Husky dogs are a large breed of dog and they have a rather headstrong and wilful nature.  However, they make energetic, fun and loving pets that will fit in well with an active family that has the time to care for them. They are not the right pet for anyone who is planning on just letting their dog have a run around the garden twice a day: these dogs need space and plenty of stimulation and exercise.

A bored, unhappy husky can develop behavioural problems and end up, like so many do, in the care of an animal charity such as the RSPCA.  As well as exercise and attention, huskies need regular grooming.

There are plenty of breeders who offer huskies for sale, and many will be enthusiastic and very knowledgeable about the breed. A good breeder will be happy for you to meet the puppies’ mother and spend time with the litter to help you decide which puppy you want to take home. By meeting the mother and seeing the puppies in their natural environment, you will learn a lot about what sort of dogs they will become: their temperament will most likely be similar to their mother’s, and if they seem happy and healthy and to have been allowed to socialise properly they will become happy, healthy dogs.

Whilst it is true that many huskies in rescue or rehoming centres are there because their owners have not been able to cope or care for them properly, it is not true that they cannot be loving, well-behaved pets if cared for by the right family.  It is usually the previous owner’s lack of proper care that has led to a husky being put up for re-homing, rather than anything wrong with the husky itself.  Staff at the RSPCA will be able to advise you about whether a particular dog will suit your family and will be able to give you information about its temperament and background.  They will also have made sure that the dog has been neutered/spayed and vaccinated, so you will be sure to have a healthy dog.

If you have the time to care for a husky and educate yourself about how to manage them properly, you can adopt a husky and end up with a very good pet that the whole family will adore.  

Whilst the recession is causing many people to buy second-hand products, from cars to TVs, it is not actually a major reason for buying preloved dogs.  Dogs that have been given to animal charities such as the RSPCA or that have ended up in a rescue centre through abuse, neglect or abandonment, are more in need of a good, stable home than many other dogs.

It is a sad fact that job losses and resulting house-moves have meant that many people have become unable to afford to care for their dogs, and the RSPCA has seen an increase in the need for dog rehoming.  Many people may be wary of rehoming a dog or puppy from an animal charity or rescue centre, because they may believe that the dog has been neglected or abused and may well find it hard to adjust to their new home – or that the dog may even be aggressive. 

But whilst it is sadly true that many dogs are abused and neglected and subsequently rescued by the RSPCA, only dogs that are suitable for rehoming are made available for adoption.   They are checked for signs of ill health by a vet, and are monitored closely by trained staff to see what sort of temperament the dog has.  Different people want different characteristics in a pet dog, so there is always a wide range of temperaments and personalities amongst the dogs put up for rehoming, but all are suitable for adoption by the right home.

If you adopt a dog or puppy from the RSPCA, it will have been vaccinated and neutered, and you will be questioned about your living arrangements so that the charity can be sure that the dog or puppy is going to a good home.

It takes about two weeks for a dog to settle into its new home, so if the staff have assured you that you have a vivacious and active dog but you find that you have a clingy, quiet dog at home, just give it a little time to come out of its shell and feel safe and secure enough to show its real temperament – trust that the RSPCA staff will have monitored the dog’s temperament over a period of time and in different environments and know what it’s like.

If at all possible, when adopting a dog take time off work and make sure that you have enough time to dedicate attention to your dog whilst it settles in to your new home (of course, it will need time, care and attention beyond the settling-in period, too).  Set boundaries and choose key words for instructing your dog that the whole family will use to minimise confusion for the dog. 

Make sure that each member of the family knows what responsibilities they will have for caring for the dog – will there be one main carer or will everyone share in the care?  Whoever is going to care for the dog needs to be prepared to do so for the rest of its life: so if you’re choosing a dog to be a companion for your child, remember that your child might have left to go to university before your dog has left for the big kennel in the sky…

Some dogs that end up being cared for by a charity are rescued from abuse or neglect (sadly the RSPCA has to deal with such incidents on a daily basis), but some are there because their owners have had no choice but to take their dog for rehoming, perhaps because of a change in their job situation that means that they no longer have the money to care for them.

People who take their dog for rehoming are criticised for giving up on their pet – some people say that they wouldn’t send their children away, so why send their dog away just because money is a bit tight.  The sad fact is that some people can’t even afford to properly care for their children, and those children end up neglected, hungry and sometimes abused – so perhaps the people who send their dogs for rehoming are actually doing them a real favour.

If you are considering getting a new dog for your family, it is obviously really important to be sure that you’ll be able to look after it for the rest of its life – this is particularly important for a dog from a rehoming centre because it will already have been through the experience of losing its home once and it would be cruel to put it through it again.

But rehoming a dog can be a very rewarding experience and your new best friend will thank you for it.  There will be some expense involved, as there would with any dog, but if this is your first dog then it might help to have a list of the sorts of things you’ll need to pay for:

1. Food – you don’t have to buy the best brands, but your dog will need complete nutrition to stop it from becoming unwell.  Remember that if your dog is very young, very old or pregnant, they may need additional nutrients and you should seek advice from your vet about what they need to eat.

2. Vet bills – from spaying or neutering (which is likely to have already been arranged by the dog rehoming centre) to worming and vaccinations, routine veterinary care costs can add up and these aren’t something that you could claim against your pet insurance for.  It is advisable to take out pet insurance to pay for unexpected vets’ bills such as in the event of an illness or accident.

3. Collar, lead and toys.

4. Micro chipping is advisable.

5. If your dog displays undesirable behaviour, you might need to pay for training to rectify the problem.

6. A dog bed (though they are just as happy with a large cardboard box with a soft blanket or large pillow).

As well as these physical considerations, dogs also need considerable time to care for them properly and give them enough attention. They need to be fed once or twice a day, and have access at all times to clean, fresh water. They thrive on attention and play, and you must take time out of your day to supply this through play, exercise and/or grooming; you’ll also need to take them out for regular walks so that they can train their bladder to know when to expect to be able to go outside to relieve themselves. 

If you have adopted a dog, he or she may be nervous or stressed in the early days of growing accustomed to their new environment and family.  Take a few days off work to allow your dog to become familiar with their new surroundings and to feel safe and secure.  Your dog will need plenty of reassurance and fuss to help you to bond with each other and to make your dog feel truly at home.

Dogs make wonderful pets, as anyone who’s ever owned one will tell you. Dogs that have been chosen from dog rehoming centres, though, can have some issues that other dogs probably won’t.  Some of them might have been abused; some might have been neglected; some might simply not have been trained or disciplined and can display challenging behaviour.  Others might have to be rehomed simply because their owners cannot care for them any longer however much they might want to.

Dog rehoming can be a stressful and unhappy time for dog and former owner alike, but you can make the task that much easier by being a well-prepared and loving new owner, ready to get to know your new dog and meet its needs.

If you’ve taken the step of dog rehoming rather than buying a dog from a breeder, then you’ve made a really generous and responsible choice.   This article will offer some suggestions about how to settle your dog into your home and how the whole family can adjust to your dog’s arrival. 

Before you bring your dog home, get down on your hands and knees and see your home from the perspective of your dog: are there any obvious dangers or items that you wouldn’t want to be damaged that are accessible by your dog from that height?  If so, move them higher!

Your new dog might not have been toilet-trained, or might have accidents because he or she is so anxious, stressed or even excited about being in a new environment.   To minimise damage or mess, put your dog’s bed in the kitchen or wherever there is a hard floor rather than a carpet.  Show your dog where it is acceptable for him/her to go to the toilet.

Agree as a family on the sort of words you’ll use to talk to your dog for key instructions like ‘drop’, ‘walk’, ‘dinner’, ‘fetch’, ‘stay’.  If you’re all using the same words then it will be easier for your dog to comply once they know what is expected.  If you don’t have this discussion before your dog arrives, make sure you have it soon after or your dog will end up very confused. 

For the first few days of owning your new dog, make sure the whole family can be around the house as much as possible so that you can all get to know each other well.  Introduce young children to the dog very carefully so that the dog isn’t overwhelmed and make sure the child knows how and where to pet the dog.  Avoid having visitors round until your dog is settled.

Give your dog the same food as it has been given in the rescue centre, and if you want to change brands or food type then start mixing the new in with the old gradually over several days. 

Make sure your dog has been adequately vaccinated and is neutered or spayed before taking them out for the first time and it’s a good idea to have your dog micro chipped: in the early days your dog is more at risk of running off and getting lost than when they are familiar with routines, commands and where their ‘territory’ is.