October is adopt a shelter dog month. I was a child that grew up with many different pets; I had hamsters, birds, fish, and a cat. But there was still one pet I longed for– a dog. It wasn’t until I was a college graduate that I finally had the chance to own one myself-Tyson, the cutest little Yorkie-poo. Tyson was around when I got married and of course, when we started a family. As Tyson got older, his patience with children wore thin so my parents agreed to take him in. We thought about not replacing Tyson but the truth is, a family dog brings children joy and the opportunity to learn and demonstrate responsibility. So we did our research and replaced Tyson with Precious, a Shih-tzu that has been nothing but the sweetest little dog to our children, and enjoys playing dress up!
With October being shelter dog month, now is a good opportunity to consider adopting a dog from a shelter. In addition to giving your children responsibility, caring for a dog helps kids with outdoor play and a sense of ownership to the happiness of the dog. In our house, we each have a responsibility for the dog. My son walks her before school and after school, I am in charge of the evening walk. My daughter handles food and fresh water, and my youngest is in charge of putting her toys away when we are tidying up the house.
So how do you pick the right dog or the right shelter? There is a great organization called The Shelter Pet Project that helps families locate a dog at a shelter in their neighborhood. The Pet Shelter also helps break down the misconceptions associated with shelter dogs and certain breeds.
Before you decide to adopt a pet, you want to consider a few things to determine if your family is ready. Things such as age, temperament of your child and the breed of dog you are considering, and the financial commitment are just a few things to consider. Check out more tips for knowing whether your family is ready to adopt a pet.