October is THE month for adopting a dog. If you’re ready, this is your month to be a hero to a dog or cat by welcoming them into your home.
Dog Dad Zack Manko and his dog Sorcha know who man's best friend truly is, and want to share some tips and things to think about prior to adding a new furry member to the family.
October is a special month, and not just because it’s the kickoff month for pumpkin spice dog treats (so I’m told). No, October is noteworthy because it hosts National Adopt a Dog Month!
Started by American Humane 42 years ago in 1981, National Adopt a Dog Month was designed with the intention of finding homes for the millions of animals in shelters and rescue groups across the country.
This initiative is a cause for all kinds of activities. You could support a shelter by volunteering, or getting a welcome basket for someone that has just adopted a new pet. But, of course, at the top of the list is adopting a dog yourself.
Are you ready for dog ownership? It’s an important question. Equally important is determining whether your household is in a state to welcome a furry companion. Determining the answers to these interconnected questions is vital to the success of adopting a dog, and to the overall health and happiness of your home. Doing so requires you to be honest with yourself.
For starters, you need to ask yourself how much time and effort you can commit to owning a pet (or getting a new one). Dogs are a major responsibility, requiring all manner of tangible and intangible resources. Plus, they will be around for years, so it is not a decision you can make without thinking of the long-term consequences.
Are you willing to train them, play with them, and feed them? Do you have the funds to take them to the vet and get their health assessed? What is your current state of life? Does your career allow you the time or freedom to take care of your pet daily? If not, do you have the capability of hiring help, like a dog walker?
Additionally, you have to consider the status of your household. Do you have room for a new pet? A place to put their bed, food dishes, and the food itself? Somewhere for their toys, leashes, and other equipment?
The type of breed you are looking to adopt plays a huge part in these explorations. If you are getting a larger breed, do you have a yard for them to run around in? Is it fenced in? If not, is your house ready for a big animal? Take it from me, some breeds can do some major damage to parts of your house—even those you never thought you would have to dog-proof. Think about what could go wrong, and whether you are prepared for it.
Now, let's say you have already done your research and fully evaluated your living situation, and come to the conclusion that you can indeed adopt a dog. Great! With that out of the way, the fun can begin. What kind of dog do you want?
Speaking broadly, there are a few breeds which seem to always top the list. According to the American Kennel Club, there are five breeds that have been the most popular for the last five years:
These breeds have been in the top slots in some formation for a while now. Not often does another breed break into the rare air here!
It’s easy to see why—most of these breeds are intelligent, family-friendly breeds that are eager to please. Thus, they make great house pets. If you are new to dogs, you could do far worse than these all-stars. Just keep in mind that some of these breeds are bigger than others and require more space. Likewise, some are more stubborn, and demand a sterner personality.
Runner-up breeds include Beagles, Boxers, Dachshunds, and German Pointers, Rottweilers, and Corgis. Of course, you may have a difficult time getting a purebred at a shelter or rescue center. Nonetheless, you should still do some research into what breeds could be in that mutt you have your eye on—you want to be sure that they are not descended from a breed that has a personality which doesn’t match your state in life or the capabilities of your household.
Remember, getting a dog is a big responsibility with consequences for years to come. It is not fair to you, your family, your house, or the dog to make a pet purchase without doing a full assessment of both their breed and your ability to handle it. So do the work and pick a dog with confidence!
On the subject of breeds, another thing to consider is whether anyone in your household is allergic to dogs. People may have a reaction to pet dander, ranging from a runny nose to difficulty breathing, similar to an asthma attack. As such, be sure to research future pet purchases to avoid finding yourself in a dangerous medical situation.
To keep you and your family out of allergy trouble, go with a hairless breed or type that sheds little hair to mitigate or eliminate pet dander. The American Hairless Terrier, Chinese Crested, and Peruvian Inca Orchid (Hairless) are all great options. You could also try a hypoallergenic breed, like Afghan Hound, Bedlington Terrier, Portuguese Water Dog or Schnauzer.
One last note. If you are allergic to gluten, we’re not sure what to tell you, other than that most dog breeds are gluten-free. The jury is still out on the Wheaten Terrier. 😊
Want to welcome your dog or someone else's new pet into a household? Why not send a welcome package or get some Gotcha Day treats to welcome your new pet into your family? Pet Perennials has a Dog Playtime Bundle that includes toys, treats, and bathroom necessities (yes, you'll need poop bags).
While October is National Adopt a Dog Month and many people are considering adding a new furry member to their household, others may be mourning the loss of their canine companion. Fortunately, we here at Pet Perennials have perfect pet sympathy gifts for any time of year.
While our Memorial Garden Kit is great for a spring planting party or celebration, our Pet Perennials Mug is perfect for steamy cups of coffee or tea—just what you need on a brisk autumn evening or crisp October morning. Inviting a friend in mourning over for a cup of coffee is also a great way to bridge the gap and help them open up about their feelings or grief.