Have you considered the following?
- When you are thinking about adopting a rescue dog, you must make a commitment to care for your dog for its entire life: no matter what.
- Depending on the dog, the commitment may last 10-15+ years.
- Have you discussed adding a rescue to your family and household? Does everyone agree?
- Does anyone in your home have health issues that might be impacted by the dog?
- What size of dog can your house accommodate? Is your backyard big enough for an active breed that requires lots of exercise?
- If renting, have you verified that you can have a dog? A giant dog?
- If you own your home, have you verified that your homeowner’s coverage will cover the breed you are adopting? (So very important for giant breeds)
- Have you assessed your home and personal life regarding your pace, availability, and overall lifestyle? How will your social life or work obligations affect your ability to care for a dog? Is the dog you have chosen match this lifestyle? An active dog will need at least an hour of exercise, so there must be time set aside for that. A dog that is not exercised is a dog that gets into trouble. Their energy will come out somehow…
- Do you have other animals in the house? Have you researched how to introduce them? Very important!
- Do you understand that it can take up to a month to have a routine and know whether all the animals get along?
- Are you prepared to house train your adult rescue dog?
- Do you understand that SASPCA rescue dogs are inside dogs only? Our rescue dogs are NOT yard dogs. They must be supervised while in the backyard. Giant breeds, and many other breeds, especially with heavy coats; cannot take the South Texas weather. They are very susceptible to heat stroke, which can quickly lead to death. The Rescue has the right to perform a welfare check on our dogs at anytime – without notice. If the terms of the contract are not being followed, we have the right to confiscate the dog.
- Be prepared for your adoptee to touch almost every part of your life. Travel, moving, family changes, money changes, and almost anything that you may experience. The dog is your responsibility and it will be depending on you to make plans that include him. Alternate plans must be considered with care.
- If adopting a giant breed, have you assessed whether you can control? A giant breed can easily weigh 150lb – 200lb, and can pull you with ease. Leash training and a Gentle Leader is suggested.
- If you do travel, who will take care of the dog? If he must go to a kennel, have you priced their boarding fees and how much advanced notice they need to reserve a space? (Many times, the boarding kennels have limited space for giant breeds)
- If your availability is temporarily limited, who would care for, love, and feed your dog?
- If you are not available during the day, have you considered Doggy Day Care and the price that comes with it?
- Giant Breed rescue dogs are required to be crated when you are not home. A 48” crate is required. Once you can trust that the dog will not eat your home, it is up to you whether to let him roam free.
- Crating all other dogs is highly suggested, until you know whether or not they want to chew on things….which is very normal for a dog.
- Have you researched the breed/mix you are considering? If so, do you have a good understanding of their usual temperament?
- Be ready for the first month. Learning about each other, training, routine, and acceptance, will be challenging yet fun.
Items You Need Before Taking a Rescue Dog Home
- Crate. For most of our giant breeds a crate is required. It protects your home and your Rescue dog.
- Food & Water Bowls. If you have a giant breed, you need a food bowl that hold at 7 cups of kibble. Dogs need fresh water. Please provide a large water bowl for your giant breed rescue.
- Quality dog food. Many dog foods contain more fillers than meat, fish, or pork. These foods are unhealthy for dogs. Especially for giant breeds because they cause weight gain and then adds to the pain of hip dyplasia that most giant breeds will experience in their later years. The Rescue recommends the PetSmart brand: “Authority” Adult with Chicken and Rice.
- Bedding. Just like humans, dogs like to snuggle and be comfortable. But….do not buy an expensive dog bed in the beginning. You need to know whether or not your foster decides it is an edible object. So a cheap dog bed, and/or old blankets folded up for a nice soft pallet.
- The entire households’ agreement to add a dog to the home.
- PLANS: Importantly, you need to know what you are going to do when you take the dog out of the car in your driveway. Do you have a crate set up for separation purposes? Do you have your dog on-leash?
THANK YOU FOR CONSIDERING A RESCUE DOG. WE HOPE TO SEE YOU ONCE YOU HAVE DETERMINED WHICH BREED AND SIZE DOG IS BEST FOR YOU AND YOUR FAMILY.