Every year, millions of unwanted dogs end up at shelters or left alone to die on the streets. For dog lovers, the overpopulation crisis is a difficult one to stomach. Over the last ten years there has been a dramatic increase of no-kill shelters on the rise. No-kill shelters are supported only through private donations and personal effort. In order for a shelter to receive government grants or funding they must have a euthanasia policy in effect.
When looking to adopt an older dog, the biggest gift you can give to yourself and your new best friend is bringing home a sweet guy from your local shelter. Whether they are no-kill shelters or not, the dogs that end up there are in desperate need of good quality homes.
Why adopt an older dog? Older dogs have many benefits that puppies do not. For starters, older dogs typically do come basically housebroken and at least moderately trained. Considering they have outgrown their puppy years, they are also a calmer addition to the household. Puppies can be a lot to handle, especially for anyone who hasn’t experienced the joy of puppy ownership. Older dogs have a distinct personality that you can become aware of prior to bringing them into your home. Often an older dog is a match made in heaven for people who choose to adopt.
Older puppies are a good choice for someone who is looking to be able to mold their new dog but isn’t ready to handle the exceptional energy of a brand new puppy. Older puppies are still all about play time and are quite exuberant in their overall joy just to be alive, but often the first steps to training have already been completed.
Once you have made a decision to adopt a dog, resist the urge to run right out and bring home the first wandering mutt you may find. Although a surprising number of people end up with dogs by accidentally stumbling across one that needs a warm bed, it is best to consider all your options before bringing a new dog into your home. Adopting a dog is supposed to mean for life. Making the commitment really is something that you should be completely prepared for involving the actual creature.
Dog adoption is fun. It can be a wonderfully rewarding experience that moves you. While it is very difficult to walk into a shelter and leave some of them behind, take your time and introduce yourself to several different dogs to try to gauge which one will suit you and your lifestyle best.
The most difficult dogs for a shelter to find homes for are dogs with disabilities. Keeping in mind that dogs with treatable diseases or disabilities will ultimately require more medical care, often it is their disability that makes them quite unique and can overwhelmingly surprise you with how much joy they bring into your life.
We have two dogs with disabilities and each of them is a joyous picture of spirit. One of them is completely blind while the other actually has a palate deformity, much like children are born with cleft palates. Each of them in his own right has found tremendous methods of compensation and neither of them are even remotely aware that there is anything unique about them.
Watching our blind dog navigate new surroundings or adjust to new sounds is a life lesson in faith and perseverance. He is without a doubt on of the greatest inspirations to watch grow in this world. We don’t treat him like he’s fragile and he refuses to act like he is disabled. He has brought more joy to our lives than we ever could have expected.
Our cleft palate buddy is not only an inspiration to his human family, but a well bonded pet pal to our blind guy. In their uniqueness they have formed an amazing bond and even somehow rely on each other to navigate the world they live in. Their combined spirit is unstoppable and absolutely an amazing thing to be a part of.
Older dogs with disabilities can make phenomenal canine companions for you and your family, provided you can budget a little extra expense for veterinary care into the pet budget. It is unfortunate how many of these incredible spirits are euthanized every year when they have so much to offer.
There are also several different pet insurance companies that can help offset the cost of adopting a dog with a disability. While not all of them will cover a dog with a pre-existing condition, some will. Coverage and costs of course vary by company, but it is worthwhile to investigate this option even for a perfectly healthy dog coming home from the shelter.
Occasionally, a perfectly healthy dog coming home from the shelter turns out to be not quite so perfectly healthy. This is typically not a malicious or intentional misinformation on behalf of the shelter. Shelters have limited budgets and it is impossible to test every single dog that comes through their doors for every possible potential problem. Just because your perfect little guy isn’t so perfect that doesn’t mean that he won’t still make a fabulous addition to your family. Talk with your vet, do plenty of online research, and talk with other dog owners with similar issues before deciding not to keep your new little guy. Everyone involved will recognized that you are faced with a very difficult decision and will try to assist you in deciding what is right for you.
Dogs with disabilities, older dogs, and older puppies are all fabulous options when deciding to grow your canine family. It is a wonderful gift to both the dog and yourself to do one of the best canine good deeds possible. Rescuing a dog is the gift of life!