It's Adopt a Shelter Dog Month! Ready to Meet Your New Best Friend?
October is the perfect time to rescue a new pet and support your local humane society.
It’s hard to put into words the feeling you get when you adopt a pet. Not only are you giving them a fresh start in a loving home, but adopting also supports your local shelter so they can go out and help more animals in need.
October is Adopt a Shelter Dog Month, and now is the perfect time to add a new member to the family. I recently volunteered at the Humane Society of the Tennessee Valley where I met volunteer coordinator Cera Smith. She explains why adopting from a shelter is the best way to find your new furry friend.
"Your new pet will already be up-to-date on shots, microchipped and spayed or neutered," Cera says.
Choosing a dog is probably the most difficult decision you’ll have at the shelter, but there are two types you should absolutely consider before deciding: older dogs and Staffordshire Terriers (often referred to as pitbulls).
"Adopting an older dog can be amazing!," Cera says. "You get a dog that is generally already house trained and probably calmer than a puppy." Many dogs can live to be 17 years old or more and have a lot of life to live, so never be discouraged by the "senior" label.
Another label people are sometimes afraid of is "pitbull." There is a lot of misinformation about these animals and it would be a mistake to overlook them. "They are loyal, loving, good with children and happy just snuggling on the couch with their human," Cera says. Shelters take in a lot of "pitties" and "pitmixes," so adopting one of these dogs is a tremendous help to the shelter.
Puppies are usually the easiest to find a new home for. If you’re considering bringing one into your home there are a few supplies you should definitely have on hand, such as a crate, bedding, inexpensive collar, leash, ID tag, food bowls, food, toys and treats.
"When it comes to a puppy, you want to be prepared for anything," Cera says. Cera doesn’t recommend potty pads, as they encourage your pet to go to the bathroom indoors. Do your research when it comes to food, and consider training classes to help understand and communicate with your new pet.
To make the transition into a new home easier for your dog and to help you maintain a chic and pet-friendly environment, check out the tips below:
Canine Clean Zone
Giving your dog a bath is one of the most challenging duties you'll have as a pet owner. Create a safe and efficient space where cleaning your pet will be a breeze. A floor-level shower is the ideal situation, as it will make getting in and out easier for your pup.
Pet Feeding Station
Consistency is key with a new dog, and setting up a place where they know where their food will go is important.
Make It: DIY Pet Feeding Station
Feeding station mats are often afterthoughts meant more for keeping splashes of water off the floor, rather than adding style to a space. Instead of basic rubber mats or novelties, stick with indoor/outdoor 2X3 patterned rugs. Many styles such as this blue and white zig-zag are made from recycled materials which breathe easily and are easily washable with a garden hose.
Brian Patrick Flynn
My dogs love to drool after taking a big slurp of water, so mats are crucial. It minimizes the amount of water that ends up on the hardwood floors and they look great, too. Go with whatever style fits your decor, but make sure the material is easy to clean.
Banish the Bags
Banish those dog food bags from the home completely! Not only are dog food bags big, bulky and attractive to pests, dogs are likely to try to break into them if left within reach. Check out wag.com for classic, oversized tin canisters excellent for storing your dog’s food in style. http://www.wag.com/dog/p/harry-barker-toile-dog-food-storage-canister-768336
Brian Patrick Flynn
Store your dog's food in style with a canister. This will minimize pests and keep your dog from trying to sneak in an extra meal.
Doggie Front Door
You'll be going on a lot of walks with your dog, so keep the leash by the door you use the most. You'll always know where it is, and you won't keep Fido waiting.
Think you're ready to meet your new best friend? Check out some of our editors with their furry BFFs.