Founded in 2006 by pet lifestyle expert, animal behaviorist, and author, Colleen Paige, National Puppy Day is dedicated to bringing the acre and protection of puppies into focus. This year, National Puppy Day falls on March 23. Consequently, this day and month leads to many adoption fairs. Of course, one of the biggest concern regarding puppies is the illegal operation of puppy mills. (Learn more about why we need to help put an end to horrific puppy mills once and for all.)
One important way to put a stop to puppy mills is to never buy a puppy. Rather anyone who would like to give a puppy a home should go to their nearest animal shelter and adopt. Keep in mind, too many animal shelters are not no-kill, meaning they do, in fact, euthanize their dogs that are not adopted.
The non-profit organization Found Animals does a wonderful job of fostering awareness, and aims to reduce the euthanasia rate of pets in animal shelters by taking them from shelters and adopting them out to loving pet parents. The organization has been finding homes for pets since 2005.
If you are thinking about adopting a puppy this month (and now is a great time to do so), check out these tips from Executive Director Aimee Gilbreath:
1. Understand the Benefits of Adopting a Puppy
While it is easy to melt at the sight of an adorable puppy, the first thing to understand is that your new furry friend will require a lot of time, energy and patience. With that in mind, puppies (and pets in general) can be amazing companions that give unconditional love to their owners. They often times become part of the family and their unique personalities are something to marvel at. Be prepared to fall in love.
2. Find Your Puppy
With so many ways and places to look for a puppy the options can be overwhelming. Petfinder (petfinder.com) is a great place to start. This online database features over 300,000 adoptable pets from 13,477 adoption groups across the country. All of these groups offer pets that have been properly vaccinated, spayed/neutered, microchipped, and ready to go.
3. Choose the Right Puppy for You
The real key to finding the right match is making sure that you bond with the puppy and his/her unique personality. Energy level is another important factor to consider. Remember that this is a long-term commitment, so don’t rush it. Be sure to introduce everyone in your household to your potential new friend before making your final decision.
4. Understand Your New Companion
Every animal has just as much unique diversity as a human, which at times may mean troublesome behaviors but that is just their way of communicating their needs. Once those needs are understood and met, you will quickly re-establish harmony with your puppy and get back to enjoying their cute and lovable ways. Puppies especially have lots of energy and a need to play. Providing them with toys and other pets to play with is a simple way to meet their natural need to socialize, run and have fun.
5. Keep Your Puppy Healthy and Safe
Now that you have selected your new puppy, it is important to keep them healthy and safe. Make sure to provide your puppy with regular veterinary checkups to ensure that they are always up to date on their vaccinations. Try and keep your dog in a closed off area, provide them with an I.D. tag and if possible, microchip them to ensure they are never lost for good. A microchip is a device that is about the size of a grain of rice and contains a unique serial number that can be linked to your name and contact information through a microchip registry database. It is permanent and one of the best ways to prevent your pet from getting lost and ending up in an animal shelter. Now that you have them, you want to make sure to keep them!
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