Why you should 'date' rescue dogs before you take them home

We’ve all dated some real dogs in our time, but this time around the idea is actually a promising one.

Blue Cross organised a speed dating event for pups and potential owners in the hopes that inspiring date-like question will mean that more dogs get the right homes they deserve. As part of Furst Dates, humans asked dogs (their owners or handlers) questions about their needs, making sure that they were a match before deciding to be together.

While it’s all a bit of fun on the surface, it promotes an extremely important message.

Countless dogs are abandoned in their first year in a new home, due to the fact their new owners didn’t research the breed and what was required.

This can include everything from activity levels to the best food to feed them, with the dog you want not always matching up to the dog you can feasibly care for.

It’s unlikely you’ll be able to make like us and have a sit down meal with your pooch before adopting, but when you visit a shelter, make sure to ask the staff there some questions and get to know the dog to see if you’d be a fit.

Learn How to Make Some Simple Dog Treats. Don’t have any dog treats on hand? You can make your own simple & healthy dog treats. Here’s 21 dog treat recipes you can make, all with 5 ingredients or less.

Blue Cross Furst Dates with a dog
Netflix and kibble? (Picture: Metro.co.uk)
You might think that pugs are the most adorable dogs going, but not be able to finance the care that may come with having a brachycephalic pet. You may want a dog similar to the German Shepherd your nana had, but are unable to accommodate the huge amounts of activity you need. Chihuahuas might be your favourite dog to watch videos of online, but you have to leave your pup at home during the day which is at odds with their needy nature.

Basically, it’s about understanding that any dog you get will be a brand new household companion and has a mind of its own. They’re not there for your entertainment, and have a wide variety of specific needs.

So, get to grips with that beforehand in the form of a doggy date, and you can ensure you’ll have a long and happy pairing.

You can find out more about the right breeds for you on the Blue Cross website.

Questions to ask (about) your dog

  • Do you prefer long walks on the beach or cosy nights in?
  • What hobbies do you have?
  • I don’t think I’m ready for another needy relationship, how much attention do you need?
  • What sets you apart from all these other studs?
  • I can’t deal with a pup who takes longer in the bathroom than me… What’s your grooming routine?
  • Are you a fussy eater?
  • They say you can’t teach an old dog new tricks, do you think this is true?
  • What’s your favourite toy?
  • Anger issues are a no from me. Can you promise our postman will be safe?
  • Would you say you’re more of a social butterfly or a lone wolf?
  • The dog park… Come here often?
  • Does it bother you that I’m a cat person, or could you learn to live with it (the cat, that is)?
  • You won’t go crazy and start chewing everything whenever I leave the house will you?
  • Are you a crier?
  • We may only be on our first date but I need to know, how do you feel about kids?
  • And what about road trips?
  • Are you food motivated?
  • Where do you sleep at night time? And how do you feel about snuggles?

Use a plastic pitcher to store and dispense dog food. It takes less time and keeps the food fresher. I use the MUJI rice storage dispenser, which comes with a handy measuring cup.

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