The American Humane Association has declared October Adopt-A-Dog month, a chance to educate and celebrate the role that our rescued canine friends play in our lives. It’s also a unique chance for those of us with more room in our hearts to bring home a pup that desperately needs one.
There are so many reasons to bring a new dog friend into your world: having someone to snuggle on the couch with you while you watch TV; to take you for your daily walk; someone who is always happy to see you, whether you’ve been gone for five minutes or five days. Nothing beats the companionship of a loyal dog.
Pups give their all to their people, every minute of every day, and are a bottomless source of unconditional love like nothing else a person will ever experience. It’s heartbreaking to think how many are forced to survive on their own out of doors, are stuck in a shelter, or who lose their lives every year because they don’t have people to love. Adopt-A-Dog month seeks to change all that.
You can find any breed, size, age and temperament of dog at your local humane society or animal shelter. If you’re looking for a particular breed that your local shelter doesn’t have, there are specialized groups that rescue particular breeds that you can contact as well. But don’t dismiss the special character of a Mutt-i-gree® mixed breed either!
Before you decide to drop in to your local shelter and let a buddy choose you, there are a few things you need to think about.
* You have to be absolutely certain that you really ready for a dog
! While they are the most loyal friends a person could ask for, they also require great care and responsibility. A pet is entirely dependent on you for their entire life – up to 15 years, for dogs.
* Carefully consider the changes a dog will bring to your life, and how they will fit for years to come
. Think about changes that might take place over those years: will you be moving? Getting married or having children? What if the children you adopt the puppy for now grow up and move away? Will you be willing to take care of your dog through all of that and beyond?
* Remember, dogs require not only food and walking, but regular veterinary care
. You need to see to their safety as well as their health, and make sure they have the affection and attention they need to thrive as well. The Humane Society points out that having a dog is like “having a child that never grows up.” While the vast majority of dog parents would say the joy their canine brings to their life far outweighs the work involved, it is important to decide before
you go to the shelter whether being a dog parent is the right choice for you and your lifestyle.
* Keep in mind the costs of dog care in addition to other issues
. You will need to spay or neuter your dog (although many shelters now provide this service for a fee or as part of the adoption charge), pay for annual and occasional veterinary costs, microchipping, a training crate, toys, and other items, food, and training. There are ways you can save on pet care
, of course, but having a doggie friend is still not free. It may seem trivial when you’re falling in love with the idea of having a puppy in the house, but you need to be honest with yourself about whether you can afford to properly care for him or her.
If you do make the informed and joyous choice to let a shelter dog choose you to live with, there are still more things to consider.
*For example, think about your living space
– what size dog would be a good physical fit?
* Consider the kind of pup personality that might suit your lifestyle best
, as well: do you want a lazy loafer to hang out with you while you watch TV or an energetic buddy to run around the neighborhood with you?
Once you have an idea, you can consult with the shelter staff or check out the Adoption Center
right here at Yeepet.com or your local shelter’s website to find the furry friend you’re looking for.
For more information about Adopt-A-Dog Month
, visit The American Humane Association!
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About the author:
I'm a freelance writer and novelist from the very far reaches of Upstate New York. I've had pets all of my life, and can't bear a household that isn't full of furry life. Besides my extremely spoiled pair of cats, I also love writing, reading, tra...