Knickknack Paddywhack, Give a Dog a Home

For families that are considering a pet, it's easy to find a new four-legged friend at any nearby animal shelter.

PETS & PEOPLE

Knickknack Paddywhack, Give A Dog A Home

(NAPSA)—According to the ASPCA®(The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®),  approximately 5 million to 7 million companion animals enter shelters nationwide each year—and more than half are euthanized due to a lack of space or resources.

Through its work both locally and nationally, as well as with initiatives like Adopt-A-Shelter Dog Month, the ASPCA aims to raise awareness of the plight of shelter animals across the country and urge potential pet parents to choose from the millions of adoptable companion animals.

According to ASPCA President & CEO Ed Sayres, “Most animal shelters offer adoption programs and are staffed with trained counselors who are experienced in matching families/individuals with suitable animal companions. Shelters also screen incoming pets for major health and behavior issues, while many shelters offer such free services as training materials, vaccinations, medical checkups, spay/neuter surgery and even microchips.”

Dogs can often be found in a wide range of ages, so adopters don’t have to go home with one who is too young to be housetrained or who is still in the mouthing, teething or destructive stages, making the shelter dogs more desirable as companions. Plus, many shelters house both pure and mixed breeds.

Imagine me and you

While pet adoption is good for the animal, studies show that it’s also good for people. Being a pet parent provides numerous health benefits and can significantly improve blood pressure, general anxiety and the risk of developing heart disease and other health ailments. Dog owners are also more motivated to stick to a fitness routine.

In addition, dog lovers (and potential adopters) can log on to www.aspca.org to learn helpful hints for caring for pooches, such as:

Nametags. A dog just can’t have enough identification. A tattoo or microchip is great for permanent identification, but remember to keep the registry up-to-date when you move, change jobs or get a new phone number.

• Ticket to Ride.  A car ride is a good time for many dogs. To ensure the safety of all occupants, confine the dog to a crate or seatbelt harness.

• Bring Plenty of Toys. Every dog needs toys to stave off boredom by chewing, tugging, shaking, tossing, carrying, hiding, burying and napping with them. Rotate toys to keep them interesting. Remember to supervise all play sessions and only use goodies specifically designed for dogs.