Could a new canine pal be in your future? October is “Adopt a Shelter Dog Month,” so it’s the perfect time to take a closer look at what life might look like with a special rescue dog at your side.
Welcoming a dog into your home requires some careful planning. One thing you’ll need to decide is whether to adopt or buy your new pooch. If you’re on the fence, we’ve laid out some of the benefits of dog adoption. Take a look and see why adopting a shelter dog is the way to go
1. You’ll save a life
Every year, space limitations force shelters to euthanize over a million otherwise healthy cats and dogs. Be a part of the solution by adopting a dog who might be facing a grim future. When you adopt a shelter dog, nothing beats the joy of knowing you’ve saved an innocent life.
2. You’ll be helping out multiple animals
When you opt to adopt, you’ll not only save your own rescue dog—you’ll also be helping other shelter residents by freeing up valuable space. With adoption, you’ll be giving another dog or cat the opportunity to find his forever home.
Running a shelter is a costly endeavor, and your adoption fee helps mitigate the cost of maintenance and food. You’ll enjoy knowing your money is helping the shelter carry out its mission.
3. You’ll help eradicate puppy mills
Don’t hand your money over to factory-style puppy mills! These inhumane operations breed female dogs without a break between litters. The dogs are usually kept in appalling conditions without access to proper medical care. Held in cages and deprived of human companionship, these dogs frequently suffer from health and behavioral problems. Once a dog can no longer produce offspring, it’s either abandoned or euthanized.
Instead of buying your dog from a pet store or questionable online seller, take a look at your local animal shelter. You’ll be doing your part in putting an end to such cruel practices.
4. You’ll have plenty of options
Image by Chewy via Unsplash
Animal shelters house an array of different dogs, so you’ll have no trouble finding your perfect match. Whether you’re looking for a spunky extrovert or a mellow couch potato, chances are there’s a hopeful rescue pup out there who perfectly fits your lifestyle.
Have your heart set on a purebred? Don’t rule out rescue shelters. According to The Humane Society of the United States, purebreds make up 25% of shelter dogs. Breed-specific rescues also exist—the American Kennel Club’s Rescue Network is a good place to start.
5. Rescue dogs are often house-trained and socialized
Most dogs enter a shelter through no fault of their own. More often than not, they’ve been cast aside by owners facing financial hardship or housing struggles. What does this mean for you? When you go the adoption route, you’ll probably be looking at dogs who have already been housebroken and socialized with people. Which, honestly, makes your job as a dog parent significantly easier.
6. You’ll save money
Who isn’t looking to save a few bucks whenever possible? By adopting a rescue, you’ll be slashing some hefty vet bills. Most shelters include vaccinations, spaying or neutering procedures, and even microchip placement in their adoption fee. All that saved cash just means more chew toys for your precious pooch.
7. You’ll be happier
Pet ownership is a major commitment—but it’s one that comes with some considerable advantages. Animal companions can vastly improve your life by encouraging exercise and socialization, while combating loneliness, stress, and depression.
According to the CDC, pet owners often have lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels than their pet-free counterparts. Mentally, pets have been shown to add to their owner’s happiness. Not only does a pet shower you with endless love and affection, but they can also give you a fulfilling sense of purpose.
If you’re looking for an easy way to make some new friends, adopting a dog can be a great way to get yourself out there. Pet parents love to bond over their fur babies!
Is there anything better than the unconditional love we receive from our furry pals? When you adopt a pet, you’ll be bringing home a friend for life, and you’ll wonder how you ever lived without him.
How to adopt a shelter dog
Once you’ve decided to take the leap into dog ownership, there are several ways to find your ideal canine match. The Shelter Pet Project makes it easy to find a rescue cat or dog. Just plug in your zip code and their extensive database will pull up a bunch of darling pups waiting to be adopted. Petfinder is another good option.
Make plans to visit your local animal shelter in person, too. Online databases won’t include every single adoptable dog out there. And hey, you never know—you could experience love at first sight.
Adopting a rescue dog can be one of the most rewarding experiences in your life. We’d love to hear your adoption stories—please feel free to share them!