Ditch the Pet Store - Adopt a Shelter Pup Instead



The old story of walking into a large-scale pet store and leaving with a brand new puppy is slowly disappearing from the norm. Animal welfare activists have been investigating these shops over concerns of canine treatment, and it's leading to some serious changes.

Boston.com reported that many of these activists are unhappy with what they've found, such as commercial breeders selling their puppies to stores, which puts profits over the animals' well-being. As a result, eight states - California, New Mexico, Arizona, Texas, New Jersey, Colorado, Illinois and Ohio - have outright banned the sale of dogs at pet stores in certain cities. The activist groups hope that these bans will discourage the spread of "puppy mills," which breed as many pooches as possible to make money off wholesale distribution.If pet stores are banned from obtaining dogs from breeders, they could be more likely to promote the adoption of canines from shelters and rescue organizations, such as the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. Commercial dog breeding is overseen by the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service. If breeders own four or more female pooches for puppies and plan on selling offspring to pet stores, they have to be licensed by the USDA.However, the license doesn't mean that breeders are taking all of the necessary steps to protect the pooches' health. That's why activists are so adamant about promoting the benefits of adoption from a shelter over buying from a store.

The top reasons to adopt a canine

Choosing which dog to bring into your home isn't easy, as many factors come into play, such as breed, gender, size and more. But the Humane Society of the United States advocates for adoption and offers various points for its reasoning. For example, getting a dog from the shelter can literally save a life, as roughly 2.7 million pets are euthanized each year because facilities can't find homes for them. This number could drop significantly if more people adopted pooches.In addition, adoption gives owners a pet who's excited to be brought into a home. Shelters thoroughly examine and vaccinate all incoming canines, as well as spay and neuter them before they're adopted by families. They'll also closely monitor behavior to ensure the best fit for each home.

After you adopt a canine, owners should sign up for PetPlus to accommodate all of their pooch's needs.

How to Reduce Stress in Shelter Dogs?

The majority of dogs that get placed in a shelter find it stressful even if the shelter is welcoming. They would have gotten separated from their previous families, they have to live in confined spaces, and more importantly, have to deal with other dogs in close proximity. These changes can severely affect dogs and reduce their chances of getting adopted if steps arenโ€™t taken to alleviate stress. Dogs under stress will become destructive and start to defecate or urinate in their kennel. Some dogs might become inactive and go to the hide in the back of the kennel or they will stop eating. Others might get aggressive and bark with increased frequency. Increased stress levels will make dogs more susceptible to diseases. They will also take longer to recover if they fall sick. To reduce stress in shelter dogs, take the following steps:

  • Dog Appeasing Pheromone (DAP) CollarThere are synthetic canine pheromones available that are proven to reduce stress in dogs. There are diffusers available but they only remain effective in small shelters. The best option is to use DAP collars which remain effective, irrespective of the size of the shelter.
  • Soothing musicStudies have shown that dogs respond to music and stress levels reduce when classical or ambient music is played. The atmosphere inside the kennel will become calm and the barking will reduce significantly. Avoid using other genres as it might increase stress levels rather than reducing them. Observe the dogs for a while to see if they like the music you are playing.
  • Social contactDogs are extremely social and love getting attention. Talking to dogs, petting them, and giving them a gentle massage goes a long way in reducing stress. Dogs need to know that they will be loved even when they are in a shelter.
  • Regular exerciseShelter dogs tend to get stressed out as they have to live in restricted or caged environments. They love running around, going for walks, and playing with their toys. Itโ€™s important to encourage dogs to play and run as much as possible. Exercises are a good way to get stress out of their system.
  • Minimum noise levelItโ€™s vital that you maintain the noise level as low as possible in a shelter as dogs are sensitive to noise and high noise levels can increase stress exponentially. Teach the dogs to remain quiet by giving them treats. If the dog barks when you get close to the door, walk away from the dog. By rewarding good behavior, dogs will understand that they shouldnโ€™t unnecessarily bark.

Itโ€™s important that you keep dogs stress-free as much as possible. It will keep them physically and mentally healthy while they stay in a shelter.

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