So, you have a new family member arriving and it is not a baby (phew!) and it is not a puppy - even more exciting - it is an older dog! This article is aimed at adopting a dog that might be 6 months older or more. A dog that you have have been lucky enough (like we were - twice!) to get from a family who could no longer look after them due to a multitude of reasons - from not having enough time for them to not being able to manage their behaviour and in very sad cases, to their humans having to move into care. So many reasons! I can speak from experience - both of our dogs are 'rehomes' and gosh we are so thankful that their previous families let us take them on. Here's an earlier article I have written called "The Costs of Owning a Dog" Close your eyes if you don't want to know!
Benefits of rehoming or adopting an older dog (ie not a puppy!) 1. You can generally see what size the dog will be.
2. You can generally tell its temperament - calmer demeanour could be more beneficial if you have young children or if you are an older person looking for companionship
3. They are generally already house trained
4. In most cases, less initial training is needed ie they already know the basics and you can still teach an older dog new tricks Adopting a dog from a shelter has the same benefits as above. People seem to think that older dogs from 'rescues' have more behavioural problems. This isn't so. Some do, yes, but most don't.
When your new dog first arrives
The key to welcoming a new, grown or almost grown dog, is taking it easy with them. As dogs love to make us humans the centre of their world, a well adjusted pooch won't take long to adjust to its new people. Dogs live for the moment and that is something that makes me feel good when I look at our two. In most cases they will already be named - and if you don't care for that name - you can change it and according to Dr Kersti Seksel in this article - they cope well. We didn't change our dogs names - Finn and Luna - but we do often call them other names like Tim and Linda! ha ha
When we picked up Finn - he was 9 months old. His family gave us his bowls, his food, his collar and leads, his medical records, his special toy and his blanket. These familiar items certainly helped him settle in quickly. Luna was 7 years old when she came to live with us and I think having a dog already (they are long lost littermates) made it easier for her too. She also came with her bowls, food, collar, lead and medical records. It didn't take her long to settle in with us and it really is the perfect scenario. Some dogs won't settle as quickly so you will need patience and routine. They really do love kindness - don't we all?
Important points regarding your new dog Update your new family member's microchip details - ensure that your contact details are listed against their microchip number - go here for details on how to check and how to update. You may need to get the previous owner to fill out a transfer of ownership form too. This is VERY IMPORTANT! Here is a GREAT article called Bringing your new dog home - from the RSPCA The article makes some terrific points, particularly "Never assume that a dog has pre-taught behaviours. Make sure you train the behaviours you want the dog to exhibit. It is also important that you do not allow the dog to practice unacceptable behaviours. Keep your new dog on a leash until you are absolutely sure that it will come back when you call." Other important items to consider
Pet Insurance - go here and read what I think about it
Your Vet's Contact Details
Emergency 24hr Vet contact details
Go here to see a list of all of our local vet clinics
See your vet, get advice on Vaccinations, Flea medications, general health and more.
I highly recommend you find a vet you really like and trust.
Here are our BDogs Business Member Vet details - this includes Mobile Vets too
Look into Training - this can be local obedience clubs, personal one on one training, group training etc.
WHAT ELSE YOU NEED TO DO:
Register your new family member with your Council.
"Pet registration is a legal requirement under the Domestic Animals Act 1994. All dogs and cats three months of age and over must be registered with Council."
**Registrations between councils are not transferrable so if the dog is registered in say Kingston already and you reside in Bayside - it is an all new registration that is needed.
Bayside City Council here
City of Port Phillip Council here
Kingston City Council here
Frankston City Council here If you can, get your new dogs medical records sent to your vet If your dog is already insured - for example by Woolworth's Pet Insurance - you can NOT transfer that insurance into your name sadly. I was told that it could be done if you are a family member (of the original owner) but otherwise have to take out a whole new policy which is not ideal if the dog already has pre-existing issues. Please feel free to ask questions over in our Facebook Group and you MUST post photos of your new family member!
Not getting an older dog but getting a puppy? Go to this article for some great tips!