National Puppy Day Is March 23, 2018!
March 23rd is National Puppy Day, when we celebrate the joys puppies bring into our lives! Donating to a local shelter, buying your puppy a new toy, or adopting a shelter pet are some ways to participate. Here are some tips if you decide to make an adorable puppy part of your family:
Make sure everyone wants a pet. Pet ownership is a commitment, and it’s important that everyone in the family understands their pet care responsibilities. This includes who lets the puppy out, who takes care of feeding, who is in charge of grooming, etc. When it comes to training and reinforcing prior training, it is vital that all members of the family are doing this consistently so the puppy doesn’t get mixed messages. Shelter experts encourage families to pick out a pet together to prevent issues later on.
Research breeds. While every dog is an individual, every dog breed has specific characteristics that will help them thrive, or not, in different living arrangements and lifestyles, so make sure to investigate breeds that will integrate with yours. Decide on breeds before arriving at the shelter to prevent impulse adoptions of animals who may not be the best lifestyle match. If you don’t have a yard or time for walks, you may want to avoid high-energy breeds that need stimulation. Conversely, if you pursue an active lifestyle, a lap dog or low-energy animal may find it difficult to keep up.
Understand the costs. Recognize there are additional costs once your pet is home. Pet supplies, annual vaccinations, and heartworm and flea medications are all part of responsible pet ownership. Additionally, be aware that certain breeds are susceptible to particular health issues as they age, which can bring further costs.
Check pet requirements where you live. Often apartment and condominium complexes, as well as some homeowners associations, have pet restrictions or require special leases or additional fees. Check to make sure you comply with breed, weight, and insurance requirements before bringing a pet home.
“Puppy-proof” your home. Curious puppies can be as inquisitive as a new baby, so it’s important to make sure your home is safe before bringing home your new arrival. Keep valuables out of reach, hide power cords, put away shoes, and provide stimulating toys.
Ask questions. Don’t be afraid to ask questions about the puppy you’re interested in. Inquire about health history, behavior, previous vaccinations, and spay/neuter history. If adopting a shelter pet, ask about the circumstances which lead to the puppy being there. This information helps provide insight to explain your puppy’s behaviors and can help avoid future frustration.
On March 23rd, join us in celebrating the companionship and boundless love an adoring puppy can bring!