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Thinking About Adopting a Dog? Here's Why You Should Do It ASAP

© Unsplash user Patrick Hendry

By Murphy Moroney, PopSugar

Although it's painful to think about, the harsh reality is that not every pet owner necessarily takes care of their dog properly. Despite the fact that some of us shower our pooches with love (and sometimes ridiculous presents), animal shelters exist for a reason - there are millions of unwanted dogs in the US that have to call these places home. Thankfully, the month of October has been officially dubbed Adopt a Shelter Dog Month, so if getting a pup has crossed your mind, now is the time to strike. Thinking about adding a new member to your family? Scroll through to learn how you can help. 


How did Adopt a Shelter Dog Month get started?

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According to the American Humane Society, the concept for Adopt a Shelter Dog Month was drummed up back in 1981 in an effort to help the estimated three million to four million unwanted dogs find loving homes. And as you can imagine, it's usually not the puppies who are at risk. Dogs over the age of 7 are usually the bulk of shelters' residents. And to make matters worse, nearly three million adoptable dogs and cats are put to sleep each year. 


What are some benefits of adopting a dog from a shelter?

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When it comes to adopting a dog, the benefits are the epitome of symbiotic. 

  • Anyone who welcomes a new pet into their family from a shelter will be saving a life. Although that reason is good enough to make a beeline to your local shelter, pet adoption also fights the puppy mill epidemic and will actually save new owners money.
  • Owning a pet has numerous health benefits for people, such as lower blood pressure and anxiety, as well as a reduced chance of your kids developing allergies.

What should I know before I adopt a shelter dog?

© Unsplash user Patrick Hendry

Thinking about introducing a new dog into your family's home? Here are a few things to consider before heading to your local shelter:

  • Ensure your dog is spayed or neutered. It also doesn't hurt to double-check that your dog is up to date on his vaccinations before taking him home.
  • Consider getting your pup microchipped. Although we don't want to think about our new family members running away, sometimes accidents happen. Having your pet microchipped makes having them returned so much more likely.
  • Take into account the type of hair they have. Are you looking for a giant Golden Retriever that's friendly but sheds like crazy? Or are you angling for a hypoallergenic Chinese Crested? Sorting out the details beforehand will save you from surprises down the line.
  • Make sure you can afford it. While the adoption fees are usually minimal, dog food and heart worm medication cost money. It's also important to discuss pet insurance options, as vet visits can be pricey depending on the ailment.
  • Settle on a schedule. Do you and your partner work? Or are the kids going to be responsible for ensuring Sparky gets walked every day? Going into pet ownership with a plan is your best bet.

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