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ADOPTING A DOG

You have a fallen in love with a set of the sweetest eyes, but are you ready?

Cooka loves Uppa

 

UPPA who?

Uppa is a non-profit organisation, which was founded in 2007 by a couple of animal-loving friends. Each had been fighting a tough battle in the defence of animal rights and that year they realised, only TOGETHER they would have a chance to make a real impact.

In 2013 UPPA realised their dream of an animal hostel and has been home to countless of homeless fur-kids ever since. Uppa relies solely on funding and volunteering and when Cooka visited their hostel on a sunny Saturday (Saturdays are LETS TAKE THE KIDS FOR A WALK days), we were amazed by the conditions for their guests. It can not be called a hostel, but a boutique retreat for dogs. There is so much LOVE and CARE everywhere, we only can say, UPPA – we WOOF YOU.

However, even with all these great conditions, UPPA needs you. There is always requirement for more food, for medicine, for helping hands, for some cuddles and human interaction and Saturday walkies and most of all, for caring parents looking to adopt a fur-child.

These little doggies need a loving home, but are you ready?

Here are a few tips from Cooka, that may help you to make the right choice.

1.Think about the type of person you are and the lifestyle you live

 Do you like nature? Are you active? Do you reside in a flat or in the country-side? Do you travel a lot?

These variables dramatically influence the compatibility between you and your dog and will determine what kind of dog might be more suitable for you to adopt. Just to put a simple example. If you are living in the city and you are more of a homey person, an energetic dog might not be the best choice.

Then a more calm child is recommended, perhaps an older dog, whose ‘wild times’ have already passed and who would appreciate some time to cuddle on the couch with their new  family.

Uppa has a profile of each dog, which is an important factor for a most compatible match.

 

2. Does your rental-home accept dogs?

This is a very important factor to be confirmed, before adopting. For future pet-pawrents living in rental communities we recommend that you know the rules in your buidling. While many communities say they are pet friendly, it often means that there are breed or size restrictions. So please check before ‘falling in love’.

At Cooka’s we do hope that these regulations are slowly changing, as dogs are part of our family and there should be no law forbidding children.

 

3. Financial stability

Taking in a dog means life-time commitment, as the animal will be part of your family for its entire life. So you must consider all the changes that may happen during the next 15 years or so, and make sure you can provide for your dog throughout those times. Besides the daily meals, don’t forget to consider the cost of VET visits and medicine that might be needed. Medical complications can put a big strain on financials, so know if you are able to cover these costs. 

 

4. Say: “I do for the rest of your life” and mean it

There are many things that will influence the lifespan of a dog: size, breed, weight, food…But, the average lifespan of a dog is about 12 years. That means over 4,000 days of unconditional love! The typical age of dogs ending up in shelters  is between 5 months and 3 years, which means adopted dogs have a long and loving life ahead of them. Are you ready to stay with your new friend all these years?

5. BE RESPONSIBLE

The moment you say yes and that little fur-kid is part of your family, you are responsible for its well-being. Bute be aware: Dog adoption isn’t always easy.

The first few hours and days are the most critical for building the trust and bond between you and your dog. The journey and transition from a shelter to your home is a frightening change for any dog. Be patient, be kind and most of all be LOVING.

Your responsibility starts on that very first journey home and we suggest that you take as many steps as possible to sooth and comfort your new family member. You are also responsible for socialising and training your dog and it might not always be easy. Many rescue dogs have had a traumatic past and are afraid of humans. Always remember this and try to put yourself into the  ‘shoes’ of this little fur-child.

Cooka believes that LOVE is the best (the only) training strategy and if you need any advise, Graca from our team is a bit of a dog-whisperer. Little Bubi, my first dog (rescued in the mountains of Greece, where she was chained to a tree in the middle of Winter, left there to die…)was truly traumatised and afraid of all humans, but especially men. It was the loving and patient training of Graca that turned a shy lady into a glowing princess.

6. Do you speak dog?

This seems an odd question, but it is important to learn what our dogs are saying. A woof is not always a woof.

When adopting a dog, new pawrents can easily misunderstand their body language. This can impact their ability to successfully train and care for their dog.

Take some time, in advance of adoption, to research some basic dog body language.

Here are a few simple examples of speaking dog:

Ears go back – I am anxious

Tail tugged under the legs – I am afraid

Bows down with the backside up – let’s play

Hairs standing up – I feel threatened

 

7. Dogs are family too

Of the millions of dogs adopted world-wide each year, one out of in ten (!) are no longer in their adopted home within six months!

Yes, they are returned to the shelter. Can you imagine the emotional stress for such little kids?

The decision to give a dog your time and most importantly your love should not be taken lightly.

ONCE ADOPTED A DOG IS PART OF YOUR FAMILY! 

Rescue dogs can be an incredible gift to our lives.

Let’s shower them with love and affection and we will have a true friend for life.

 

These are some of the most common reasons, dogs end up in shelters. Please make sure you cannot identify with any of these reasonings.

 

Wishing you all a pawsome weekend with many wagging tails.

Aline and Cooka

 

Lear more about Uppa’s pawsome work and how you can help by visiting their site:

www.uppa.pt

 

"a dog is the only thing on earth that loves you more than he loves himself"
Josh Billings
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