They save lives, protect people, they are used to fight crime and wars, they are adorned as service dogs for the handicapped, yet shelters are full of so many unwanted dogs.
People may not realize that abandoned, unwanted and neglected dogs and puppies can make wonderful companions and family pets.
The health benefits of pet ownership have been long established. Statistics show dog owners on average have lower blood pressure, fewer bouts of depressions and often exercise more. Children who have dogs generally learn at a young age the responsibility and the life-long commitment that comes with owning a pet. Dogs also encourage people to exercise, enhance family and social relationships, promote laughter and act as a nonjudgmental audience and sounding board.
During Adopt-A-Dog Month, visit your local shelter or breed-rescue group, meet potential companions and discover the many benefits of having a dog: happiness, companionship, improved physical and emotional health, and devoted love.
The ASPCA & Adopt A Shelter Dog Month
The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) sponsors October as Adopt-a-Shelter-Dog Month to encourage Americans to turn their houses into homes by adopting a shelter dog. Each year, millions of dogs enter our nation’s shelters, yet of the almost 59 million owned dogs in this country, less than 20 percent are shelter adoptees.
Adopt-a-Shelter-Dog Month also helps bring attention to the pet overpopulation faced in every state, county and town in America. Many animals are being euthanized with out a second chance to find a home. That is why it is important to have your pets spayed and neutered and to seek out your new companion from a shelter.
A Shelter Dog’s Letter To Santa
This is an excerpt from A Shelter Dog’s Letter To Santa that I had a long time ago. I have long since lost the link. If you know where this letter is from, I would love to know so that I can share it with my local animal shelters. Thanks!
The people here are very kind. They speak to me and call me “Sport”. They said I won’t be here much longer. They said I am a really good dog but so is every other dog in the shelter and there are just too many. They said I’m going to be “put to sleep” if I don’t get a home before Christmas. When I wake up, will it be Christmas? Will I have a family? All I want for Christmas is a forever home.
There is another beautiful letter to Santa Claws that I can’t read without bursting into tears. I hope you enjoy that one too.
10 Tips For Adopting A Pet
A little preparation can help your pet adoption get off on the right paw
- If you are planning to bring home a new dog soon, call a family conference to set up schedules, choose commands, and discuss who will perform which tasks.
- Do a little research to learn which breed matches your family’s lifestyle. Some breeds are naturally more aggressive or high-strung than others. Breeds such as Labrador and golden retrievers are known to be more even-tempered and well-behaved around children.
- A visit to the veterinarian should be scheduled shortly after adopting a new puppy or dog. Be certain to take any medical records with you as well as a fresh stool sample. Have a check-up, shots and maybe a spa day (nail clipping, grooming, etc).
- By enrolling your canine youngster in puppy kindergarten classes at 11-19 weeks of age, he or she will get a jump-start on socialization and appropriate behavior.
- Abrupt changes in diet can result in digestive distress. Find out what the shelter was using and introduce new foods gradually over several days’ time.
- A dog just can’t have enough identification! A tattoo or microchip is great for permanent identification. Make sure to keep the registry current when you move, change jobs or get a new phone number.
- Spaying your dog will not only prevent unwanted pregnancies; it will also protect your dog from mammary tumors and uterine infections. Castration protects against testicular cancer and prostate problems. These procedures can be done safely in animals as young as two months of age.
- Feed a diet that is age-appropriate. Puppies need the extra protein and calories found in growth formulas whereas as senior dogs need much less of both in order to maintain their youthful figures.
- Every dog needs plenty of toys to stave off boredom by chewing, tugging, shaking and killing, tossing, carrying, hiding, burying and napping with them. Rotate toys to keep them interesting.
- Help your new friend feel welcome in his new home. Set aside a spot in the house that will be his own, where he can sleep and keep all of his toys. Have a dog bed ready for him or her, whether store-bought or by making one by using a small rug or an old blanket. Show him or her their new food and water bowls; stainless steel are the easiest to clean and are the most durable. Make sure you have a leash and collar, so you can take your new friend on walks with you.