The first Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) was founded in 1824 in England, nearly 200 years ago. The SPCA is well-known as an organization devoted to animal welfare, assisting in the prevention of cruelty to animals, and finding homes for poorly treated or unwanted animals. Adopt a Shelter Dog Month was established in 1981 to encourage adoption of dogs from a shelter or rescue group.
Millions of animals all over the world are waiting in shelters to find their forever home and family. If you are thinking about bringing a dog into your life, a shelter or rescue dog will not only provide you with a companion, but you will also save a life. Shelter and rescue dogs come in all shapes, sizes, colors, and personalities, so you are sure to find the dog. Staff at rescues and shelters will have come to know the dogs and their personalities and can help guide you on which pet would be best for your family.
There are lots of reasons to adopt a dog into your family! Having a dog can have a number of health benefits. Increased physical activity, improved heart health, and lowered blood pressure are just a few of the health benefits for dog owners. Children that grow up with dogs in the house may have a reduced risk of developing asthma and allergies. And having a dog can improve your mood and help you to relax after a tough day.
But, before adopting a dog, be sure to consider the following:
Meet a few dogs
Don’t be impulsive and adopt the first dog you see. Dogs all have different personalities. Make sure to choose a dog that will complement your personality and your lifestyle. Staff at the shelter or rescues can help you choose the best dog for your lifestyle.
Consider an adult or senior dog
Puppies are cute but can be a lot more work than an adult dog. Puppies need obedience training, house training, and tend to be more destructive than older adult dogs that have likely had training.
Consider the supplies that you will need to purchase. You will need food and water dishes, a collar, ID tag, leash, food, treats, a bed, a crate, and of course a few toys!
Consider the pets you already have
Think about pets you already have in your home and how the introductions will go. If you can, find out how the dog you’re adopting has interacted other pets in the past.
Schedule a visit with your veterinarian
You will want to have your veterinarian check over your new dog before bringing him home, or if that’s not possible, fairly soon after. You want to make sure your new addition is healthy, is fully vaccinated and isn’t bringing any of its own “friends” (fleas, ticks, mites, or intestinal worms) into your home.