Rescue Dog: What to Look for When Adopting

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Rescue Dog: What to Look for When Adopting

Each year, around 1.2 million dogs are euthanized in America, according to ASPCA statistics. I think we all can agree that this number is too high, but what can be done about it? Adoption, of course! Adoption from a rescue organization is a great way to find a dog who will become a beloved part of your family. It is important to note that some rescue dogs suffer from psychological trauma from their previous owners, so it is important to spend some time with the pup before you decide to adopt. Many rescues offer trial periods in which you make sure the dog is a good fit for you before making a decision.

Adopt, don’t shop. This is a phrase that gets thrown around a lot. I don’t think most people mean anything bad by saying it, but some people tend to look down on those who choose to get a dog from a breeder instead of getting a rescue dog. All I can say is there are many upsides to owning your dog from a puppy, and many upsides of adopting a dog. If the only reason you have for adopting a dog is to have a sense of superiority, you may want to question if having a dog is right for you.

How much time do you have

I have a friend who works 40 hours a week, who bought an adorable German Shepherd puppy. Unfortunately, he simply didn’t have the time to commit to owning a dog. Luckily he understood this and gave his dog to a nice family he knows and he can visit his pup anytime. This same sad story plays out all across America. It is an unfortunate situation that many well-meaning people find themselves in. To prevent this from happening, it is important to understand that dogs are a time commitment. If you do not have the time to give to your dog, either look into hiring a pet sitter or don’t get a dog in the first place. Dogs are our responsibility and it is our job as owners to make sure they live happy healthy lives.

The first few days in a strange new house can be some of the most stressful for an adopted dog so make sure you take time off work to care for and train your new rescue dog. A place where a dog feels uncomfortable will never feel like home. Make sure you are committed to welcoming your dog into your home. If you make the time early on owning a dog you will generally spend less time in the future trying to correct any mistakes.

Making room for a rescue dog in your busy life can be hard at first, but if you take it one step at a time you will realize that your dog will meet you halfway. Dogs are highly adaptable to any schedule, though that doesn’t mean they will do it all at once. Give your new dog some time to relax and get used to his new environment and his schedule will soon follow suit.

How much space do you have

You don’t need a ranch to own a dog, but depending on the breed size does matter. For example, a Bernese Mountain Dog probably won’t fit in a tiny one-room apartment. On the other hand, if you live on a 30-acre farm, you may easily lose a Chihuahua in the bushes. Have no fear. Every problem has a solution. Just remember, once you get an adult dog he will not get smaller simply because you will him to. Many large breeds are put up for adoption or thrown out on the street because of irresponsible owners who did not anticipate their rapid growth. If you live in an apartment or rent your house ask your landlord what their policies are concerning dogs. Many apartments only allow smaller dogs if they allow dogs at all.

How much room you have may seem like a trivial matter, but dogs can start to feel cooped up if they feel boxed in. If your place of living is small then consider getting a smaller dog. Small dogs tend to need less exercise than larger dogs, so you have less reason to worry about them tearing up the carpet while you’re away. (Not to mention they do less damage.) The larger space in which you live, the larger the dog you can comfortably house. Believe me, I have a queen-sized bed and my Rottweiler threatens to push me off that thing every night

How much energy do you have

All dogs require some activity. The amount of activity needed will vary depending on the breed and temperament of the specific dog. Some dogs have so much energy that they need to be walked multiple times a day, and be given plenty of room to run around in the meantime. Other dogs, however, may only require a short walk, after which they will plop themselves on the floor and go to sleep.

Knowing which breed is right for you, and how much time you have to spend will make owning a dog much easier. Remember, an informed owner is a smart owner. If you do choose to adopt a rescue dog, many dog rescues have plenty of older dogs who will require less time and energy. Older dogs are usually already housetrained and know a good number of tricks!

Can you afford a dog

One of the main reasons people give their dogs up for adoption is their inability to afford a dog. This is tragic, but dogs are a responsibility that you need to be prepared to care for, for the rest of their life.

Owning a dog can be expensive, especially if you don’t know what to look for. However, if you are smart you may be able to find a rescue dog with no health problems, who is up to date on his shots and is already trained. You do not have to be a millionaire to own a dog, but it is helpful to understand the costs associated with pet ownership.


Owning a dog can be hard, but getting a rescue dog is worth it in so many ways. Rescues are usually extremely happy to have a home, and will show their gratitude with kisses and cuddles. Dogs are great companions who are always there when you need them. That being said, it is our responsibility to make sure they have a proper home worth living.

For information on where to adopt a dog, go to Petfinder, a free resource for finding local shelters in your area. Otherwise, try going to your local pet store and asking if they host dog adoption days. Many pet stores will bring in dogs from local shelters on the weekends to try to get some of their dogs adopted. Many pet rescues require their dogs to be up to date on shots, so that is one less thing to worry about.

This website is here to make sure you have all the information you need to own a dog. If you have any questions don’t be afraid to contact me at Please follow and like ThePawsHub on social media for all things dog. I promise I won’t bite 😉