The American Humane Society has designated October as Adopt-A-Dog Month. What began in 1981 as a way to encourage people to rescue a canine counterpart from a local shelter has, over the decades, turned into a movement that is as vital as ever. And though the focus is primarily on animals in shelters, every pet owner and dog, regardless of origin, can be involved in supporting the endeavors of this month! Here’s how…
- Have your pet spayed or neutered: One of the biggest contributors to animals in shelters is because owners don’t have their pets sterilized to prevent excess litters. But when there are too many puppies and not enough potential owners, the balance tends to shift into shelters. Give all dogs a chance to have a forever home by ensuring your pets are spayed or neutered.
- Keep your dog out of the shelter with proper ID: Every day, a dog bolts out a door or manages to escape a fence and gets lost, often ending up at a shelter. But according to the Humane Society, only 15-20 percent of those animals will be reunited with their owners. Don’t let your pet because part of those statistics. Help ensure their safe return by microchipping them in addition to placing a collar with an ID tag on them.
- Support your local animal shelter: Whether you donate money, needed items like pet food and towels, or your time to help at the facility, your local animal shelter appreciates each and every little bit.
Of course, one of the best ways to recognize this month is to adopt a shelter dog and give them a forever home. If you’re ready to bring a furry four-legged friend into your family, do your homework and then head over to a shelter. Dogs adopted from shelters are often some of the most loving animals you will ever meet. Other benefits of adoption include:
- First and foremost, you’ll feel good knowing you’ve helped save a life. Plus, dogs have the added benefit of helping lower blood pressure and deal with stress better. Win-win!
- If you have kids, they’ll move more with a happy-go-lucky dog around to encourage playtime. You’ll also move more and may even lose a few pounds!
- You can better select a pet that matches your temperament when you’re able to observe them at a shelter. Most shelters will allow you to take dogs out into their animal run so you can even “try before you buy.”
- You’ll actually save some money by adopting. It’s true! While there is an adoption fee, this takes into account that the animal already has their first round of shots and has been spayed or neutered. This cost is typically less than what you would pay if you had to cover these expenses yourself.
- Most dogs in shelters are mixed breed, aka mutts. Because their gene pool is so varied, this often results in better overall health for the dog.
If you do adopt a dog from your local shelter during Adopt-A-Dog Month in October, be sure to bring them by for a general physical to ensure their shots are up-to-date, schedule a spay or neuter if they haven’t had the procedure already, and to get them microchipped and start off on the right paw!