October is National Adopt a Shelter Dog Month

National Adoption Month

The ASPCA has deemed the month of October as National Adopt a shelter dog month, and there is no better time in bringing home a pet. When you take home a dog, you are saving one of 3.3 million pets that are brought to shelters each year.    With a sheltered dog you are not just saving a life you are giving a dog a second chance.  When you adopt a shelter dog you should not do it on a whim, with so many shelters out there with pups; you should make sure the dog fits you and your lifestyle. The best way to select the perfect dog for you is that you consider a few things. 

Assess Your Options

We always need to find our options when it comes to shelters.  Some shelters will do not screen the dogs and take any dogs indiscriminately.  Other accommodations will not accept sick or aggressive dogs.  There are individual breed shelters who specialize in specific breeds.  Rescue organizations will screen their dogs before adoption.  It is always good to check and see which puppies are ready to be adopted before visiting a shelter.  

When Adopting be Prepared

Before you visit a shelter contact them to find out what is needed to adopt a puppy.  The worst thing is to find the perfect dog and not have the right documents are necessary to select the puppy. If you are renting your home make sure that is ok with the landlord to have pets in the house.  You should make sure you place is pet safe before adopting your new friend.  

Set Parameters and stick to them

Have you ever heard of the quote, “Never Judge a book by its cover”?  When it comes to finding the dog that best suits your needs, you should not only go by their looks.  Some people go into a shelter with a pre-determined idea of breed and color.  What you need to do is find if the dog will fit you and your lifestyle.  Especially if the dog will fit the living conditions you live. For example, you would not want a Great Dane living in a studio apartment.  You should check to see how the dog will react to your children and make sure every member of the family will know their part in the care of the new puppy.  You need to consider if the dog will be a great fit for everyone in the family.  

Observe the dog’s behavior in the Shelter Environment

Dogs who have been in the shelter environment may have some difficulty living in your home.  This goes with how dogs are treated before and what their lives have been since they were born.  The behavior can give problems when you adopt a dog.  Some dogs in shelters have been abused and may have triggers to become violent with little warning.  That is why you need to be prepared, and we recommend having multiple visits to make sure the dog is right for you.  You should ask the shelter where the dog has come from and the kind of life it had.  

Consider Volunteering or Fostering

If you are not ready to take on a shelter dog, then we recommend that you can always volunteer at the shelter or foster rescues.  You may find the one you always wanted through these connections.  To be a good foster parent for a dog, you should be trained in Pet First Aid and safety.  

There are many things you need to look at in taking in a new shelter dog.  Remember this is a unique living pet that is coming into your family, and the dog needs to get used to your family as well.  If you take good care of a shelter dog, you will have many years of great times together.