Foreign dogs, a blessing or a curse?


There are a few physical and mental advantages and disadvantages to dogs from abroad. If you overcome, treat or exclude these disadvantages, then there are only advantages to adopting dogs from abroad.

First of all, you have to ask yourself whether the life of a foreign dog improves if he or she is brought to the Netherlands. In Thailand, for example, many dogs live on the beach or on the street, are fed by many people and have a wonderful free life, and are healthy. You probably won’t enjoy leaving these dogs in a house for much of the day.

In addition, you should never decide to adopt a pathetic dog out of pity for a dog (during a vacation, for example). Pity is a bad basis for a relationship (dog owner is also a relationship) and there is probably a reason that you don’t have a dog (yet).

Physical Factors in Foreign Dogs

Mutts are often very healthy genetically and physically. For generations, only the fittest will survive and reproduce, so in terms of physical defects, breed-related and hereditary defects, they are much healthier and stronger than our bred purebred dogs.

In the tropical areas, they can contract diseases such as Leishmania, Babesiosis, Ehrlichia, and heartworm. This can be tested for (blood tests) and most of these can be treated or suppressed with medication. It is also really important that this happens when a dog is brought to the Netherlands from abroad as we must do everything we can to prevent this kind of disease from spreading.

Mental and Social Factors in Foreign Dogs

Street dogs are survivors. If they have been raised around friendly people and thus socialized, they will have survived street life with their charms and intelligence. These are generally dogs that fit well into a western lifestyle.

If they have not been socialized with people as a young dogs or are not used to dog-friendly people, they will often find (new) people scary. These dogs are accustomed to self-rescuing, which means they will look for food on the street and in trash cans on their own initiative. These dogs can pull themselves together completely and become very nice dogs if they learn to trust people.

Testing in the country of origin

I think it is wise to have foreign dogs tested for tropical diseases (Leishmania, Babesiosis, Ehrlichia, and heartworm) in addition to the legal obligations (passport, rabies vaccination, and examination by a veterinarian) before they are brought to the Netherlands. If they test positive, they can be treated there before making the crossing.

These blood tests have to be repeated a few months later in the Netherlands. Some results may be false negative, or it may take a few months to show disease in the blood.

Foster care

In addition, I think it is wise that these dogs in the Netherlands are first cared for in a foster family by someone who has dogs themselves and with experience with dogs from abroad. In this way, the dog can get used to life in the Netherlands and when the dog is ready, he or he can go to his new family.

So never buy a dog from abroad out of pity, but do so carefully. Rule out illnesses or have them treated. Work with foundations and foster families with experience with dogs from abroad. And always keep an eye on the welfare of the animal here. This way you are not only doing the animal a favor but also yourself!


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