Dogs are sweet, cuddly, cute, and loyal to the end. They really are a man’s (and woman’s!) best friend, so why not dedicate an entire day to honor the special bond between humans and their canine companions?

This March 23rd is National Puppy Day, To celebrate, keep reading and learn more about the benefits of pet adoption, how to know if adopting a dog is right for you, and top tips on ways to make it easier to welcome a new dog into the family. 

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Top 5 Reasons To Pet Adopt Instead Of Shop

If you and your family have been thinking about getting a dog, consider adoption instead of buying from a pet store or breeder. Not totally convinced? Here are 5 big reasons why you may want to adopt instead of shop:

  1. You’ll be giving a forever home to a dog that otherwise may not make it. Sadly, 2.7 million dogs are euthanized every year in this country because they aren’t adopted and the shelters have nowhere to put them.
  2. You’ll be doing your part to reduce pet overpopulation. Shelters and animal hospitals are inundated with stray, lost, and unwanted dogs. This places a heavy burden on these already-strained organizations and can impact the safety of your community, as well (since many stray dogs can attract altercations with wildlife or other animals and may not be properly vaccinated).
  3. You’ll be giving a second chance to a dog who deserves it. Very often, owners surrender their dogs because they are unable to care for the animal due to human illness, old age, or some other reason–even though the dog has no behavioral problems whatsoever. So many adoptive families have found incredibly sweet, good-natured dogs through shelters who just simply needed a good home to thrive in.
  4. You’ll be giving your family a gift of love and joy. Dogs from shelters come in all ages, breeds, sizes, and personalities. Adoption can be a great way to meet a puppy or even older dog who fits your family perfectly and will become a lifelong best friend.
  5. You’ll be helping fight against inhumane animal treatment. As a pet owner, you have power! Choosing to adopt instead of buying a dog from a puppy mill is one of the best ways to combat the unethical and heartbreaking treatment of dogs that sadly goes on all around the country.

How To Know If A Puppy Will Be A Good Fit For Your Family

Ready to adopt? Good for you! But before welcoming a new puppy into your home, it’s important to not just think of which type of puppy would be good for you. You should also ask yourself: am I the right type of owner for a puppy? 

Here are a few questions you should ask yourself before adopting your new best friend:

  • Is everyone in my household open to adopting a pet? You’ll want to get a clear idea from everyone in your family who will be willing to share in the responsibility of raising a puppy.
  • Do I have the time and interest necessary to provide daily exercise and training to my puppy? Puppies need a lot of attention, play, and physical activity every day in order to grow into well-behaved animals.
  • Are there other pets already in my home, and if so, do they interact well with dogs? You should also find out from the adoption agency whether the puppy you’re thinking of adopting gets along well with other people and animals.
  • How big is my home? Smaller homes are almost always best for smaller dogs, while bigger houses with yards are ideal for bigger dogs.
  • Can I (and am I willing to) afford a dog? While not inhibitive, the expense of owning a dog can add up–from $90 to $290 per month on average. Pet owners must be willing to spend money on not so cheap dog food, vet visits, pet insurance, toys, grooming, and training if they want to raise a healthy and well-adjusted dog.

Welcome Home, Pup: Top Tips For New Puppy Parents

If you’ve chosen to welcome a new puppy into your family, then congratulations! The caring, kindness, and patience required to be a new dog owner is impressive, and you should be proud to be giving a new forever home for your sweet innocent dog.

But no matter how much joy and excitement your newest four-legged addition brings, the first few days and weeks home with a new puppy can be pretty overwhelming at times. Here are a few key tips to make the transition from a puppy-less to puppy-full life:

  1. Ensure your home is pet-proof and pet-prepared! Simple household items like trash cans with lids, baby gates, and extra paper towels come in handy when your puppy first arrives. You’ll also need to invest in some pet-friendly items including a leash, dog crate, puppy dishes, chew proof dog bed and toys. Remember: it’s completely normal for a new puppy to be excited or nervous in a new environment. Expect a few accidents and a little mess every now and then, and get in the habit of establishing routine and obedience training right away to get your pet started off on the right foot–or paw.
  2. Walk around your entire home (and yard, if you have one) with your puppy when you first get home. This will give your pet a chance to start getting familiarized with the new sights, smells, and sounds of their new forever home.
  3. Schedule an appointment with your local veterinarian as soon as possible. Puppies as young as 6 to 8 weeks old need their first round of vaccinations. Plus, your vet can answer any specific questions you may have about your puppy.

Remember: when you bring a pet home, that pet becomes a part of your family for the rest of its life. Puppies depend on you for all their needs, and it’s both your privilege and responsibility to ensure you’re able and willing to provide a good home and a safe space.

Happy National Puppy Day!