March 23rd could quite literally be the best day of the year: National Puppy Day! A day has been set aside to celebrate the unconditional love that puppies bring into the lives of their human companions, but more importantly, National Puppy Day is aimed at saving orphaned puppies across the globe and ending their sale in pet stores everywhere.
All dog lovers know there is nothing better than coming home from a long day to sweet puppy kisses and wagging tails, but picking a puppy isn’t as easy as spotting one you want and taking him or her home. Education is key when it comes to pet ownership, and it is important to consider what puppy will be best for you and your lifestyle so that your puppy choice leads to a long-lasting love affair.
Aimee Gilbreath, the Executive Director of the Found Animals Foundation, a privately-funded nonprofit organization aimed at ending animal euthanasia, shares some super tips below for proper puppy adoption so that you and your new dog will be healthy, happy and satisfied.
1. Understand the Benefits of Adopting a Puppy
While an adorable puppy can melt your heart immediately, it is important to understand that your new furry friend will require a lot of time, energy and patience. With that in mind, puppies (and pets in general) can be amazing companions that give unconditional love to their owners and often become an integral part of the family. In short, be prepared to fall in love.
2. Find Your Puppy
With so many ways and places to look for a puppy, the options can be overwhelming, but Adopt-a-Pet.com is a great place to start. This online database helps over 13,600 animal shelters, humane societies, SPCAs, pet rescue groups and pet adoption agencies advertise their homeless pets to millions of adopters a month. All of these groups offer pets that have been properly vaccinated, spayed/neutered and microchipped.
3. Choose the Right Puppy for You
Remember that this is a long-term commitment, so don’t rush it. The real key to finding the right match is making sure that you bond with the puppy and his/her unique personality. Energy level is another important factor to consider along with your living arrangements, size of your home and backyard (if you have one), your physical capabilities and your current lifestyle. Additionally, be sure to introduce everyone in your household to your potential new friend before making a final decision.
4. Understand Your New Companion
Every animal has just as much unique diversity as a human, which at times may mean troublesome behaviors. Don’t sweat it! These behaviors are just their ways of communicating their needs. Once those needs are understood and met, you will quickly re-establish harmony with your puppies and get back to enjoying their cute and lovable ways. Puppies have lots of energy and need to play so providing them with toys and other pets to play with are super simple ways to meet their natural needs to socialize and have fun.
5. Keep Your Puppy Healthy and Safe
Once you find your match, it is important to keep your puppy healthy and safe by making sure you provide him/her with regular veterinary checkups and up-to-date vaccinations. Also, keep your dog protected in a closed off area, provide him/her with an identification tag and, if possible, microchip him/her to ensure your puppy is never permanently lost. Now that you have your new forever friend, make sure to keep him/her happy, healthy and safe.
Now that you have these great tips, celebrate National Puppy Day by adopting a puppy from an animal rescue organization near you!
Photo Credit: Shutterstock, Lisa L Wiedmeier, davdunc, smlp.co.uk