10 Surprising Things You Never Knew About Rescue Dogs

Dogs are said to be “man’s best friend” and for those who have been lucky enough to have a dog in their life – they would agree wholeheartedly. A dog brings love, joy, and laughter into the home and will never stop amazing you with their undying loyalty. They are a companion, they can be your child’s first “best friend”, and they can make your life feel more complete.

It’s for these reasons and more that National Rescue Dog Day is such an important day. Taking place yearly on May 20, this is a day to stop and think about all the dogs across the country in a shelter waiting for their forever home.

If you’ve been considering adopting a dog and haven’t yet looked at the local shelter, it’s time to think twice. Here are 10 facts about rescue dogs that will surprise and amaze you, helping to push you into checking out all the rescue dogs currently available for adoption.

You Can Find All Ages of Dogs in Shelters

Young woman choosing which dog to adopt from a shelter.
Image Credit: Shutterstock / hedgehog94

One common misconception about rescue dogs is that the shelter only has older dogs. While you will certainly find some senior-aged dogs, these aren’t the only ones that are taken in. All dogs of any age can be rescue dogs, even a puppy that hasn’t yet been in a home. If you’re set on adopting a dog of a certain age, just keep checking your local shelters as you never know when one will be brought in.

You Can Find Purebreds In the Shelter

Dogs of the American Bully breed in the park in a hat and a scarf.
Image Credit: Shutterstock / Sushitsky Sergey

Purebreds are often much-coveted dogs. People tend to like the idea that they know what size the dog will be, its type/length of fur, its temperament and so forth all based on breed. There aren’t as many wild cards to deal with.

Adopting a purebred from a breeder is great but they can be extremely expensive. Plus, if you don’t do your proper diligence, you may not be getting a breeder who is on the up-and-up which could result in health issues for your dog. Purebreds can be found in shelters, but be warned they do tend to get adopted fast since they are so in demand.

Mixed Breed Rescue Dogs Can Be Extremely Unique Looking and Acting

Young adult woman playing with adorable dogs in animal shelter.
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Veterinarians often stress how great mixed breeds can be. Sure, you take a chance in terms of the size and temperament but often mixed breeds have a more watered-down approach when it comes to undesirable traits. They can also have fewer health issues, which is a win-win for the dog and you – as it means fewer vet visits are needed.

Because mixed-breed dogs take physical traits from both parents, you can end up with a rather unique-looking pet. The same can be said of their personality. If health issues and life expectancy are big concerns, opt for dogs with smaller frames as they are known for being healthier all around.

Many Rescue Dogs Already Have Basic Training

The lost dog is holding a leash and waiting for the owner.
Image Credit: Shutterstock / Reshetnikov_art

One of the biggest issues people face when adopting a dog is housetraining. It can be frustrating, stressful, and take a long time. Add a busy work schedule and kids into the mix, and training a new dog can seem almost impossible to achieve.

This is where rescue dogs have a leg up yet again. Often you’ll find they have at least basic training since they are often owner surrenders. This means they may know basics like sit, stay, and come and are housebroken so you don’t have to deal with those messes.

Adopting a Rescue Dog Is Usually Cheaper

Happy family at animal shelter choosing a dog for adoption.
Image Credit: Shutterstock / hedgehog94

As alluded to above, adopting a dog from a breeder costs hundreds even thousands of dollars depending on the type of dog. Combine that with all the vet visits and vaccinations puppies need and suddenly it’s a very expensive adventure you’re embarking on. Adopting a shelter dog is usually significantly cheaper than what breeders charge, making it possible to find your perfect canine companion without spending a fortune.

Rescue Dogs May Already Be Neutered or Spayed Saving You Money

Cute dog after spaying sleeping on bed with favourite toy. Post-operative Care.
Image Credit: Shutterstock / Bogdan Sonjachnyj

This relates to the point mentioned above, but did you know that rescue dogs are typically spayed or neutered before being adopted out? This saves you a huge amount of money and you don’t have to worry about the recovery period. By the time the dog is ready for adoption, it will be healthy and ready to go home with you.

If you’re not certain you want to spay or neuter your dog, keep in mind that doing so can help prevent several health issues from occurring. Spaying or neutering helps to prevent certain cancers from developing, helps to decrease the odds of behavioral issues, and of course, helps with animal population control.

Rescue Dogs Will Be Up-to-Date on Vaccinations Before Adoption

Young beautiful hispanic woman veterinarian vaccinating dog at home
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You can also rest assured that your dog will be up-to-date on all the important vaccinations before they go home. This will save you a lot of money, and provide relief knowing they are protected against all kinds of illnesses and health issues. Just be sure to get their vaccination information/charts so you can pass it along to your vet.

Not Every Rescue Dog Has “Issues” – Most Have No Problems At All

Portrait of a little girl on a background of blurred orange leaves in an autumnal sunny day
Image Credit: Shutterstock / Oleksiy Rezin

People often make the assumption that rescue dogs have been surrendered because they are “bad”, have behavioral issues, are aren’t trainable. This couldn’t be further from the truth. There are so many different reasons an owner may surrender their dog to a shelter, not to mention all the strays that end up in shelters.

Every dog deserves a chance, and they could be the perfect well-behaved, and loyal companion you’ve been searching for.

Rescue Dogs Tend to Have All Kinds of Hidden Talents

Dog at St Marys Glacier Colorado
Image Credit: Shutterstock / melissamn

Rather than having issues, why not focus on the many talents that rescue dogs have? They are there and waiting to be discovered by the right person. Once they feel comfortable with you in their new forever home, their personality will start to shine through and then you’re in for a real treat.

Expect a Rescue Dog to Give You Unconditional Love

Female volunteer with homeless dogs at animal shelter outdoors
Image Credit: Shutterstock / New Africa

And speaking of your rescue dog settling in, something that pet owners constantly say is that their rescue dog shows them unconditional love and seems forever thankful to have found you. Expect a full lifetime of a happy dog who just wants to be around you as much as possible.

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