Why You Should Adopt a Dog From a Shelter

Amy Tokic
by Amy Tokic
Complete your family and adopt a dog from a shelter

If you’re looking to add another member to your family, you should adopt a dog from a shelter. There are thousands of dogs looking for a forever home and chances are you’ll find a loving companion that will give you and your family years of unconditional love.

Many people are reluctant to adopt a dog from a shelter for various reasons. After all, there’s a stigma attached. These dogs were given up because they have “issues”. But these so-called issues were caused by a deficiency in the human owner – lack of leadership, exercise and training. In the right home, you’ll find that many of the issue disappear with the right amount of love, patience and attention.

One of the many great things about a dog is that it lives in the moment. That means they forget the past and can’t wait to get to the fun the future holds for them. Sure, the previous owner might have thought that this dog was broken, so it was traded in until they could get a “perfect” dog. But when you adopt a dog from a shelter, that adult pooch you have your eye on in the shelter is ready for a fresh start. If you treat this dog right, you’ll find it has so much more potential than the previous owner saw.

The best reason to adopt a dog from a shelter – you’ve just made a loyal friend for life.

Before you even go to adopt a dog from a shelter, you need to decide the right kind of dog for your family. Is there a certain breed that works better for your home environment and lifestyle? Do you have kids and other animals in the household? Do you have an active or sedentary lifestyle? Can you step up to the plate and be the leader your dog needs? These are all important questions you need to answer before you adopt a dog from a shelter.

Once you’ve come up with a general game plan, it’s time to start visiting rescue shelters. Don’t just focus your energies on one – be sure to get to several shelters in order to see a wide range of dogs. We know that you’re excited, but you don’t have to bring home a dog on your first day out. You’re not doing the dog or your family any favors if you choose based on a first impression, and you end up returning it. In fact, it may hinder that dog from being adopted by another family – dogs that keep getting returned have a greater chance of being put down.

When you find a potential dog, approach the cage carefully and calmly so it sniff you. Don’t be alarmed if a shelter dog growls or barks at you – it may be wary of strangers, especially since so many come through the shelter every day. Take the dog out of its cage (with the assistance of the shelter staff, or course) and take it for a walk. Keep in mind that this dog probably has some pent up energy and is raring to go (hey, you would too if you were kept in a cage all day).

After you pick the right pound puppy, it’s time to sort out all the paperwork and take your dog home. Check to see that all of its health records and procedures are in order so you have everything you need for your regular vet. Be sure to check out our article on what you should do to make the transition from the pound to your home a smooth one. And the best reason to adopt a dog from a shelter – you’ve just made a loyal friend for life.

Amy Tokic
Amy Tokic

Amy Tokic, Editor of PetGuide.com, is a passionate animal lover and proud pet parent of Oscar, a Shih Tzu/Chihuahua cross, and Zed, a Japanese Chin. Her love of animals began in kindergarten, when she brought her stuffed dog Snoopy into class with her every day. Now, she writes about her adventures in pet ownership and tirelessly researches products, news and health related issues she can share with other animal enthusiasts. In her free time, Amy loves perusing used book and record stores, obsessing over the latest pet products available and chasing squirrels with wild abandon (a habit attributed to spending too much time with her pooches).

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