Is a Rescue Dog Really for me?
Very rarely will you find a “rescue puppy”. Rescue dogs are usually at least a couple of years old. If you have young children who have not been around other dogs or understand that even the friendliest dogs can be unpredictable, you may want to wait until your children are older and able to understand a dog’s boundaries.
Not all rescue dogs have come from the most stable situations. Many rescue dogs have been abandoned or abused by their previous owners. In these cases, the dog can be more akin to temperament problems. This is another instance where a rescue dog may not be the best pet for a family with small children. Most rescue shelters allow a trial period on rescue dog adoptions to allow the new owners to monitor any temperament issues that may arise.
Another thing to consider is pre-existing or potential health problems that the dog may have. Many dogs have been abandoned due to a health condition that their owner was unwilling or unable to pay for. Before you commit to taking the dog, you should ask the shelter you are rescuing the dog from if he/she has received a clean bill of health from a veterinarian, and if not, what health issues were found, and what is involved in treating them.
Do you have time for a dog?
Owning a dog is a huge responsibility that can last for many years. If you have a particularly busy lifestyle, you may want to consider the fact that you are not able to devote the amount of time and energy needed to properly care for the dog. That’s not to say that busy people shouldn’t have a dog. However, they may need some additional help with the dog’s care, such as hiring a dog walker to exercise the dog when you cannot.
You may also be interested in our article on safety tips for children and dogs