Adopting an animal is a wonderful feeling, but did you know that there was an estimated 110,000 stray dogs reported in 2014. As a result, on average of 20 dogs were put to sleep each day as suitable homes could not be found quick enough.

However, Cheltenham Animal Shelter operates a ‘non destruction policy’ and will endeavour to seek new homes for the animal as long as the condition of life is not impacted on.

People preferences vary and when thinking of buying a new puppy from a reputable breeder, please also consider giving a new home to one of the many animals in currently living in rescue centres across the UK.

Buying a puppy or re-homing an animal is a long-term commitment and in order to cut down on the number of stray and abandoned animals each year it’s important to consider if a dog will fit in with your type of lifestyle.

Sainsbury’s Bank have created a useful guide on preparing for the arrival of a new dog which is full of advice on what you can expect when you become a dog owner. They also have a helpful guide on dog re-homing which highlights the benefits of adopting from an animal shelter along with the requirements for adoption.

We have also put together a few tips and advice for you to consider when adopting a rescue animal. We are always on hand to offer help and advice along the way should you have any issues. If you need to speak to one of our experienced team please call us on 01242 523521.

Things to consider

There may be lots of things which you haven’t considered to be a danger to a dog within the home and garden. Take a walk around your home, think like a dog, what could be a danger or what may get damaged?

  • Can your dog escape?
  • Is there anything the dog may injure himself on?
  • Are there any electric wires that could be chewed?
  • Have you moved anything which you don’t want to risk being damaged / chewed?

You may want to put cardboard around table and chair legs until you know if your dog will chew them.

Introducing a new pet to the home is something everyone in the household should be involved with. Have a sit down as a family and discuss what you want your rules to be.

  • Is the dog allowed on the furniture?
  • Is the dog allowed upstairs?
  • Where will the dog sleep?

There are lots of training classes around but not all of them use methods which are beneficial to you and your dog. Do you go for the closest? The cheapest? The one who has been around longest?

As a general guide we recommend looking for a dog trainer who is a member of the Association of Pet Dog Trainers UK, or a Kennel Club Accredited Instructor. Don’t be afraid to call the trainer and ask any questions you may have, they may also invite you along to observe a class before you join.

Your first week

Your first week is going to be very exciting but it may also be a bit stressful.  When a dog has been in the rescue environment, there will inevitably be some level of stress built up and you may find, with some dogs, it takes a week or two for them to settle. Other dogs may settle straight away. Hopefully you will have considered the above points and decided on what boundaries you wish to set before your dog arrives home.

When you arrive home it is advisable to take your new dog for a little walk if possible to allow him the opportunity to go to the toilet before you enter the house.  If you have another dog this is also an ideal opportunity for them to meet outside of the home environment and then enter the house together.

It is important to try not to overwhelm your dog by introducing them to all of your friends and family too quickly. Give it a week or two with just your immediate family and then slowly introduce them to other people.

In your first week or two you may experience a few teething problems while your dog settles in.  A lot of people will feel like giving up during this period, we are here to help you with any issue you may experience and if this is the case please phone the Shelter on 01242 548770 for some advice.

The key things to remember are: –

  1. Decide on your household rules
  2. Teach your dog what you want through positive training
  3. Be consistent, ensure all family members understand the hours rules
  4. Be patient and understanding
  5. Don’t expect too much too soon
  6. Show love and compassion
  7. Contact us if you have any queries

If you require any pet related items for your new dog all your purchases can be sourced at our on-site shop. We stock a wide range of toys, bowls and food, as well as a great selection of leads, harnesses and collars.

All profits generated in our shop help provide care and treatment for the unwanted and abandoned animals at Cheltenham Animal Shelter.