October has been Adopt-A-Dog Month® for over 30 years. Established in 1981 by the American Humane Association, Adopt-A-Dog Month® is a great time to adopt a dog. Adopting a rescue dog can be a fulfilling experience, but it’s also a huge commitment that should be considered in advance. |
Why adopt a dog? Adopting a dog can be a win-win— saving a life by rescuing a dog from a shelter, and adding enjoyment by having a dog family member. “Rescuing a shelter dog is an amazing way to add unconditional love to a family as long as careful preparations have been made,” said Dr. Kyoko Yoshida co-owner and veterinarian at Hudson Animal Hospital NYC’s Upper West Side. When considering dog adoption, here are some questions to ask before moving ahead:
- Is the caretaker physically capable of caring for a dog? Dog owners must have the ability to safely walk a dog on a regular basis. - Are three financial resources needed to care for a dog’s needs? Like other family members, dogs need food, shelter, medical care, etc. - Is there time to care for a dog? Dogs are emotional creatures and need more than just physical care—they also need companionship.
If “yes” is the answer to these questions, it’s time to start thinking about next steps—preparations needed to do in order to adopt a dog from a rescue shelter.
First, find a local rescue shelter that has dogs available for adoption. Check the ASPCA website ( www.aspca.org ) to help find a shelter that may have the perfect dog. The professionals at local shelters are interested in making the best match between potential owners and an adoptable dog and can help with selection and preparation. After visiting a local shelter, here are some things to do while waiting to be matched.
1) Evaluate what kind of dog to adopt. Large dogs or small dogs? A particular breed mix? An older dog or a younger dog? Highly energetic or more calm? Shelter employees can help determine which type of dog will be best for each situation.
2) Prepare the home for a new dog’s arrival. Are gates needed in any areas of the home? What dog supplies are needed? Some of these items cannot be purchased until the dog is chosen, but make sure the basics are in order.
3) Establish a relationship with a veterinary care facility. Having this taken care of ahead of time means more time to focus on the dog’s adjustment to his new home.
Allow plenty of time for the new canine friend to adjust to their new home. Dr. Yoshida echoes the importance of this: “A newly adopted dog has gone through a huge transition, and he or she needs thoughtful care, especially for the first month to six weeks. Make sure to communicate with your veterinarian to establish a plan of care that includes needed vaccinations, dietary changes, an exercise routine, and bonding suggestions.”
Adopt-A-Dog Month® may be just the excuse needed to bring that special dog home.
Dr. Kyoko Yoshida is the co-owner of Hudson Animal Hospital a veterinary clinic located in the upper west side of Manhattan. Along with her partner Dr. Christopher Angiello and the staff Hudson Animal Hospital provides wellness, illness and emergency care in a full service in the state-of-the-art facility.
Dr. Kyoko Yoshida
Hudson Animal Hospital
238 W 61st Street, New York, NY 10023
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