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Tuesday, October 16, 2018

It's National Adopt a Shelter Dog Month! Top 10 Reasons to Adopt a Dog

Photo by Thomas Lillis IV (Flickr)

Every October, you'll find my girls and me celebrating Adopt a Shelter Dog Month. We visit animal shelters to play with dogs, share the event on social media, and encourage our friends to adopt. If your family has thought about adding a dog to your home, consider 10 reasons you should adopt a dog from a shelter rather than purchase a puppy this month.

Save a Life

Every year, 670,000 shelter dogs are euthanized. You can save one of those dogs and make a big difference in its life when you adopt.

Break the Cycle of Pet Overpopulation

Overpopulation occurs when the number of available pets surpasses the number of pet owners. Adoption can reduce this concern. Also, remember to spay or neuter your new dog and the pets you already own to keep the pet population safe and healthy.

Choose the Right Dog for You

Although my girls really want a dog, we don't have the time or room for a pet right now. However, if you've evaluated your lifestyle and are ready to choose a new pet with a complementary temperament, personality, and needs, visit a shelter. While it's difficult to know how a puppy will act as it grows, shelter staff can often get to know a mature dog's demeanor and help you find a good match for your family.

Add a Healthy Dog to Your Family

Puppies sold by puppy mills or online sellers may be sick or malnourished. Alternatively, dogs cared for in shelters receive medical exams, disease screenings, vaccinations, and a balanced diet. You can adopt a dog from a shelter and have confidence that it will be healthy.

Reduce Adoption Costs

To adopt a puppy, you'll have to pay for its vaccinations, spaying or neutering, and microchipping, which is essential to help you find your dog if it ever gets lost. You may also need to purchase obedience and house-training classes. Mature dogs typically have received these services and are already trained. Not only will you save money, but the adoption fees you pay will support the shelter's ongoing rescue efforts.

Adopt a Trained Dog

Many shelter dogs are strays or are surrendered by owners who can no longer care for their pet. They probably are already house-trained and know basic obedience skills, and they may be comfortable around kids and other animals, too. Based on these probabilities, you will generally experience less frustration and save time and money when you adopt an adult dog rather than a puppy.

Improve Your Emotional and Physical Health

Research shows that dog owners gain a variety of health benefits. For example, you and your family can experience less stress and loneliness, lower blood pressure, and improved cardiovascular health thanks to your new pet.

Play and Exercise More

Play and exercise are important for the health and well-being of both you and your dog. I love how your entire family can play more while you take walks, play fetch, and run laps with your new furry friend.

Keep Kids Safer

We want to protect our kids, which is a great reason to adopt a mature dog. Now that they're past the excitable puppy stage, they're probably less likely to jump, claw, or yip and can form healthy and protective bonds with your children.

Encourage Others to Adopt

Post selfies with your new pet, introduce your new dog to everyone you meet, and tell your friends about life with your dog. Your excitement and enthusiasm might encourage others to add an adopted dog to their home, too.

This month, consider adopting a shelter dog instead of a puppy. You'll gain many important benefits as you enhance your family life. What other reasons can you think of to add a shelter dog to your home?

Find more about the author: Kim Hart

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