It’s a well-documented fact that dogs are good for your health and your life. They encourage physical activity. They can lower your blood pressure. They love unconditionally. They can help a child learn how to read and learn in a classroom setting. They can calm the nerves of nervous airplane passengers, detect cancers, predict seizures, and sniff out drugs, explosives, illegal plants, meats and currency.
They brave the battlefield. They can find a lost hiker or help dig a skier out of an avalanche. They assist with the everyday tasks that face the blind, the deaf and the disabled. They comfort the aged and lonely. They interrupt the crippling anxiety of a PTSD sufferer. In short, they are the most amazing creatures and everyone could benefit from having one!
October is Adopt a Dog Month. There are millions of dogs in shelters, rescues and foster care just waiting for their forever homes. Purebreds. Crossbreds. Big. Giant. Small. Tiny. They are there, waiting for you. Yes, you can buy a pup from a responsible breeder. But you should also consider a shelter or rescue dog. Why? Here are a few good reasons:
You will be saving a life. And providing a safe, secure loving environment to a dog who really needs it
When you adopt a fully grown dog, there will be no surprises when it comes to his size, appearance, or coat type as there can be with a puppy
Shelters and rescue groups often include vaccinations, microchipping, and spaying or neutering in the adoption fee
Very often rescue or re-homed dogs are already housetrained and have some basic behavioural training as well
You are helping to relieve pet over-population and the proliferation of puppy mills by not purchasing a puppy from a pet store or unscrupulous backyard breeder. In addition you are making space for another homeless pet at the shelter or rescue organization
Rescued dogs, or dogs from a shelter, usually have extensive evaluations done on them before going up for adoption, so you will know ahead of time if the dog you want is, for instance, good with kids, other dogs or cats
You will have a huge choice of dogs to choose from so you can make sure whichever one you take home is ‘the one’
Shelters and rescues usually have all kinds of resources to help you once you have adopted your new family member
Clearly the benefits of adopting a dog are huge not only for the dog but also for the human. Think long and hard about it when you make the decision to bring a dog into your life. If you decide that adoption isn’t for you, make sure you deal with a good responsible breeder. But if you choose adoption you will revel in the knowledge that you have saved a life and given a deserving pup a loving home.
Here are some links about Adopt a Dog Month: American Humane Association or ASPCA
(Photo Courtesy of Julie Double)
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