Adopting a pound dog means that you are literally saving a life.
In most pounds, unclaimed dogs can be killed after 14 days if microchipped or 7 days if not identified. See Micro-chipping
Some dogs are surrendered and can be killed at any time as councils do not feel they are obliged to find a new home for an unwanted dog. However, some pounds are keen to have these dogs find new homes and either make them available for immediate adoption or release them to the Rescue Shelters.
Before you adopt a pound dog, make sure you select the right companion, so you’ll both be happy.
Things to consider:
How long are you at work each day?
If you work 9 – 5 and perhaps Saturday mornings, you will need to ensure your dog is not lonely. If you’re absent for such a long period of time, consider adopting another dog or cat.
- Take your dog on an early morning walk or employ a dog walker. An exercised dog is a more relaxed dog.
- Send your dog to Doggie Day Care for a period of time during the week.
Do you have a relative or close friend who will ‘dog sit’ at their place, if they happen to be at home while you’re working. See Separation anxiety is a real issue for dogs
Would you include your dog in weekend activities?
If you work all week and party all weekend, where is the quality of life for your dog?
Dogs are great companions and many love outings to the beach or the park. Involve them in your life. If dogs are welcome, take them to see your friends. Some bed & breakfast welcome dogs, as do more and more caravan parks. Take them with you on your weekend away. See Travel with Dogs.
Are you active & enjoy walking?
Adopt a pound dog who would enjoy the same type of activity as you do. If you’re a bush walker, there are many medium to large X breeds in the pounds who’d just love to be your new walking companion.
- Kelpies, Border Collies, Jack Russell Terriers and Whippets are particularly active.
- If you’re prefer a stroll on the beach rather than a cardio work out, smaller breeds such as Mini Foxies and other small Terriers are a good choice.
- Prefer just a saunter down to the park? A Maltese, Shih Tzu or even a Chihuahua might suit.
Just remember, all dogs like and need to walk, both for their physical health and to satisfy emotional needs. In catering to their needs, you may also achieve the health befit regular exercise provides.
If you would like to find out more about teaching your dog to walk properly on a lead, see Dog Training.
Do you travel often?
If you are away on business more often than not and then work all week, perhaps a dog is not for you.
Dogs need the company of people and/or other animals; loneliness is as disturbing for them as it is for people.
On the other hand, leisure travel with dogs is fairly well catered for in Australia, and a number of dog friendly bed & breakfasts accept dogs. Caravanning in Australia is possible as many council run caravan parks and some private ones also allowing dogs. See Travel with Dogs
What are your plans for the future?
Will it include dogs? If you are planning a year-long overseas trip or a move to a new rental property in the near future, wait until you are settled.
Leaving a dog for a long period, unless with a trusted friend or family member is a gamble. It’s possible that the people you select to care for your dog may not be as responsible as you might hope.
Only a few rental properties allow dogs. Just because your present rental permits dogs, doesn’t mean you’ll find a new dog friendly place as easily. Although more damage is done to rentals by people than dogs, just a few irresponsible pet owners have made it difficult for others. See Pet Friendly Rentals.
Costs of pet ownership
Can you afford proper food, bedding and then pay the vet bills?
- General health issues
- Puppy or geriatric care
- Accident & emergency veterinary care
Things you need to provide:
- Bedding – a new dog bed to start with and replacement when it wears out & warm blankets
- Dog coats during winter that need washing and replacing.
- Dog collar & lead
- Daily feeding using good quality dog food
- Preventative treatment or Fleas, Ticks, Worms & Heartworm
- Consumables such as shampoo, dog toys & treats
- Preventative over-the-counter medication
- Tick & flea control in dogs
- Heartworm prevention & treatment in dogs
- Worms cause unnecessary & debilitating health problems
Education & Minding
- Dog training classes or puppy pre-school
- Dog boarding, dog minding or dog walking service
Why Pet Insurance?
Although your new pound dog may seem healthy, there are good reasons to take out Pet Insurance
Accidents happen – even to the most vigilant pet owners and a sudden, expensive veterinary bill can eat into the family budget.
Did you know that dental disease occurs in 80% of dogs, so regular check-ups at the vet should also be factored in as an on-going cost.
Aging dogs are prone to heart disease, arthritis and other complains. Modern medication can help control some of these diseases in the short term, but taking out Pet Insurance early in the dog’s life can help alleviate costs. Pet Insurance policies vary greatly, take care in selecting the one suited to your needs and read the fine print.
Do you really want a dog?
The dogs in the pound do need homes but do you really want a dog? The difference between wanting to save a pound dog and wanting a dog as a long term companion is very different.
Will a dog suit your lifestyle at present?
If you are a student or just starting off in life, where will the dog live when you soon leave home? It’s very difficult to find rental accommodation that will accept dogs – and almost impossible if you plan to use share accommodation.
Are you planning a world trip? Where will the dog spend his/her time while you travel for a year? Can you afford boarding fees for that period of time; do your friends or family really want to look after a dog that long?
Will a promotion bring interstate travel or long hours at work? Dogs become very lonely and bored when left for long periods on their own, even with another animal for company.
You’re a senior person and your family wants you to have a dog for company. But what if you find managing on your own difficult enough? Nursing homes do not permit dogs and many are dumped in the pound by family members once the animal has out lasted his/her function as Grannie’s friend.
When love dies, will your pet?
Many people ‘fall in love’ with cute pound dogs, but lack the commitment to continue the relationship.
The dog you once showed off to your friends, dressed in new clothes and took on daily walks is now left to his or her own devices.
Even proper feeding and watering becomes a challenge. Bedraggled, neglected and even abused; under the current system, the council will collect your run away dog or accept it as a surrendered and arrange it’s killing for you, using other people’s rate money.
Fostering versus adoption
If you genuinely love dogs but know that you cannot keep one permanently, the opportunity exists for you apply as a foster carer for one of the rescue shelters.
Fostering means that you get to enjoy not just one, but many dogs and have the satisfaction of saving them from death row and rehoming them.
Sponsorship versus fostering
Not all dog lovers have the time to foster. But again, you can still have the satisfaction of doing something towards helping a dog find a new home. Your money could be used to pay for vaccinating, desexing, feeding and housing a needy dog. Many of the rescue shelters publically acknowledge sponsors.
When not to adopt a dog
When you don’t have the time or inclination to commit to a pet; dogs live for between 7 – 14 years and need your time and attention for almost that entire period.
This is general information only. See Legal Disclaimer