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 and Butcher's Pet Care, a UK family company that prides itself in having fed generations of family dog, with tasty recipes that are free from any artificial colours flavours or preservatives; 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. Here's the first on our ten part series guiding you through everything you need to know. Firstly, 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. A good method for recording the important factors about each dog is to prepare a template before you visit.

It doesn't need to be over the top but for example, it should include a column for 'time of day', 'time after feeding', 'interaction' and 'energy level' will give you a good understanding of the behaviour patterns of each dog. It's essential to keep track of what you're seeing in comparison to what it is you are looking for. It's hard not to become emotionally attached to each dog you meet, but for the purposes of finding a dog that suits your lifestyle and that you can adequately take care of, it's better to stick to the facts. The dog with the cutest face may not be right for you and you won't be doing the dog any favours by choosing it when the reality is, you aren't compatible.

Recording what you see is also helpful because you'll simply be overloaded with information that will be hard to process.

There are an estimated 100k dogs in adoption centres around Britain. Sometimes dogs arrive in rescue centres through natural causes such as owners passing away. Very often though dogs are simply abandoned for no other reason that poor decisions on behalf of hasty owners. Please, please, please take on board all of the information about what it takes to maintain a dog in a happy home. Dogs really are a lifelong commitment and they deserve the security of a stable home environment.

You CAN get a superb, lifelong companion from a rescue…but be absolutely certain you are ready for the challenge. If you are, you will enjoy a relationship like no other! National Dog Adoption Month is running this September, be part of something special – bring joy, adopt a dog. Visit to find the dog of your dreams.

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