October is the month to adopt a shelter dog! You can welcome a furry new friend from a shelter into your home without playing into the myths and misconceptions typically associated with dogs from a shelter.
- Many dogs need homes but live in shelters. There are almost 7 million cats and dogs that end up in a shelter each year with more than half of that number coming from dogs. While some of these pets are adopted a large number, 670 thousand, end up being euthanized yearly.
- I know many people want to adopt a puppy rather than an older dog which I understand. Shelters are still an option with many shelters having a large number of puppies. These puppies come from being delivered by other dogs in the shelter, accidental litters by a breeder or dog owner, rescues, and the list continues. If you don’t see any puppies ask and see if they are currently in foster homes. If your hold up about rescuing is that you want a puppy, look again!
- You may be concerned that you don't know the past of the dog you could be getting. While the situation a dog was in previously may be unknown, you can gather insights on the dog’s traits and characteristics while the dog has been in the shelter’s care.
- You can train your shelter dog. Shelter dogs are just as easy or even easier to train than a dog that has been bred for its appearance. This holds true for a dog you are trying to include in your family but not so much if you are trying to get a dog who can specifically herd sheep, be a guard dog, etc. You might not even need to house train your dog if they were previously trained or trained in the shelter, so that means less work for you which can be a great bonus if you are busy!
- Shelter dogs are also not aggressive, dirty, unkept, sick, hurt, etc. While some may arrive at the shelter in this condition, this should not be kept as a general rule of thumb. Sometimes it takes time for your dog’s personality to come out! You can think of this with the 3-3-3 dog adoption model. The first three days can be highly stressful because your pup is in a new space with new people. Imagine getting taken from your home with no one telling you what was happening and being placed in a new family. You’d probably be a little freaked out as well! If your pup is experiencing lots of anxiety and stress, you can try giving them CBD oil for dogs or even some CBD dog treats to help them calm down. During the first three weeks your dog will begin to become accustomed to their new life as they settle in and learn their new routine and your house rules. This is when your pup’s personality will begin to sparkle. After three months have passed, your dog’s personality should shine through as they feel comfortable around you and your family and his designation as part of that family. It takes time so give your pup that time!