Are you looking to add a furry friend to your household? Several thoughts are likely running through your mind as you imagine your home with a beloved dog included. One of those is determining where you are going to go to seek out a new canine companion.
Dogs in Need at Shelters
The dogs that you see at shelters are ones who are in serious need of companionship and somebody to take care of them. In some cases, their lives may end much sooner than they should if they are not adopted before the shelter becomes too crowded to keep them.
Some of these animals have been abused in one manner or another. Of course, a dog that you pick up from a shelter will be especially thankful for what you've done for them, but you do want to also keep in mind that they might still be recovering from the tough times that they experienced.
However, it's important to note that several dogs who are in shelters have not had any sort of negative experiences other than the separation from the people they had been with. In some cases, owners put their dogs there because they needed to move to a place that doesn't allow animals, they no longer felt that they had the time or energy to take care of them, or a family change resulted in the dog being viewed as disposable. Of course, none of these are justifiable reasons, but they do result in increased populations at shelters.
Regardless of their background, adopted dogs make terrific companions. Some have already had mostly great lives and appreciate and love that you are helping them continue that type of experience. Others have had tough times but then show quite a bit of appreciation when you show them a life of love that they never knew existed.
Steps to Take When Adopting
Prior to deciding on a dog to take home, do some homework first to ensure that the match will most likely be a positive one, both in the short term and for years to come.
Note that puppies will require a bit more time for the next few months or so than adult dogs will, so ensure that you have that extra time and energy available if you're considering a puppy.
Research breeds of dogs to get a good idea as to whether the general personality and energy level of dogs of a certain breed will be a good match for those he or she will be living with.
Also consider whether the type of dog that you're considering will be a good match for the size of your home, and keep in mind that it's not a simple case of small dogs for small homes and large dogs for large homes as exceptions to that general rule exist.
Use a reputable adoption shelter that is a charity and not run for profit.
I know that you're likely excited about the idea of having a four-legged friend bouncing around your home, but do make sure to do your due diligence as far as researching dog adoption before you take one home as it is a significant, often years-long, commitment. But it is a commitment that is well worth taking.
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