There’s no welcome home quite as special as the pitter patter of paws racing to meet you at the door. We’re a nation of dog lovers and sharing our homes with a furry friend means there’ll always be someone who’s excited to see you when you get home each day.
Choosing to commit to sharing your home with a dog is a big decision. We’re all familiar with the tagline ‘a dog is for life’® and so there are lots of things to consider before you head out to find the perfect pooch for you. One big consideration is whether there’s already a lovely rescue dog out there waiting for a forever home. Earlier this month we welcomed some special visitors from Dogs Trust to visit our head office and we learned all about why it’s always worthwhile to contemplate rehoming a dog, rather than buying from a breeder.
Every dog deserves to feel at home on a sofa they love
To support the fantastic work that Dogs Trust do, we talked to their experts about why rehoming is so important, and the best way to welcome a dog into its forever home
Q. Why rehome rather than buy from a breeder?
We would always ask anyone considering bringing a four-legged friend into their life to consider rehoming a rescue dog. We care for 15,000 dogs of all shapes and sizes at our rehoming centres, many of whom have come to us through no fault of their own and are ready for their second chance at happiness.
Over the last few years we have seen a rise in the number of unscrupulous breeders who put profit above welfare, duping well-meaning people into buying sick pets, or even puppies that have been illegally smuggled into the country. By adopting a rescue dog you can avoid fuelling the cruel puppy trade, and we will be there to help, support and advise you, for the rest of their life.
Q. Can someone who is less experienced with rescue dogs rehome a dog?
We believe that there is a dog for everyone, but sometimes it can take time to find the perfect match. Anyone is welcome to visit and to rehome from us, as long as they can meet the welfare needs of the dog. We don’t require anyone to have experience of rehoming a rescue, but there may be times when we ask for experience of a particular breed.
Q. Are dogs of particular ages easier to rehome?
We have dogs of all shapes and sizes, including crossbreeds and pedigree dogs, and we never know when one of our wonderful dogs will meet their special someone and head off to their forever home. Here at Dogs Trust, we will never put a healthy dog to sleep – so dogs will stay with us for as long as it takes to find the perfect match.
Q. What if I want a puppy?
We completely understand that sometimes people want to buy a puppy from a breeder, but this can be hit and miss if you don’t know what to look for, or what questions to ask when you visit the breeder. First of all, we would never recommend buying a puppy from an online source to avoid falling victim to unscrupulous breeders.
You must always do your research, ask the breeder lots of questions and expect them to ask you lots too. Never meet anywhere that isn’t the puppy’s home and always ask to see the pup interacting with its mum and littermates. We have a full guide over on our website.
Q. How will I know what to expect when I rehome a dog?
You can expect a bundle of love and joy from a dog who is ready to meet their forever family. We are very proud of our rehoming process, which pulls in the expertise of a range of staff from our veterinary and behaviour teams, to our canine carers to match up a dog’s needs, with the home that you can provide. Your new furry friend will also come microchipped, neutered and with a full veterinary check up before they leave the rehoming centre.
On top of that, our Post-Adoption-Service provides lifelong behaviour and training support for any new owner adopting a dog from us, so we know we’ll always be there for them if they ever do need our advice in future. A dog is for life®, and so is our help and support!
Q. What are the most important things to consider when choosing which dog to rehome?
The most important thing any prospective dog owner can do is do their research before bringing a dog into their home. Dogs are the perfect addition to the right family, but they could also be with you for 12-15 years, so you must always consider the financial, emotional and physical commitments. Our rehoming teams can give you lots of advice on what breed would be the best match for you and the home you can offer.
Q. Can I rehome a dog if I have young children or other pets in the home?
Yes! Children are very welcome in our rehoming centres. If you’re looking to find a new member of the family, it is important that everyone who will be in regular contact with the dog can get to know them. We have lots of advice on teaching parents and children how to behave safely around dogs through our Be Dog Smart programme.
Q. How can I help a rescue dog feel at home?
Feeling safe and secure makes dogs happy, so providing a comfortable home with a resting spot of their own in which they can relax undisturbed as well as giving them a daily routine in which all their needs are met is very reassuring for them. This includes regular exercise for both body and brain, play, training sessions, appropriate nutrition and preventative healthcare, and of course your companionship, although every individual dog will need varying amounts and types of these. It’s also important to create a trusting relationship, in which the dog understands that any interaction with you is always enjoyable for them. Sharing your home, making it somewhere where they feel firmly settled with their own toys and treats, plus having plenty of fun experiences with them will really help to cement your bond.