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Tips on Adopting a Rescue Dog

1 CommentThursday, 17 January 2013  |  Kate

Rescue dogs often need plenty of extra time and attention than other dogs while they get used to you and their new home. Rescue dogs can come from many different backgrounds and they might not have been treated well.

These dogs may be very apprehensive about new people so it might take a while for them to warm up to you and your household. Rescue dogs can be severely traumatised by their previous experiences and may have different issues such as separation anxiety.

Rescue Centres

Wherever you plan to adopt a rescue dog from ask the staff for advice about the dog you choose. They'll be able to give you sound advice for each dog's history, requirements and needs.

Rescue Dog Advice Tips My Itchy Dogs BlogIf you want to introduce a rescue dog into your family, take your kids to see it so you can get an idea of how it reacts to children. Any good rescue centre will carry out a home inspection in most cases to see if your home is a good fit for a rescue dog.


Extra training for rescue dogs may be required as they could have behavioural problems due to their past. Rescue dogs might not be house trained either so you yourself might have to train them to go outside.

Be prepared for transitional behaviour like accidents in the house in these cases until they're house trained. For more information on how to house train your dog click here.

Create a secure area or room for your dog where they can retreat and feel safe. When bringing a new dog into your home, while creating a safe and friendly environment, it is also important to train them to understand their place in your family.

Dogs are a pack animal and look for leadership, during the transitional period you should set an example for your new dog. There is a useful article on how to train your dog to recognise you as the pack leader here.


Rescue Dog My Itchy Dog BlogMost rescue centres will check to see if a dog is chipped when they're brought in, but ask the staff if the dog you like is micro chipped and if not make sure to get the dog chipped. If the dog is already micro chipped then make sure to get them updated with your information. You can update your pet's microchip information here in the UK or here in the USA.


You should also be wary of any health issues rescue dogs may have. The staff at rescue centres do their best but some dogs may still be carrying parasites that take time to get rid of. Billy No Mates is excellent for repelling parasites and also helps to improve skin and coat, however it will take a few weeks to become effective so, in the meantime use Skinny Spray for immediate relief and parasite killing action! A pot of Resist! by CSJ is very good for building up a dog's immune system after periods of illness and stress.

Useful kit for any new dog:
  • A Crate - It can be a comfortable place to relax, put a washable blanket in there with a few toys. Don't confine your dog to their crate for more than 2 hours. Here's a tip: place a blanket over the crate and leave the door open, your dog will have a nice calm place to retreat to whenever they like and will gradually become familiar with it as a safe place.
  • Baby Gates - These are very useful if you have parts of your house you don't want your dog to visit for instance if you want to keep your dog confined to the ground floor.
  • Bedding - A waterproof dog bed is a good idea as it means that it's harder for parasites to dig in if your dog happens to pick some up and you can hose it down if there are any accidents.
  • Food and water bowls - Plastic can absorb bacteria and smell so buy stainless steel bowls instead.
  • A Brush - Keeping your dog in good condition is essential and they'll be happy to avoid a bath, it is also a good bonding exercise for you and your dog.
Further tips:
  • Make sure you can handle the responsibilities of owning a dog such as daily exercise, doggy day-care (if you work all day), vets visits, maintenance.
  • Keep your dog on their lead when you take them out for walks, until you know whether your dog is very obedient or prone to obey their natural instinct to chase or runaway.
  • Watch your dog when in your garden or at a friends, most dog will find an escape route if there is one to be found.
  • Get rid of air fresheners, especially timed-release or motion-activated ones, because dogs are lower to the ground they get the worst of them. They're known to cause allergies and can be fatal if swallowed.

Carrie-Anne Selwyn
Saturday, 26 August 2017  |  20:59

Some nice points but the section about training is potentially dangerous especially the link re how to be a pack leader. Dominance theory is outdated and has been scientifically debunked for a long time Dr Mech who did the study originally has repeatedly explained it's inaccurate. Building a trust with any new dog is highly important to a relationship and the techniques described are to bully and intimidate rather than care and nature. Please for amend this article with correct science based knowledge not traditional hearsay. Many thank.