Raising a rescue dog is a rewarding experience, but it’s also a big commitment. Before you start adopting every rescue you see, sit back and think about what it really means to bring a dog into your life. It’s not like buying a new pair of shoes or even getting a new car. Adopting a rescue will change the dog’s life, and it’ll also change yours. Instead of rushing into it, make sure you can relate to these six statements before bringing home your first rescue dog.
#1 – You Have Spare Time
Above all, raising a rescue dog is a major time commitment. Dogs need regular exercise, training, and attention, and raising them right requires hands-on effort. All dogs take time, and rescues especially require undivided attention. If you recently started a new job that requires long hours or you’re about to go on an extended vacation, now’s not the time to bring a dog into your life.
#2 – You’re Financially Independent and Secure
You can clip coupons and make DIY toys and treats, but there will always be pet-related expenses that can’t be ignored. After you pay the adoption fee, you’ll need to buy a collar, leash, dog bed, and toys. Then there are the continuous costs of food, flea treatment, heartworm medication, and regular vet visits. Depending on your dog, you might also need to hire a trainer and pay for a groomer. You can’t put a budget on caring for your rescue dog, and you’ll need to have a regular source of income to provide what they need.
#3 – Your Living Situation is Dog-Friendly
If you rent an apartment or house, check with your landlord to see if pets are allowed. People who try to hide a pet from their landlord get caught, and all you’ll do is put you and your pup out on the street. You don’t necessarily need a big house with a huge backyard to make a rescue dog happy, but a high-energy dog living in a tiny apartment isn’t ideal. If you don’t have a yard, there should at least be an outdoor area nearby.
#4 – You’re Ready for a Long-Term Commitment
When you adopt a rescue dog, you’re promising to take care of that animal for the rest of their life. That doesn’t mean until you decide to move to a new city or until you start a family and have a baby. Owning a dog is a long-term obligation with no loop-holes or outs. Depending on their age when you get them, your dog could be with you for the next 10, 12, or 16 years. Are you ready to make that kind of commitment?
#5 – You’ve Done Your Homework
Between training, nutrition, veterinary care, and local dog laws, there’s a lot for new dog owners to learn. It’s a whole new world of information, and if you’re serious about adopting a rescue dog, you’ve already started studying. You know you’re ready to adopt when you catch yourself Googling things like “Can dogs eat potatoes?” and “How do you house train a dog?” at odd hours of the day.
#6 – You Want to Save a Life
There are millions of dogs waiting at shelters across the country. With not enough money or resources to go around, many of them will never make it out. Every rescue dog that gets adopted frees up space for another dog to take their place. Adopting a single dog from your local shelter will relieve the pressure put on the overworked shelter system. Above all, you’ll save the life of an innocent animal. There’s no way to describe the bond that forms between a person and their rescue dog. It’s powerful and meaningful, and when you’re ready, it’ll change your life.