Each year, there are around 7.6 million animals that enter shelters. 53% of the adoptable pets are dogs i.e, the number of dogs that are adopted from shelters each year is 4 million. Adopting a dog can be a very fulfilling experience as they are very loyal and can help ease the stress of day-to-day life.
It can be quite rewarding too because a dog will teach you responsibility and you will automatically become a lot caring, not just to your dog but holistically. There are many ways you can adopt a dog such as going to a shelter, animal societies, dog rescue organizations, etc.
If you really love them you could offer your support by opting for a pet donation as well to help some unfortunate animals in need. While there are many wonderful dogs in shelters waiting for someone to take them home, breeders and pet stores continue to market and distribute animals only to make money.
A dog in a shelter has to be put to sleep for every dog purchased from a pet shop or breeder. Pet stores cause the suffering of countless dogs and many other animals, so instead, adopt your dog from a shelter. Here are a few things you need to know about adopting a dog that will make the adoption process easier for you.
What you need to know before adopting a dog
Do not make a hasty decision
There are a lot of cute dogs ready to be taken home and that could cause you to make an irrational and snap decision. Having said that, it will be beneficial for your furry companion if you take a few factors into consideration and put in a lot of thought before making a final decision.
For instance, are you living in an apartment or in a house with a backyard? Do you travel a lot for work? When you’re not around, who’s going to be there to take care of your pet?
Make sure you are financially able
Dogs can be a lot of fun and can brighten even the darkest days but this does come at a cost. Dogs are high maintenance animals. They need to be groomed regularly and have to have a few grooming products, they need to be taken for regular vet visits, they need bedding, a collar, harness, high-quality food and treats, toys, the list goes on.
One needs to have enough finances to be adequately responsible for their dogs as they fully depend on you to keep them safe and healthy.
Spay or neuter your dog
It is of the utmost importance to have your dog spayed (for females) or neutered (for males). According to stats, 6 to 8 million animals are left at animal shelters. Most of them are put to sleep, to put it nicely, because of the sheer volume of them, not every dog will have the opportunity to get adopted into a good home.
There are countless animals getting killed simply because there isn’t enough room for them. The only way to help stop this is to make sure that no more unwanted pregnancies, the only way to make that possible are to be aware of this problem and spay/neuter your dog.
Provide your dog with proper food
Dogs should consume a high amount of protein, enough fat, and a minimum amount of carbohydrates. A complete and healthy diet is a necessity for your dogs, such as poultry products, fiber sources, milk, high-quality dog food, and treats. Make sure to not overfeed them, obesity in dogs can be very stressful for you and your pet. It causes a lot of health problems and can be a very distressful time for them.
Be wary of some human food you may give them as not all the food we eat is safe for them to eat. Some are deemed poisonous for them! Foods such as chocolates are number 1 on the list. Other foods like onions, grapes, raisins, macadamia nuts, etc are a big no.
Do not skip vet visits
Vet visits for your pet are necessary. The number of vet visits can vary for different dogs depending on their age and health. That being said, annual or bi-annual vet visits are vital for your pet. Vet visits can be stressful for them so make sure to be extra considerate during this time and reassure them of their safety.
Create a cozy area for them
Provide soft and comfortable bedding suitable for your dog’s size and make sure it is placed in a proper spot in your house. The dog bed should be made of natural fabrics such as wool. Try to put cozy and soft pillows in the bed, so that your dog feels comfortable in that environment. Make sure that there is enough natural light entering your house as dogs love to lay out in the sun. It also a good source of vitamin D!
Play with them
Dogs also need exercise, it is an obvious fact that they love to run around and play. Play games like fetch or “hide and seek”, catch, get a ball and kick it around with them, this helps them release all that pent up energy from sitting at home. Some people don’t realize just how much they need that exercise so they keep them at home most of the time. This can cause them to get restless and form some bad behaviors.
Dogs need to go on at least one long walk every single day. Plenty of exercises and fresh air make for a happy dog. It improves their mood and gives them a healthy appetite as well.
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Train your dog well
This is really important. Dogs follow pack mentality and know who is alpha. If you let your dog run amuck, they naturally believe themselves to be alpha and will never listen to you. It is key to set rules, limitations, and boundaries. Reward them with positive reinforcement. If they do as they are told, give them a treat, they will automatically repeat good behavior when they are praised for it.
Things like proper timings for food, potty training, not entering a specific part of the house, etc, need to be taught in a loving but firm way. Do not ever give them harsh punishments if they make a mistake, this will ruin the bond and make them scared. Read, watch videos, talk to people with dogs for amazing suggestions.
Give them a lot of love and attention
Like humans, dogs need love and attention as well. This creates a sense of security and stability for them and also strengthens the bond between you and your pooch. Pet them, take them out, and have them socialize with other dogs, play with them with their toys. Dogs need a minimum of 2 hours a day to socialize with their humans and other dogs.
Make sure to not overdo the attention as they can get needy and be in constant need of it. This can develop separation anxiety as well and will be hard to cure.
Dogs are beautiful social animals and are loved by most people. Take some quality time out to understand and learn about them so when it is time to adopt you will be fully equipped to take care of them. If you have a genuine love for dogs, consider adopting instead of buying one. Adopt, don’t shop!