What do I need to think about when wanting a dog?

The first step in adopting a new family member is to think long and hard about exactly what it is that you are looking for. Adopting a dog is essentially bringing a new a new being into your home and often a very long-term (10 – 15 year) commitment.

Look at your day to day activities – do you have time for a dog? Will you be able to walk it? Do you have the space for a pet?
What will happen when you go on holiday or away – who will look after it?

Do you plan on moving in the future? If you are renting there are often strict rules against having pets in some homes or when travelling abroad.
Can you afford a dog? There are some wonderful pet insurance companies out there but like children, pets get sick which could get expensive.

Once you are sure that you are ready to adopt a new pet the next step is to think about what type of dog you are looking for. Do some research on a specific breed and the behaviour traits associated with them. What size dog are you looking for – bigger dogs mean more food and more space. Think about your lifestyle and what will work best for you.

What is the adoption process?

So you have made the decision that you are going to adopt. Great start! Now that you know what it is that you are looking, the next step is finding ‘the one’. Starting on social media or even Google is a great place to find out more about your local rescue centres and contact them to set up a time to go past and visit them.

It is important to contact an organisation beforehand as often there are specific hours or days that they are open to the public. Most rescue centres or even the SPCA require potential adoptive parties to complete an application form so doing this beforehand can save you some time.

With HAWK you can complete the application form online and are welcome to give us a call or send us an email if you have any questions.
The next step is where the fun begins! Visiting us and meeting the dogs! Our staff will be there to take you around our facility and tell you all about each dog and their personalities. We will be able to advise you on what dog will fit in with your lifestyle and family.

Once you have chosen your perfect match, we will require that application form and schedule a ‘home check’. A home check is a visit conducted by one of our team members to ensure that your home is dog-friendly and also assists in helping you prepare for your new addition.

Some of our requirements are as follows

*Each dog is different and has different requirements, so the home check may vary depending on the breed and age of the dog*
• All our pets must sleep indoors – this is not negotiable
• All pools must be covered or alternatively there must be a separate garden area for the pet to use when unsupervised
• All existing pets need to be sterilized
• Is the garden and property secure

Our adoption fee is R750.00 including vaccinations, sterilization and a microchip.
Once all the above is in order, you are ready to take your pup home!
Ensure that your new pet always wears a collar with a tag!

What costs are involved in owning a dog?

Asking what the cost of owning a pet is, is like asking how long is a piece of string.
Generally speaking your basic monthly costs are on food and basic tick and flea treatment. There are some amazing pet insurance and medical aid options too. (link)
Your pet will also require annual vet visits and injections from the age of one, prior to that puppies need monthly vet visits for their vaccinations up until the age of six months old.

Like people, pet can also get sick where costs can vary.

How do I introduce new dog to young children?

Always introduce children slowly to your new pet to determine the compatibility and attitude of the dog towards children. Even after the initial introduction keep an eye on your children around the new pet. Often certain behaviours, sounds or actions can spook or trigger a bad memory of a dog and lead to unpredictable behaviour.

Teach your children how to behave and interact with dogs, teach your children to treat a dog how they would another person or friend eg. You wouldn’t pull someone’s hair so don’t pull your dogs tail or ears.

How do I introduce my new pet to my current pet?

Ensure that all your current pets vaccinations are up to date.
Once your application has been approved and you have collected your new pet it is best to introduce your current pets to your new pet on neutral territory. Either have a family member or friend meet you at your local park or walk your existing pets outside your property to meet your new dog.

Introduce the pets on a lead and assess their behaviour (good signs include upright ears, tails and cheeks relaxed, bad signs include ears down or back, tail tucked down or stiff and lips pulled back), once they have sniffed each other and seem relaxed walk them together. If you are not comfortable or they do not seem happy contact us at once and we will advise you on how to move forward. Once you are comfortable with the interaction you can take them home together. Keep an eye on your dogs for the next day or so to ensure there is no tension, special attention should be paid at feeding time or when they are playing with toys.

Contact us at any time for tips or assistance with how to make the transition easier for your new pet and family.