Everyone who owns a dog knows that they can make the festive period even more magical than usual. So it’s no surprise that many people consider getting a dog for Christmas, as they are wonderful additions to the family that will create an array of memories in the years to come. While pedigree puppies can melt the hardest hearts, we wanted to highlight how a rescue dog can produce the exact same effect this Christmas!

Understandably, many people might be hesitant about adopting a rescue dog from one of their local shelters. But the fact is that these worries are often misplaced. Over 90% of rescue dogs end up in shelters because their owners have abandoned them - not because of the dog’s behaviour. This can be due to financial pressures, family breakdowns, or just plain neglect.

One of the most prominent concerns people have when adopting a rescue dog is the lack of medical and behavioural history. While this is true, a loving environment can go a long way to encouraging the dog to be its best self. We all know that dogs don’t dwell on what’s gone before if they have unconditional love from their present owners. It’s actually one of the most amazing things about dogs - they are naturally loving creatures that long for companionship.

Another concern many people have about adopting rescue dogs is the hygiene of the shelter where they come from. Many think that shelters are a breeding ground for diseases and sickness. This is simply not the case. Established shelters provide an extraordinary level of care to their dogs. This includes making sure that they are flea and worm free, up to date with vaccinations, and that they are spayed or neutered. Some shelters even pay to cover the costs of treatments for those dogs that have medical conditions.

Lastly, if you’re thinking about adopting a rescue dog, consider the joy and happiness you will not only bring to your household, but to the dog that you are adopting. All dogs want a loving family home where they can express themselves and become an integral part of the family unit. Dogs that have experienced neglect or abandonment will appreciate this that much more. There are endless stories of rescue dogs transforming their levels happiness when they have been adopted by good owners.

So if you are considering getting a dog for Christmas this year, make sure you take a trip around your local centre and give the best gift you can to a loving and loyal rescue dog.