Some treatments can run into thousands of dollars. We strongly recommend you get insurance. It can alleviate some horrible choices in some very stressful situations. Take a look at one like Petbarn Pet Insurance. They will cover up to 80% of your expenses for the treatment. This will ensure the safety and health of your dog and yourself.
You’ll need to be prepared to take your dog to the vet for regular check-ups. They will talk you through vaccination requirements, and options for worming, flea, and tick treatments. Your local pet speciality store will also have knowledge on pharmaceutical care and the best products to buy that are affordable and manageable, to ensure your pet is safe from parasites and ticks. Click on the links below to find a vet close to you!
Tips on Applying for a Rescue Dog
When you’ve decided that you’re ready to adopt and have spotted the dog that you think will suit your family, it’s time to get that application in!
One of the fantastic things about getting a rescue dog is that their carers already know lots about their personalities and what their ideal forever home will look like, so the more information that you provide in your application, the closer they will be able to match you to a suitable dog for your situation.
Here are some tips on submitting a great application:
- Don’t be afraid to share too much information about your home and lifestyle – the more open you can be the better! These are some of the things that rescue groups like to know about potential homes for their dogs:
- Who makes up your family unit, or shared living space? Always include ages of children if applicable
- Would you consider your home to be a busy, active, and noisy one, or a quiet and relaxed one?
- Do you work at home, part-time, full-time, or are you retired and home much of the time?
- How much exercise will you be willing and able to provide a dog – are you after a running buddy, or a slow stroll companion?
- Considering the specific dog’s adoption profile; why do you think they would suit your home and family?
- Do you have any current pets in your home? Can you describe their personalities and likes or dislikes?
It’s important to remember that the rescue groups know the dogs in their care better than anyone, and always want to make sure that their happy new beginnings are also their happy ever afters!
If your first application hasn’t been successful or you haven’t heard back from a rescue group, please don’t be too discouraged. Most rescue groups are entirely volunteer run by people with other full-time jobs, and they may not be able to respond to all enquiries. It can sometimes be very hard for rescue groups to choose just one application from the many great ones that they may receive; just because you weren’t chosen this time doesn’t mean that they don’t think you would be a great dog owner – it’s just a case of waiting for that perfect fit to come along!