7 Things You Need to Know Before Adopting a Rescue Dog

Adopting a rescue dog is an awesome way to give a pup a second chance at happiness. But hold up – before you rush off to your local shelter, there are a few things you should know.

Rescue dogs are like mystery boxes – you never know exactly what you’ll get, but it’s usually something pretty special. From understanding their past to preparing for their future, there’s much to consider.

So, let’s quickly walk through seven must-know facts about adopting a rescue dog. Trust me, your future four-legged friend will thank you for being prepared!

Unknown History

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Many rescue dogs have a mysterious past. You might not know about their previous home, training, or experiences, which can mean surprises in their behavior or health. Be prepared for some trial and error as you get to know your new friend. Remember, patience is key when helping a dog with an uncertain background.

Adjustment Period

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Rescue dogs often need time to settle into their new home. This period, sometimes called the “decompression phase,” can last a few days to several months. Your new pup might initially be shy, anxious, or even a bit rowdy. Give them space, time, and lots of love to help them feel safe and comfortable.

Potential Health Issues

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Some rescue dogs may have health problems that weren’t obvious at the shelter. These could be minor issues or more serious conditions. Be prepared for vet visits and possible medical expenses. Ask the shelter about the dog’s known health history and consider pet insurance to help with future costs.

Training Needs

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Your rescue dog might need some extra training or retraining. They may not know basic commands or have picked up some bad habits. Be ready to invest time in positive reinforcement training. Remember, old dogs can learn new tricks—it just takes patience and consistency!

Exercise Requirements

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Different dogs have different energy levels and exercise needs. A rescue dog might need more (or less) exercise than you expect. Be prepared to adjust your routine to meet your new pet’s needs. Regular walks, playtime, and mental stimulation are essential for your dog’s health and happiness.

Financial Responsibility

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Adopting a dog is a financial commitment. Beyond the adoption fee, you’ll need to budget for food, toys, vet care, and possibly training classes. Don’t forget about ongoing costs like flea prevention and regular check-ups. Make sure you’re financially ready for the long-term care of your new family member.

Emotional Investment

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Rescue dogs often form strong bonds with their new families. This can be wonderful but also means you’re taking on emotional responsibility. Your dog may have separation anxiety or other emotional needs. Be prepared to give lots of love, attention, and reassurance. The emotional rewards of helping a rescue dog can be huge but require commitment and understanding.

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Victoria Omololu

Victoria Omololu is a fashionista exploring the world on a budget. She co-founded Only Earthlings in 2023 to show her travels in North America, Europe, Africa, and everywhere else. Victoria loves writing about travel tips, itineraries, packing guides, and taking photography from all over the world.

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