19 Reasons Why YOU Should Adopt a Dog in 2019......
It's estimated that 130,000 dogs come into UK rehoming centres each year and every January see's a massive peak in unwanted puppies and dogs being abandoned or handed over. It is very rarely the fault of the dog, more so it's just a result of their human deciding that it's too much like hard work to care for their pet or their circumstances change and the poor dog is the first thing to go. Contrary to some beliefs, the key thing to remember about deciding to choose a rescue dog is that the dog does not 'come with a set of 'unfixable problems' and issues, rather the rescue dog has many advantages that are both practical, health promoting and heart warming.
So if you're thinking of getting or adding to your family through the addition of a furry friend, before you do anything, make sure you THINK RESCUE, and make rescue your favourite breed. Here's why.......
1. You won't be supporting Puppy Farms- Just this fact alone should make you feel warm and fuzzy inside. Instead of choosing to give money to a disreputable breeder, where parent dogs are usually kept in terrible conditions you are instead backing a life saving charity and therefore helping to stamp out the demand for puppy farms.
2. You can find a wide variety of breeds- The UK has a great range of breed specific rescues all over the country where you can locate your favourite, making getting what you want much easier than you think. All it takes is a little bit of research and you'll soon find a dog that melts your heart.
3. You will be saving the life of TWO dogs- It's a fact that each time a person gives a rescue dog a loving home, they are not only saving the life of that dog but the space you leave in the kennel allows another dog to be rescued and hopefully found a new home in the future. So one act of kindness has twice the power when you choose a rescue dog.
4. You might meet the love of your life- I actually don't mean the furry friend that you will fall in love with and bring home, but in fact I'm talking about your human soul mate. It is an absolute fact that having a dog to walk each day increases your chances of meeting another a like-minded, sociable, friendly and attractive human being by 50%! Having a dog makes you more approachable, gives others a reason to break the ice with you, and makes others feel less awkward and more sociable towards you. Plus telling that person that you rescued the dog will just make them think you're a top human being even more. It has a much better ring to it than ' yes I got this puppy from a breeder who just churns them out to any body willing to pay'!
5. Your rescue dog will become the LOVE of your life unconditionally whether you want it to or not- You may actually decide that you don't want to meet a fellow human, but rather fill your days with a much more simple kind of relationship. This is totally understandable, and in fact rescue dogs are renowned for being so full of love for you and having a sense of literally being rescued by you that they think you are the best thing in the world ever! This love is unconditional and will envelop your life forever more. There really is nothing more beautiful than being truly loved by a faithful companion and your love for them will mutually grow as you develop together as a team.
6. Rescue dogs come already vaccinated- So you don't need to spend time sorting that out and keeping your tiny puppy indoors for 12 weeks. You can get on with the fun stuff!!
7. And their spay/neutering is already sorted for you too- So you can start the cuddling straight away! Most rescue centres will ensure they are not adding to the huge numbers of unwanted dogs in the UK by getting their dogs neutered before you take them home, the price of this will be included in the adoption fee but it does take the stress out of having to make that decision once your dog is settled in, this way it's done and dusted asap and the worry of 'putting your dog through' the experience is taken away from you, leaving you to concentrate on bonding and getting to know each other.
8. They can transform dramatically once they get into a loving home and make your heart melt with love and pride- We're all familiar with pictures of dogs looking poorly, skinny, miserable, scared and depressed when they are in kennels and rescue centres. When I visited my rescue dog for the first time in the centre, she was so depressed and listless, sat hunched at the back of the kennel, she didn't even lift her head to greet me. Two weeks later once I got her home she was full of energy, loving, happy and absolutely thrilled with herself. A total transformation in her physical and mental well being.
9. Rescue dogs come with additional benefits- When you rescue a dog, the centre usually provides additional support in helping you look after your dog. They can provide resources and advice that could help you and your new dog, some even give you access to training classes. The centre can act as an emotional and physical support mechanism for you rather than you having to just battle on alone.
10. You can skip that not so lovely puppy stage- This is actually a huge advantage of a rescue dog over buying a puppy. It's a lot harder than people realise to fit a baby fur ball into their busy hectic lives, take time off work to look after them, feed them through the day, keep their socks, shoes, chairs, table legs and skirting boards free from tiny bite marks. Puppies are really REALLY hard work (hence why a higher number of people abandon them in January after having been gifted one for Christmas)!! Rescuing an older dog skips this stage altogether and saves your sanity as well as your shoes, false teeth, hair brushes, car keys and furniture. Some older dogs come already house trained making the transition much easier and pleasant.
11. You have a better idea of what you are getting- Adopting an older dog means that you will be fairly well informed by the rescue centre about the dogs personality and older dogs personalities are more or less set in stone by the time they reach adulthood. Puppy dogs however have more plastic personalities which can be moulded through experiences, training, socialisation etc. Therefore it makes sense that by adopting a slightly older dog you have a better idea of their true personality.
12. You can find your perfect match- Because adult dogs have more or less fixed personalities, they can actually be matched to their perfect family or individual, set around the needs of both the family and the dog, resulting in the likelihood of a much more successful adoption.
13. Rescuing a dog improves your connections with your local and wider community- When you adopt a dog you have to exercise him or her and visit local parks and places where other dog owners are, this gives you an opportunity to chat to people, meet other like minded members of your local community and keep up with local news and events. You will also be invited to community fundraisers organised by the rescue centre you adopted your dog from, opening up a new pathways of community that you were not part of before and that can only be a good thing.
14. Rescue Centres are essential in our modern, throw away society and support local families- By rescuing a dog you are not only helping to keep the rescue centre going and supporting them to rescue dogs in need in the future, you are also supporting a network of employees and volunteers who rely on the centre for their livelihoods and to satisfy their own personal beliefs.
15. Rescuing a dog is good for your mental well being- Having to walk your new rescue dog in all weathers is actually a really beneficial thing to do if you are feeling glum. Not only do you get to see how happy you have made a previously very sad dog, you can also take a lesson from them and start to 'live in the moment' and be more mindful. Your new rescue dog is not walking along thinking 'this time last year I was being mistreated....woh is me' they are actually walking along thinking ' wow my life is fabulous....look at those birds, that grass, that tree, those squirrels'. To feel better mentally we could all benefit from being more dog!
16. Rescuing a dog is good for your physical well being too- Again having to walk your new dog gets your body moving, which in turn gets your heart pumping, which in turn gets your lungs working better, which is turn sends positive, happy feeling endorphins all around your body. And you simply cant argue with that; Enough said!
17. Rescuing a dog will give you a feeling of being able to sleep at night and will give you a sense of fulfilment that will actually change your life- Not only will having a dog present in your home make you feel more secure and safe at night, you will undoubtedly have the most overwhelming sense of happiness and pride each time you see your new furry friend curled up, blissfully happy because of your actions. That level of fulfilment is actually so beneficial to your health and has such a positive effect on your life that every one who needs 'healing' should be given a rescue dog.
18. You may find yourself the new owner of a future star/ internet sensation- Rescue dog stories are huge on social media and the internet now a days and whilst this is obviously not a valid reason to rush out and adopt a dog, it is possible that your new furry friend may pull at the heart strings of so many people, you just can't help but share their story. Everybody loves a happy ending and a cute doggy face to fall in love with. If you don't believe me, search Instagram or Facebook for rescue dogs and see for yourselves!
19. January 2019 is still the Chinese year of the dog, and January 2019 will also be exactly when the rescue centres of the UK will be at their fullest- So if you have been considering getting a dog and just haven't got around to it, then this is the time to do it. Take time out this month to visit your local shelter and have a look at those cute fluffy bundles of love awaiting a new forever home just like yours. I challenge you not to come out in tears. But sadness is not the result we are after, you can bring and spread LOVE, unconditional LOVE throughout your home this new year, and I can pretty much say without any doubt it'll be the best new years resolution you have ever made.