The Barksville Inn
Everything You Need to Know Before Adopting a Shelter Dog.
By Luna Lupus
In a world where designer breeds are all the hoot, a scruffy terrier-mix just doesn’t get the same attention. Abandoned dogs still have a bad reputation, so many people pass up a shelter dog by default. With that said, more and more households seem to be opening their doors to shelter dogs. In the United States, approximately 1.6 million dogs are adopted each year!
Welcoming a dog into your home (and heart) is a big change, but even more so if you decide to adopt. Even when we are without prejudices, we can still have mistaken expectations that can do us (and our new furry addition) more harm than good. Here’s a closer look at seven important things you should be aware of before adopting a shelter dog if you want to give them a joyful and safe life.
1. ADOPTING IS NOT JUST AN ACT OF GRACE – IT’S AN ACT OF RESPONSIBILITY
It’s important to be self-aware enough to understand that we aren’t just saving a life, we are committing to it as well. Yes, adopting a dog is a gracious act, but it’s also an act that comes with a lot of responsibility. You have to ask yourself: “Am I willing to prioritize my time around a dog? Am I willing to take on the responsibility that comes with it?” If your dog gets sick, you will have to face vet bills. If he has a rough past, it may manifest in behavioral problems that will require the help of a professional.
You won’t be able to travel on a whim anymore, you will have to find dog-friendly landlords, and if you get a dog that has panic attacks because of fireworks, your New Year’s Eve and 4th of July celebrations won’t be so carefree. However, when you do take on this responsibility, you soon come to realize that each adjustment or obstacle you face pales in comparison to the unconditional love you receive from your dog every single day!
2. DON’T BOYCOTT SHELTERS WITH A BAD REPUTATION – ADOPT FROM THEM FIRST!
While many shelters’ work is admirable, some do have a bad reputation. They might have an incredibly high number of euthanized dogs, don’t provide good living conditions, or have financial scandals associated with them. The first instinct is to stay clear of those shelters, but if we really want to help animals, we have to override this instinct. Adopting a shelter dog doesn’t instantly mean you support that shelter – it means you are saving the dog from it! Please check out the not-so-reputable shelters in your area and see if there is a suitable dog that you can rescue.
Many shelters have euthanasia scheduled in advance, so you can always ask which dogs are scheduled to be put down and save somebody’s life whose time is quite literally running out. This is