October is Adopt a Shelter Dog Month. In honor of this, I want to bring your attention to the benefits of adopting, and if you have ever considered adopting, I want to encourage you to do it this month!
With nearly 3 million companion animals killed in U.S. shelters each year and millions more sitting in shelters wishing for a loving home, that should be enough reason to adopt. However, also consider that most pet store puppies come from puppy mills or backyard breeders. These poor breeding practices often result in neglect, abuse and terrible health for the puppy you might purchase (and its innocent mother).
You might be saying, what about buying a puppy from a breeder? Don’t overpay hundreds or even thousands of dollars for a puppy. Puppies are cute, but they are A LOT of work and time. Save yourself stress, time and energy required to clean up accidents, avoid chewing of furniture, and the overall high energy of a puppy. Instead, opt to adopt a 1+ year old dog. If you have your heart set on a specific breed, adopt from a Breed Specific Rescue in your area.
Most shelter dogs are already housebroken, know basic obedience commands, are microchipped, spayed/neutered, and up-to-date on vaccinations. These are not only huge financial savings, but also save you time and energy (our most limited resources).
By adopting a 1+ year old, you are better able to see their temperament, energy level, and disposition. You are never 100% sure what your fluffy puppy will grow into. The other option which is surprisingly perfect for so many owners, is a senior dog. Senior dogs are much calmer and relaxed. A simple walk and a little play, along with your attention and affection is all they want! There are countless senior dogs in shelters who would love nothing more than to have a loving home to call their own.
I hope this article encourages you to save a life and adopt your new best friend this month! However if you already have a dog or you can’t adopt right now, please at least visit your local shelter, foster a dog, donate much needed supplies, or volunteer to walk and play with these very deserving dogs who want nothing more than your love and affection. Let’s make this month of October the best month possible for shelter dogs across the world!
Steve Reid is a Professional Dog Trainer and owner of S.R. Dog Training in Westchester NY. For more information about S. R. Dog Training, visit www.srdogtraining.com. Please also become a fan of Steve on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/SRDogTraining.