It’s National Adopt-a-Dog-Month

Dogs, for thousands of years, have been our best friends, our protectors, and often improving and even saving our lives. That’s why each October, the American Humane, the country’s first national humane organization and the nation’s leading first responder for animals in need, encourages animal lovers to pay it back by adopting a dog from a local shelter or rescue in October, during the annual “Adopt-a-Dog-Month.”

Millions of adoptable dogs all over the country are waiting in shelters to find their forever home and family. If you are thinking about bringing a dog into your life, a shelter or rescue dog will not only provide you with a companion, but you’ll also be saving a life. Shelter dogs come in all shapes, sizes, colors, and personalities – so you’re sure to find one that fits your lifestyle. And staff at rescues and shelters can help guide you to which dog would be best for your family.

While the benefits of adopting a dog are numerous – increased physical activity, lower blood pressure, companionship, etc. – you still need to consider the following before adopting a dog.

Meet Some Dogs

Don’t be impulsive. This is a big decision. Dogs have different personalities just like we do. Make sure you find a dog that will fit who you are and your lifestyle. It’s ok to look around and meet a bunch of dogs before deciding.

Consider an Adult or Senior Dog

Puppies are cute but can be a lot more work. Older dogs tend to have been trained and require less time to adjust to your home.


Dogs need stuff and you need to think about all the items you need to purchase. You will need food, water, dishes, ID tag, leash, treats, bedding, a crate, toys, and more. There is a financial commitment to owning a dog.

Consider Your Existing Family Dynamic

Think about the pets you might already have and how those introductions will go. Do you have young children or an elderly family member in your household that may be adversely affected?

Schedule a Visit with Your Veterinarian

You’re going to need to have a veterinarian check over your dog. Ideally, it would be great to do this before you bring him home, but if that is not possible, soon after. You want to make sure your new addition is healthy, is fully vaccinated, and isn’t bringing any of its own “friends” (fleas, ticks, mites, or intestinal worms) into your home.

ID Your Dog

By putting identification on your dog, either in the form of a tag, a microchip, or both, you will reduce the possibility that your pet will become one of the presumably “homeless” dogs that

end up at your local shelter. Only 15-20 percent of dogs who enter a shelter are reunited with their owners.

If you have the means and the ability, please consider giving a shelter dog a forever home.


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