Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Pet Adoption Month

Did you know? It’s Pet Adoption Month!

I’ve mentioned a couple times that we adopted Quinn and we found her through Petfinder.com. Hubby wasn’t so sure but I had fallen in love with her sweet face.

Though she was a bit skinnier back then. Ha!

Things to consider before adopting a dog:

Space - the amount of space you have available in your home and yard should help you determine the size and type of dog to adopt. Larger dogs don’t *always* need the most space. Some small dogs are so hyper that they not only need lots of exercise but space to run around. Whereas some big dogs are pretty lazy (not to mention any by breed here though ha!) and just need a small walk daily.

Time - Are you a busy person with lots of activities away from the house? Seriously think about your schedule before adopting a dog. If you can’t take the dog with you on most of your activities it may not be the right time to adopt. Dogs take a lot of commitment that people don’t always consider. Walking, training, playing, feeding, cleaning … all of these take time and energy so you need to be ready.

Fence - The number one requirement when we got Quinn was a good fence. She was an escape artist and had proved that several times over. Before we drove 5 hours to pick her up our house and back yard were inspected - the inspector walked the entire length of our fence to make sure it was adequate. (Of course, several months later our stinker girl tore off the bottom of several planks … so you never know!) Some dogs are really great about not leaving their yard but the majority should always be fenced in or at least not allowed out without supervision. If you can’t build a fence you may look into the invisible fences. But never leave a dog chained up outside alone. It’s cruel and dangerous.

Kids - Do you have any? How old are they? Some dog breeds are known for being great with kids and others … well, aren’t. The age and activity of your kids matters. Some kids are rowdy and others are more gentle. Consider how your kids will interact with a dog when determining the breed.

Money - I’ve written about it before. Dogs are expensive! Hubby and I feel like we’re practicing for human kids with all our expenditures on our dogs. Some are, of course, not necessary. We don’t *have* to spend on doggy daycare, grooming, or special fun toys. But some expenses are not optional - vet bills and food. If you want a healthy dog, feed the best food you can afford and do not skip or skimp on the vet visits.

Adopting an animal is such an amazing experience. You are literally saving two lives. The life of your new companion and the life of the dog who can take their place on the list or in the shelter. Without those spaces opening up…well the future for them is bleak.

There will always be dogs and cats available for adoption. Spread the word and encourage your friends and family to adopt.

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