What to expect when adopting a rescue pet


So after much thought, you've decided you want to adopt a rescue dog. Congratulations, and thank you for wanting to give one of our four-legged friends a second chance. But we would caution you that there are a lot of things to consider before adopting a rescue pet.


Just like a second marriage, both parties enter the relationship with a set of expectations, and bring some baggage along. For the foster people, it's often an expectation of instant bonding, an idyllic idea of what will happen. For the dog, it may be that his view on the world was coloured by past abuse, neglect or a lack of training. He may not be able to instantly love you, or fulfill your idea of what a dog should be, or do.


It takes a great deal of patience and commitment to adopt a rescue pet. Consistent and gentle guidance is needed. Your pet may have gone from home to home, from one bad situation to one or more temporary foster homes, and it may take a period of adjustment before he fully trusts you.


The Ontario SPCA has an excellent collection of advice for those wanting to adopt a rescue pet. View it here.


Also, Caesar Millan has some good advice to consider in this article (click to read)


Senior couple with newly adopted dog


As well, you'll need to consider several other things.

  • Do you have enough money to take the dog to the vet, if needed?
  • Are you able and willing to attend dog training classes if required?
  • Do you have enough time to give the dog what it needs, including walk time and play time?
  • Do you have all the equipment you'll need? (This includes dishes, kennels, leash, collar, toys, etc.)
  • Is your yard fenced?
  • Are you willing to keep the dog indoors instead of leaving it chained outside?
  • Do you have a plan for what would happen to the dog if you could no longer keep it?


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Senior couple with newly adopted dog