Getting a dog can be one of the most rewarding and fun-filled adventures in life. Pets can lower blood pressure, help ease depression and loneliness and encourage fitness. But choosing the right dog can be a complex process. Many potential pet owners feel that purchasing from a pet store or a breeder is the best way to go. But rescuing a shelter dog can actually be the best, most soul-satisfying choice you can make. Let us make the case for rescue.
Rescue dogs know they have been rescued and they show it…for the rest of their lives. Being taken out of its home and sent to a frightening new place can be very stressful for a dog. If he is not able to be fostered outside of a kennel area, a shelter can be a noisy, crowded, scary place to be. When you save a dog from a shelter, he knows he has been rescued and will show his gratitude forever by becoming a loyal companion. Dogs who have been not had the best start in life are much more likely to bond totally and deeply with their new family. There are few things more satisfying than saving an animal.
A common misconception with shelter dogs is that you don’t know what you are getting or from where they have come. The opposite of this is often true. Puppy mills, irresponsible breeders and pet stores usually have little to no information on the lineage or history of a dog. A responsible breeder will typically introduce you to the mother of the puppy, but there is no guarantee the puppy will have the same temperament as its parents. A shelter dog, on the other hand, often lives in group foster homes until adoption so the foster family can tell you how the dog interacts with family members and other animals. A rescue shelter will give the dog proper veterinary care and spay or neuter the animal so you can be sure of getting a healthy dog.
A shelter won’t have pure bred dogs. Shelters receive dogs of all kinds, purebreds and mixes. You might be surprised how many purebreds you would find in a shelter. Breeders can sometimes be the most common culprits when it comes to giving up dogs. When sales dip or a breeding dog gets past its prime, they are often sent to shelters. Don’t ever pass up a shelter just because you think they only have mutts.
Dogs in shelters are there because there is something wrong with them. Many believe that dogs are abandoned at shelters because of disease or a behavioral issue. That is simply not true. The reality is most dogs are brought to a shelter because their family can no longer care for them. According to Petfinder.com, the most common reasons animals are given up are:
Case for older dogs: Often people are reluctant to consider a shelter because they want a puppy. And while shelters very often have a lot of puppies, a strong case can be made for the benefits of re-homing an older dog. Most older dogs in shelters are already housebroken. Training a puppy to use the bathroom outside is a time-consuming job. They need constant attention. An older dog will come into the home already housetrained and with a larger bladder so he is able to hold it longer. Older dogs are also past the chewing stage, so your furniture and your shoes are safe. Puppies are much like babies in their sleep schedules as well. Having to be taken out at all hours of the night or crying through the night. It is also difficult to predict what a puppy will grow up to be. How big will it get? What kind of temperament will it have? By adopting an adult dog, you already know what you’re going to get. You can pick the best match for your home and lifestyle. And best of all, you have an instant companion, ready to be your best friend for life.
October is Adopt-a-Shelter-Dog Month which makes it the perfect time to give a shelter dog a new, loving, forever home. Another great reason to adopt in October is a free scoop. If you re-home a shelter dog this month, Arrowhead Pooper Scoopers will give you 1 free scoop to get you started with a clean yard. Call Arrowhead at 602-391-0160 and mention the #BIGScooPUP or visit www.arrowheadscoopers.com. But we’d also love to see pictures of your new fur babies. Post a picture on our Facebook page and share your adoption story with us.