If you’re looking for a furry addition to your family, consider adopting an adult dog, rather than going for a cute puppy, writes Jo Tomlinson from Taw Hill, pictured with Suzie by Richard Wintle of Calyx.
The Dogs Trust report that a staggering 307 stray dogs are collected every day in the UK; there are far too many dogs who spend their lives in rescue kennels or council pounds, sleeping on cement floors and waiting for a loving owner.
Owning a puppy is fun but adopting an adult rescue dog means skipping the destructive, chewing, teething, toilet training part of owning a puppy.
The bond between adopted dog and owner can feel stronger because you’re providing the dog with a loving home, usually after years of mistreatment, abandonment or trauma of their owners leaving them.
Rescue organisations usually neuter dogs and begin treatments for any health issues, and they should provide advice on which dogs would be suitable and how to care for them.
Buying a pedigree puppy from a breeder can be expensive but rescue organisations only ask for a donation.
Adopting a mixed breed rescue dog often means they are healthier and will live longer, as they don’t come with the genetic conditions that we sometimes see in pedigree dogs.
Susie is a great example of how a rescue dog can enrich your life. She came from the Oldies Club: www.oldies.org.uk, which is a database of lovely adoptable dogs over the age of 8 years old.
Susie is a delightful little dog; she is ten years old but acts like a puppy when she knows it’s time for her dinner or a walk. She loves everyone she meets, especially the postman, and likes to say hi to all the other dogs she encounters.
The Oldies Club is nationwide but there are a few organisations close to Swindon (who have adoptable dogs of all ages):
If you are buying a puppy the Dogs Trust advise to never buy puppies through advertisements in local papers and on the Internet or from pet shops. This will help to ensure they aren’t buying from puppy farms where dogs are bred purely for profit, often with no licence and with no concern for the health or welfare of the dogs.
If you do buy a purebred puppy go to a reputable, responsible breeder so you can make sure they have had the necessary health checks by a vet and that mother and puppies are well looked after.