(DOGS/PET ADOPTION/RESCUE ANIMALS) Homeless dogs across the nation are wagging their tails and barking for joy because October is National Adopt a Dog Month! Each day, more and more dogs are abandoned, filling already overpopulated shelters all over the country—and that’s why we strongly encourage you to adopt, not buy your next pet.

Some people believe rescue dogs have more issues than store-bought pets, but there are many reasons why pet adoption can be a rewarding and successful experience. Check out these top five tips to ensure a successful adoption. — Global Animal

The ASPCA named October as National Adopt-A-Shelter-Dog Month. Photo Credit: Flicker/cnynfreelancer
October is National Adopt-A-Shelter-Dog Month! Photo Credit: Flicker/cnynfreelancer

Biscuits and Bath

In honor of Adopt a Dog Month, now is a great time to consider providing a young puppy or older dog with a good home. Biscuits & Bath Senior Behavior Counselor Chris Wright and Dr. Samantha Klau, a veterinarian at NY Vet Practice, which offers full-service veterinary care at Biscuits & Bath, offer the following five tips to help you prepare for your new addition and make the transition easier for both of you.

1. Make it a family affair.

All members of the family should be present when meeting the new dog to ensure that the dog feels comfortable around everyone.

2. Don’t forget about your other furry friends.

Introduce your new pup to any furry family members. Not getting along with existing family pets is a big reason why new dogs are returned to shelters.

If you already have a pet, make sure to adopt a dog that will get along well with other furry animals. Photo Credit: istockphoto
If you already have a pet, make sure to adopt a dog that will get along well with other furry animals. Photo Credit: istockphoto

3. Consider older dogs.

It may be intimidating adopting an older dog because of possible health issues, but what they lack in youth they more than make up for in love and loyalty.

4. Be patient, training takes time.

Your new doggy wants to be part of the family but doesn’t know what the rules of the game are quite yet. Many dogs that are given up to animal shelters have never received training or guidance and are perceived as “problem animals,” when in reality these problems can be corrected and avoided with training, so make sure you have time to devote to it.

Basic training can be very helpful for newly adopted dogs. Photo credit: kerri.o via Flickr
Basic training can be very helpful for newly adopted dogs. Photo credit: kerri.o via Flickr

5. Let your pup’s personality develop.

Be aware that the personality a dog exhibits in the shelter may not be its true personality. Animals in shelters can act shy, quiet, or reserved due to depression or anxiety. However, when they get home they may open up and be full of more energy than you expect. Also, some shelters and rescue volunteers use various temperament assessments to learn more about a dog, but the stress of being in a kennel, losing its former family and/or possibly enduring cruelty, trauma or neglect can negatively influence the outcome of this assessment, so don’t rely solely on its results. Keep in mind that trauma-influenced behavior can often be remedied with training, patience, love and care.

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