October is “adopt a shelter dog” month with many local and national groups participating. To celebrate this year, SCRAPS will be lowering their adoption fees to $53, Spokane Humane Society will host their annual “Parade of Paws” fundraising event virtually, DPGazette.com/shsevents and Rescue4All already hosted a virtual 5k at the beginning of the month.
Since 1981, groups like the SCRAPS, ASPCA, and the Humane Society have been using the month of October to raise money and to bring attention to all the pets in shelters looking for loving homes. If you are one of the many people thinking about joining the festivities of “adopt a shelter dog month”, you may want to take the following considerations in mind before making the leap.
How much time you have available each day may help you decide what age of dog you consider. Younger dogs are like children and will need patient guidance as they learn how to behave in a variety of situations. Often older dogs will have received training along the way; they may not require as much training time. However, dogs of all ages will require some time commitment from you daily for bonding and exercise.
Prior to listing an animal for adoption, many agencies will have the pet’s health checked out by a veterinarian, and they will go through a quick check to see if they have any cautions. For example, you may see a dog listed as needing a ‘cat free’ home. When you fill out your adoption application, be sure to fully share information about your other pets and living conditions. Also, take the behavior of your current pets into consideration, to make sure that they will adjust well to having a new pet in the home.
It is best to go shopping for supplies prior to bringing your new pet home. Do you have all the supplies that your pet will need? Some questions to ask yourself before adopting include:
- What will they eat? What dishes will their food and water be in? Where will they eat?
- Where will they sleep? Crate or free roaming? Do they need a dog bed?
- Where will we go for exercise? What equipment (leash, collar, tags) will be required?
- Will they be groomed at home or taken to a groomer? If grooming at home, what supplies do you need?
If you already have pets, then you probably also have a good relationship with a local veterinarian. If you are new to pet ownership, start looking into local vets through research and trusted recommendations. Having a good relationship with your veterinarian can make pet ownership less stressful, especially when Fido is not feeling well.
Owning a pet is a big commitment, and it can be an extremely rewarding experience for both you and your new friend. Please take time to think over and prepare for the adoption so that the transition into the new home goes smoothly for your pet. If you are not ready to adopt just yet, consider donating supplies or funds to local rescues and shelters that are working hard to care for local pets.