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ADOPTING A DOG

Adopting a dog is like buying fine art

More than 100,000 dogs await new owners
in UK adoption shelters.

Awareness campaign aims to show the great benefits of adopting a dog.

For many, the idea of adopting or 'rescuing' a dog carries with it a certain image. Some people mistakenly look at dog adoption as if it's buying cheap, discounted or broken goods. But, according to an initiative between national dog adoption website DogsBlog.com and Butcher's Pet Care, a UK family company that prides itself in having fed generations of family dog, nothing could be further from the truth.

As more and more dogs find themselves, through no fault of their own, inside the British dog shelter system, the image of the 'rescue dog' is in need of an update.

No longer are shelters the preserve of the 'problem dog', but they are packed with dogs of all types, from all manner of backgrounds. When going through the process of adopting a dog, consider the following points:
1. A pen and paper. You're going to meet a lot of dogs, and writing down a little bit about the ones who interest you will help keep you organised when discussing the dogs you've seen later. You'll want to be able to consider your choices when you're at home, away from the shelter; keeping records of the dogs you've seen will allow you to do that.
2. Comfortable clothes. Remember, it's a dog shelter, not a cocktail party, so dress appropriately! You're going to be getting down and at least a little bit dirty with dogs who may not have had a bath recently and who may not know that they shouldn't jump or climb on you; accordingly, don't wear anything that you couldn't bear to see paw-printed or drooled on. Jeans are a good bet; they'll also keep your legs protected in case you get scratched or nipped at by a pup. Wear comfortable shoes, too, so that you can walk around with ease.
3. Bring Your family. Bring along as many members of your household as possible. Singles need not worry, but if you have family members or roommates who will be living with a new dog, they should also be involved in there selection. That might seem ridiculously obvious, but we've known many, many people who have adopted dogs and then returned them because "the kids didn't get along with her" or "she didn't like my in-laws." You shouldn't necessarily let children, especially young ones, influence your decision too much, but you at least need to be sure that they'll get along with and not be afraid of the dog you choose.

By the way, don't bring any other dogs or pets along with you unless you have prior permission from us to do so, this is due to the risk of dog fights or disease transmission.
4. Time. Well, it's not exactly something you can pack into your car, but it's certainly important. Leave yourself enough time - probably at least a couple hours - so that you won't feel hurried as you talk to shelter employees and get to know a handful of dogs. If finding a few free hours to go shelter-visiting feels like a strain on your schedule, then you may want to ask yourself whether you're really going to have enough time for a dog.