October is National Adopt a Shelter Dog Month. Started in 1981 as “Adopt-a-Dog Month®” by American Humane, October is highlighted as a time to help dogs in shelters find loving homes. Dogs are gifts that bring joy, love, and loyalty to people all over the world. So, we came up with 5 ways everyone can help during Adopt a Shelter Dog Month and beyond.
Adopt a Dog in Need
Let’s start with the obvious. The best way to help shelters and dogs in general is to adopt a dog from a shelter. Giving a dog a home is such a rewarding experience for both the dog and you. Take time to find the dog that will best fit in with your family and lifestyle, because dog adoption should be a lifetime commitment.
Once you’ve selected your new companion, take steps to prepare for your new family member. If this is your first animal, walk through each room of your home to ensure it’s pet-friendly. Keep expensive or dangerous items out of reach, prepare a safe comfy place for your new dog, and have the essentials like food and leashes purchased in advance. If this isn’t your first dog, or you have family members that haven’t met the dog yet, you’ll need to introduce your dog slowly. It’s a big change for your dog, especially if they’re traumatized from previous life experiences, so patience and understanding are the best ways to help.
Donate to Your Local Shelter
Shelters are always in need of essentials. From food and treats to blankets and medical treatments, taking care of that many animals daily is a costly venture. If adding a new dog to your family isn’t in the cards right now, you can help by donating food, toys, and other resources to your local shelter. Reach out to your local shelter to see what they need most, or cover all your bases by making a financial donation. You can honor a loved one or pet by making the donation in their name as a gift or memorial.
Interact with Shelters
Volunteering with a local shelter is a fantastic way to help. You can help socialize animals and provide some of much-needed labor to keep the animals healthy and safe. But, if you don’t have the time or there isn’t a shelter in your area, you can still help by spreading awareness about your preferred rescue group with social media. Interacting online by liking, commenting, and sharing social media posts is a great way to spread the word about animals in need.
Become a Foster Home for Pets
Sometimes we want to help, but can’t offer a permanent home to an animal, and that’s OK. Fostering allows you to give an animal love and a home temporarily while they wait for an adoption, and can be a life-changing experience. If you have the space and patience to help an animal, consider working with your local shelter or rescue group as a foster parent to animals. This lightens the load on the shelter and gives the animal a taste of what a forever home is like. Plus, you can help socialize the animal, so they are more likely to get adopted in the future.
Partner with an Awesome Charity Like the Animal Rescue Site by Greater Good
Greater Good Charities work globally to help pets of the world find the support they need. They work with animal shelters, veteran housing, and domestic violence shelters to help renovate or make them accessible for pet owners. If you don’t know where to start helping animals, working with a charity like Greater Good will help you find ways to volunteer your time or make a donation. They have the infrastructure and network already set up to do the most good wherever they can.
Pets can be expensive, so if you’re thinking of adopting an animal this Adopt-a-Dog Month, or already have pets at home, protect them (and your budget) with pet insurance.
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