What You Should Know Before Adopting a Pet During COVID-19

What You Should Know Before
Adopting a Pet During COVID-19

Pet adoptions have skyrocketed in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, leaving some shelters without any animals left to adopt. However, that doesn’t mean every pet is taken. There will always be more pets in need of good homes. If you’ve been planning on adding a pet to your family, here’s how to go about it during the pandemic. 

 

Consider Your Lifestyle 

While you might be at home all the time due to the pandemic, that might not always be the case. You’ll want to think about your life now and in the future. 

 

  • Dogs need attention throughout the day. Before getting a dog, make sure you can give him the attention he needs
  • Cats are known for their independence. While they can be left alone for longer periods of time, they still need time with their humans. 
  • Small pets like rabbits are often lumped in with other “low-maintenance” pets, but they actually require daily care such as cage cleaning and feeding. 

 

Adoption Options

Once you’ve done your research to find a pet who’s a good fit for you, it’s time to start the adoption process.

  • There are dozens of pet adoption websites; in many cases, rescue organizations use sites like these to list pets that need homes. 
  • You can also adopt directly from a shelter or rescue organization. 
  • Fostering a pet is another great option. With fostering, you let a pet live in your home temporarily until he’s able to be adopted into his forever home. 

 

Protecting Your New Pet

Welcoming a new pet into your home is such an exciting time! Before getting started, make sure you take these steps to protect your companion. 

 

  • Create a safe environment for your pet by removing household items that are toxic to pets. 
  • Your pet will also love having some safe toys to play with. 
  • Connect with a veterinarian prior to or immediately after bringing home your pet.

 

Be Prepared at Home

If this is your first pet, you’ll need to get the right gear and have a plan to address adjustment issues.

 

  • Gather food and water dishes, food, bedding, toys and a collar and leash. Petsmart coupons can help you save money on all your purchases. 
  • Find a designated spot in your home where your pet can feel comfortable and safe.  
  • Be patient and ready to deal with carpet or furniture issues for potential accidents.

 

If you’ve been wanting to do your part to help animals during the pandemic, it makes sense to bring one into your home. By making sure you’re mentally prepared for a pet, and that you have the right plan and gear in place, you set yourself and your new pet up for a smooth transition.

Heartwarming Video: Rescue Dog Fosters Dozens of Kittens — FACE Foundation

Zuca was a pregnant stray when she was taken in by an animal welfare agency in Oregon. All her puppies were adopted, and eventually so was Zuca. This sweet pup became best friends with a cat named Stout in her new forever home. Sadly, Stout passed away and Zuca was depressed…until her human mom Ronda […]

via Heartwarming Video: Rescue Dog Fosters Dozens of Kittens — FACE Foundation

Canine Veteran’s Day: How to Help

Tomorrow is Canine Veteran’s Day. And, here at Canine Companions & Dog Behavior Blog, would like to share some information about our canine veterans here. Please take a seat, and read/listen to the article.

You might even find your soulmate dog after reading this.

You’re going to want to grab your tissues before reading and watching.

What Do Dogs Do at War?

In war, our dogs are the first line. They are first to go into a dangerous territory. And, they let their handler know if it’s okay to continue walking, or to stop in their tracks.

Watch this documentary to follow dogs and their handlers through the tears, blood, and sweat during war in Afghanistan:

Robby’s Law: Saving Lives, Encouraging Adoptions

Before Robby’s Law was enacted in 2000, dogs who came back from war were euthanized. Now, handlers have the option of adopting their dog once they come back to the states. And, if their handler isn’t able to care for them… they are able to be placed for adoption.

Over 90% of canine veterans are adopted by their handlers at the end of their service. And, it’s not hard to understand why. Watch the videos below to see the strength of their love for one another.

To Show You How Special the Bond Handlers & Their Dogs Share

Army dog races into the arms of his handler three years later:

Veteran reunited with bomb-sniffing dog:

Military hero dog reunited with handler:

 

Adopting a Military Working Dog

Most of the MWD’s available for adoption are puppies, or relatively young dogs, who didn’t make it through the training (only about half graduate training).

There are occasionally older dogs who have been at war, though. They may have medically retired due to an injury, or retired due to their age.

It’s important to note that those dogs who have been to war often have PTSD- similar to our human soldiers.

Only recently have we learned that dogs can suffer from this condition following war times. These dogs have been exposed to everything we were- and potentially more- including gunshots, explosions, and other loud and/or violent experiences.

Symptoms of PTSD in dogs include:

  • Fear of noise
  • Fear of new situations
  • Avoidance or fear of buildings
  • Flashbacks

These can usually be managed, but they’re important for you to understand when considering the adoption of a dog from war.

Organizations to Contact About Adopting a Military Working Dog

You can contact the following organizations if you’re interested in adopting a military working dog:

United States War Dogs Association

Save-A-Vet

Mission K9 Rescue

Take Other Action to Help This Canine Veteran’s Day

There’s a petition going around to help canine veterans here. 

  • The petition changes the wording from “adoption” to “foster” in case a dog is placed into a police force after retirement.
  • The military handler becomes attached to the dog throughout his or her entire life; their name is on all paperwork, so they’re able to be with their dog forever if they would like to be.
  • And, if they aren’t with their dog, they are able to find out how they’re doing and where they are any time.
  • The petition also requests handlers be permitted to retire their dog if they don’t believe their dog is able to handle ‘the job’ any longer.
  • And finally, only the handler is able to agree and sign off on an adoption.