- October 20, 2021
Guide to adopting a shelter dog Pet adoption rates soared during the COVID-19 pandemic. The desire to adopt was so significant that animal shelters around the country nearly emptied. According to Dr. Elizabeth Berliner, an associate clinical professor and the director of the Maddie’s Shelter Medicine Program at Cornell University, as many as one in
Guide to adopting a shelter dog
Pet adoption rates soared during the COVID-19 pandemic. The desire to adopt was so significant that animal shelters around the country nearly emptied. According to Dr. Elizabeth Berliner, an associate clinical professor and the director of the Maddie’s Shelter Medicine Program at Cornell University, as many as one in five pet-owning homes adopted a new pet during the pandemic.
Animal shelters are once again reaching capacity. As with many industries, there simply isn’t enough staff to care for all the animals. Furthermore, animal adoption saturation over the past year may have contributed to fewer people seeking new pets. Those who still have room and love to share can put these tips to use as they look for a furry friend to call their own.
Do your research. Ensuring your pup can seamlessly transition from the shelter to your home requires some pre-adoption legwork. This animal will be occupying a spot in your home and heart for 10 years or more if all goes well. The size of the dog, age, anticipated energy levels, exercise needs, shedding capacity, and overall personality can affect how well the dog fits in. Research breeds and try to find one that suits your household and lifestyle before visiting the shelter.
Start local first. Don’t discount local groups when searching for pets. Many small rescues can’t afford the time or money to maintain a website or constant social media presence. But they make up for that by being hands-on when matching pets with people.
Be sure everyone is on board. All members of the household need to share the same enthusiasm for the dog. Weigh everyone’s opinions, but expect that certain people will take on more responsibility for the pet than others.
Consider your finances. Although adopting a dog is initially less expensive than buying, there’s still the adoption fee to consider and other costs that come with dog ownership. Routine vet visits, emergency medical situations, food, grooming, training classes, toys, and other needs should be considered. The American Kennel Club previously found the average annual costs for dog ownership is $2,500. One-time or irregular costs, such as a crate, spaying/neutering or emergency vet care, cost an average of $2,100. However, these rates vary depending on where you live.
Is space available? Dogs need space. While a chihuahua may need less space than a Great Dane, make sure you have adequate room in a home, apartment and backyard for the breed you are considering.
The day a dog is welcomed into the family is a joyous occasion. That joy only increases when prospective dog owners do their homework and find a dog that will fit right in with their families.