October is Adopt a Shelter Dog Month! While some of us may shy away from adopting a shelter dog because it seems a little intimidating, we want a certain breed of dog, or we want to adopt a puppy (which usually go quickly at shelters)-this shouldn’t be the case! Shelter dogs are wonderful, and I know this from experience. I want to take some time to fill everyone in on a few reasons why shelter dogs are actually the best!
1. You Will Save a Life
Dogs in shelters need a person or family to love! Some shelters will euthanize dogs if they are not adopted after a certain length of time, no matter how sweet the dog is. No-kill shelters will stretch their resources and will be unable to take in new dogs who need them when their shelter is full. No matter from which shelter you adopt, you will be saving the life of your new best friend. And your new fur baby will be eternally grateful to you.
2. Less Expensive
The fees for adopting a shelter dog are minimal! They can range from about $50 to $100 in most cases, and they cover the basic housing, food, spay or neuter, and vaccinations that were given while the dog was at the shelter. Some dogs may have a higher fee if they came in with injuries that needed special medical attention. Compare this to the hundreds or thousands of dollars you will pay for a purebred or puppy mill dog, and there’s just no comparison. Shelter dogs are capable of giving you just as much love, if not more, than those who come from breeders.
3. More Socialization
When you adopt a dog from a shelter, that dog has probably already learned how to run and play with other dogs, and has met and interacted with many different people, and maybe even cats! The shelter staff and volunteers will be able to tell you about the dog’s temperament and if he will get along with your other pets or if he would be happier as a single dog. You will be able to find just the right dog for your home when you adopt from a shelter.
4. Training Has Already Begun
Dogs in shelters learn some skills while they are there! Volunteers take them on walks and work on leash training, they are housebroken, and depending on how thin the shelter is stretched, other training such as ‘sit’ and ‘stay’ may already be underway. If you have ever housebroken a dog, you know that it can be frustrating and lead to messes and lost sleep-think about adopting a shelter dog who already knows how to hold it until it’s time to go outside!
5. Older Can Be Better
I know many families like to get a dog as a puppy, and puppies are wonderful-but they are a lot of work. If you spend long hours at work or already have young children that take up a lot of your time, then you may want to consider adopting an older, calmer, and more well-trained dog from a shelter. There are plenty of older dogs in shelters who need a loving home and may get overlooked simply due to their age. Consider taking a two or five or eight-year-old dog home! They will love you like a puppy, but make fewer messes for you to clean up!