Millions of dogs enter shelters across the United States each year. Out of that number, only a percentage get adopted. Those lucky enough to find a forever home fill the hearts of their humans with unconditional love and genuine joy.
To create awareness for the dogs that do so much to enhance our lives, Tails That Teach, a non-profit organization that inspires children to be kind to pets, founded National Rescue Dog Day Each year since, this day pays tribute, and hopefully makes people aware, of the need for shelter pets to love and be loved.
When adopting a pet, it is important to realize it is many years commitment to caring for your new furry family member. Once you bring a canine into your family, you should be prepared to do everything possible to keep that pet happy, healthy, and loved for his lifetime.
Learn about the animal you plan to adopt, and remember he or she will require food, water, shelter, preventive veterinary care as well as planning for the unexpected, and quality time spent with you, their favorite human.
Many whom have adopted dogs from a shelter will insist that dog is grateful for being brought into your home and family.
Each breed and individual dog’s abilities are shaped by a myriad of genetic traits and learned behaviors. Some traits were intentionally bred by humans, while others were a result of the breed’s need to survive, so knowing the basics, as well as getting to know the unique individual can help you choose wisely.
Large dogs need more space. It may be cramped with a Great Dane in a studio apartment, but Greyhounds are known to be couch potatoes so may be as good of a choice as a smaller breed, but size isn’t the only consideration. Vocalization should also be considered. A smaller Beagle or Basset Hound, who bays and howls or a yappy Chihuahua may not make your neighbors smile.
Energetic breeds require secure fencing, high enough that they can’t jump it, but they also need to be walked, have the ball thrown and really expend energy with you.
Long-coated pets require more grooming, so that is more time and work but can be rewarding.
Puppies will typically need house-breaking and training. Will you gladly get up every two hours during the night for feedings and bathroom breaks? How about those wet spots on the carpet (or the middle of your bed) until Rover learns that the great outdoors is his bathroom? Puppies require a patient human to teach them manners.
Senior pets generally know the rules, and can be calmer and more focused. They are often perfectly content to let you go about your day lying by your side, thrilled for a pat on the head or the occasional belly rub, but as time goes by, they may require medical care, so make sure you are able to provide what they need in their golden years.
If you rent or live in a specific apartment or complex, it’s important to consider your landlords restrictions before you adopt. Some common restrictions can include rules on pet weight, type of breed, and extra fees for having a pet.
Since your committing to care for your pet for their lifetime, you may need research if getting a pet would be allowed at your current space. You may need to move if your pet is not able to stay or you may need to wait until you are living somewhere that welcomes your pets size and breed.
Various cities have different laws and guidelines on pets. Before adopting, be sure to inquire about your cities ordinances including:
- Number of pets per household (a combination of three dogs or cats for instance)
- Leash laws
- Vaccination requirements
Dogs are dependent on us for food, shelter, medical care, and quality of life, but they definitely pay it forward!
No matter the dog’s size, breed, age, or fur color, adopting a canine pal can improve two lives: the dog’s and yours.
Adding a family member should not be an impulsive decision. Research and planning can help you write a happily ever after and truly celebrate the Rescued Dog!