The one question I get on a consistent basis is, “We want to add a new pet to our family. We want to adopt but we don’t know where to start! What should we do?” I have some recommendations for you.
Adopt a Dog: Tips, Resources and Important Info
Research breeds…always: Way too many animals end up in shelters because the owner didn’t know that their dog’s breed was known for barking or having a lot of energy or shedding a lot. If those people did some simple research, taking that poor animal to the shelter could have been avoided. So, for the love of God, research the breed your interested in. For all you know that particular breed could need way more exercise than you have time for (just as one example).
There is no such thing as a “hypoallergenic dog:” I laugh at this one because I totally used to believe it. Many people are allergic to pets but they still want to add a dog to their family. Hate to break it to you but the “hypoallergenic dog” idea is a total myth. Poodles are known to be “hypoallergenic” but it simply means they don’t shed. Khloee is a Maltese/Poodle mix and she doesn’t shed at all. Have allergies? Research dogs that don’t shed or don’t shed a lot.
Evaluate your lifestyle: Don’t make an impulse decision. I know how hard it is to give in to that cute puppy or sad face behind the kennel door, but you really need to stop and evaluate. Do you have time for this dog? Do you have the funds to bring this dog in for regular vet visits? What will you do if they get a serious illness or injury? Would you be prepared? Who’s going to take the dog on daily walks? If you have other pets, is it a good idea to add another one to the household? These are questions that you honestly need to ask yourself. Be sure to talk it over with your entire family. If you have kids, make sure they understand the responsibility of dog ownership.
Find a reputable rescue to adopt from: There are several options available when it comes to adopting a dog.
Breed specific rescue: Interested in a Corgi? Google something like “Arizona Corgi Rescue” or “local Chihuahua rescue.” You’re bound to find something in your area. If there isn’t one near you, consider a rescue who will transport to you. Or if you’re really in love, you can travel to get the dog yourself, which is not uncommon.
Get Your Pet: This service is a great community that helps link people who want to adopt pets to people who regrettably have to let their pets go. Get Your Pet is a humane choice to keep animals out of terrible conditions and shelters when you are looking to rehome your dog or cat. Definitely try to adopt a pet from this facility and help save hundreds of pets in the process!
Local pound: The area you live in most likely has a county animal control shelter. I know a lot of people say things like “OMG I don’t want to get a dog from there! They kill animals!” Well, they wouldn’t have to euthanize so many if more people rescued dogs from there! It’s overcrowded! SHEESH! Okay. I’m calm. Please, please, please consider rescuing a dog from your local pound. They are full of incredible dogs who simply need a second chance.
PetSmart Adoptions: PetSmart holds big adoption events nationwide. I know they even exist in Canada. You can go on the PetSmart website and check out which adoption events are coming up in your area.
Small local rescues: In Arizona there are several very small rescues. Many times they rescue animals from Craigslist or kill shelters. They also take in strays. This is something you can also Google. You may also consider asking your veterinarian if they know of any small rescues.
Petfinder: You can browse through adoptable pets on websites such as Petfinder. All you have to do is enter your zip code, what you’re looking for, and it will generate pages of dogs or cats that fit your wants and needs.
Specialty rescues: Deaf, blind, senior and other dogs will possible ailments need homes too. Consider opening your heart to a “less adoptable” dog.
Craiglist: Although Craiglist isn’t a “reputable rescue,” so many unwanted animals are at risk when they are posted on that website. Those poor animals sometimes come from deplorable conditions, they’re chained outside all day or they may get picked up as a bait animal for dog fighting. If you get a pet from Craigslist, it’s a rescue in my opinion.
Please, for the love of everything holy, spay and neuter: Shelters are overcrowded and millions of animals are dying every year because of it. Don’t be an ass – don’t breed your dog. Spay and neuter. You probably hear that it can be expensive but I actually have taken all of my animals to a low cost spay and neuter clinic. They have amazing doctors and for microchipping, the surgery and a rabies shot, I’ve never paid more than $100 per animal. Your county animal control may also offer vouchers for a free spay or neuter. This is the clinic I use.
Don’t get a dog “as practice for a baby:” Just don’t. Dogs and babies are not the same. Just. Don’t.
Consider all costs: Veterinarian, grooming, food, toys, cleaning items, emergency vet visits for injury or illness.
Adopting a dog is a really exciting event. It will go smoothly if you are prepared and know what you’re getting yourself into. I don’t want to dissuade anyone from adopting a new pet, but I also want to make sure that everyone knows that they are truly adopting a lifelong commitment.
Interested in adopting a new dog? Did you adopt a new dog recently? Tell me about it!