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Tips for adopting a rescue cat or dog

According to the National Summit to End Pet Overpopulation, approximately 200,000 healthy companion animals are euthanased each year. Up to 96 percent of stray and surrendered cats and kittens and 60 percent of stray and surrendered dogs are killed in some pounds and shelters around Australia.

By adopting a pound or refuge animal rather than purchasing your pet, you will save a life. But don’t take the decision to bring a companion animal into your home lightly. As the old cliché goes, a pet is for life, not just for Christmas.

Here are some tips to consider when you’re deciding on a new pet:

Make sure the rescue dog is a match for your home

If you’re adopting a dog choose one whose energy levels are in synch with yours. The amount of exercise required by a dog can be determined by its breed, size and age so pick a pet whose exercise requirements meet your passion for pavement pounding. If you’re in a small apartment a young border collie might not be as suitable as a smaller breed or older animal.rspca

Don’t judge a book by it’s cover

Consider consulting an animal expert when choosing your new pet. Animals confined to cages in animal shelters may take on atypical personality traits because they’re cooped up so their energy levels and behaviours might not represent a true picture of the pet.

Find a pet who’s on the same level as you

Don’t be afraid to ask lots of questions. It’s not just a numbers game for the staff at animal shelters, they’re looking to place pets in ideal homes. You can’t tell our feline and canine friends by their furry covers so take some time to assess their personalities for yourself, asking how they get on with the staff, other animals at the shelter and their mealtime and toilet behaviour. The answers to these questions will help paint a picture of what the pet will be like to live with.

Take it for a walk

If you’re adopting a dog, take it for a ‘test drive’ (AKA a walk)! This will give you an idea of how he responds to one-on-one interaction and will allow you to dispel some of the frustration and anxiety of being cooped up in a cage.

Don’t make an impulse adoption

Leave your emotions in the car. For the animal’s sake as well as your own, try not to let the shelter environment sway your decision. You want to choose the right pet for your home, not simply the one you feel most sorry for.

If you’re considering pet ownership, why not look into pet adoption? Check out your local RSPCA Australia, The Lost Dogs’ Home, Pet Rescue or, if you’re looking for a specific breed speak to the breeders club in your State to see if they have any pets looking to be re-homed.

Dr Bruce Syme BVSc (Hons), Founder of Vets All Natural.

Dr Bruce Syme is a practicing vet and expert in natural pet nutrition, has spoken at the Australian Veterinary Association Annual Conference, and provides regular comment on TV and Radio.

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Disclaimer: The entire contents of this article are based upon the opinions of Dr. Bruce Syme, unless otherwise noted. The information is not intended as medical advice, it simply shares the knowledge and information from the research and experience of Dr. Bruce and his community. Pet health care decisions should be based upon your research and in partnership with a qualified pet health care professional.
© Copyright 2015 Dr Bruce Syme and Vets All Natural. All Rights Reserved.

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