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Rescue dog or puppy

Wondering if you should adopt a rescue or get a puppy? Read our advice on rescue dogs and what to consider.
Dog being pet by their owner

Thinking of buying a dog, why not get a rescue? There are many reasons for choosing a rescue dog; many people want to avoid puppyhood and some find a rescue dog they fall in love with.

Regardless of the reason, most people have one thing in common is that they all want to give a dog a new home.

5 important tips before buying a rescue dog

  • Think about your life situation and whether a dog fits into your everyday life. Let it be the last time the dog needs to change homes
  • Find out as much as possible about the breed(s) of the dog, but also look at the individual's characteristics when choosing a dog.
  • Contact a breeder, rescue centre, kennel or advertiser
  • Make sure that a veterinary inspection is done, that the dog is ID marked and regularly vaccinated
  • Investigate whether you can take over the dog's insurance beforehand, it is usually the best solution to take it over. If you need to take out new dog insurance, you may need a veterinary certificate

Bringing home a rescue dog

Coming to a new home can be compared to moving to a new country where everyone speaks a foreign language. The dog's everyday life and habits change when he has to adapt to his new pack. It often takes several months before the dog has "settled in" and it is only then that you can start to see some of their natural behaviour.

Give the dog time to settle in and never forget that it can carry memories with it. If you have several dogs, think about giving the rescue dog alone time so that you get to know each other. Trust and a good relationship take time to build.

Make sure to have fun together by stimulating the dog with things you know he enjoys. Ask previous owners what the dog liked for type of activation or read about what the breed usually likes. Track and nose work, for example, are great exercises that show you trust the dog's capabilities.

Different dogs show different behaviours

The change in a rescue dog's life can lead to uncertainty that can manifest itself in different ways. Separation anxiety is not entirely unusual and is based on the fact that a dog that has had to leave a previous pack does not know if it will be left again. Train the dog as if it were a puppy and only leave it for short periods of time, even if it has been left alone before.

Unfortunately, it is quite common for rescue dogs to show resource guarding. They can guard both things and pack members because they have become so important to them. Bartering can be a solution to that kind of problem so that the dog gets a positive feeling when he lets something go.

Aggression, fears and phobias rooted in survival instinct may also occur. It can be good to get the help of a dog psychologist or skilled instructor to gain understanding and help with such behaviours.

Stress and recovery

Stress is a natural, but not a normal, state so time for recovery is very important. When a dog is relocated, it often goes full throttle all the time to try to understand its new situation and then the stress can be harmful.

A dog that is stressed can show it by being constantly on the move, stopping to take treats, hissing and being difficult to connect with. But on the contrary, it can also show it by becoming apathetic and depressed, which can be confused with calmness, but the difference is often visible in the eyes. Aggressiveness and fears can also be signs of stress. The dog can also have a reduced immune system from walking around and being stressed.

Leaving the dog in peace and giving it time to recover is very important to reduce stress. It is also possible to train a dog to be passive by rewarding calmness.

Do you need to relocate your dog ?

A changed life situation, divorce or illness can lead to the need to make the very difficult decision to relocate your own dog. We then recommend that you seek the help of a serious organisation that will help you find a new safe home that meets the needs of your dog.

Consider insuring your rescue dog

If the dog already has insurance, the best solution is to take it over to get uninterrupted protection. The earlier and longer the dog was insured - the better. If you take out a new dog insurance policy at a later age, there may be restrictions on the cover and there may be extra exceptions if the dog has been sick or injured before. This means that the insurance does not apply to illnesses and injuries that started before the dog was insured. Does your rehoming dog lack insurance? Then make sure you take out a new insurance policy as soon as possible.

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