*This is a collaborative post.
We all want to do better for the puppies under our care. If you’ve had a dog before and found that you simply can’t live without one in your life, then you might also find that you’ve gotten a lot more sensitive to the plight of dogs. Some don’t have the loving home or healthy treatment they need and you might want to do something about it. Here’s how you shoulder your social responsibility, helping not only any dog you take into your home but the wider population of pups, as well.
Don’t own a dog unless you’re ready for it
It can be hard for someone who loves our four-legged friends to hear, but one of the major problems is that dogs are getting bought by people who don’t have the resources or time to offer them the care that they need. If you want a dog, then you had better ensure that you’re fully prepared for it. Make sure you have a stable financial situation to handle all of the costs that come with caring for a pooch and enough space for the dog in your home. Know how much attention and exercise they need and be sure that you have the time for them, too.
Do you have space for a dog in your life? Whether you’re able to welcome an additional member to the family or you’re currently lacking a four-legged friend, then you shouldn’t immediately consider buying them. Instead, why not consider adopting a dog? There are over 100,000 dogs in the country without a home at any given time, and some of them may be at risk of being euthanized if a home cannot be found for them. In contrast, dogs from kennels and stores are almost guaranteed a home. Plus, you get the added bonus of getting a new dog for free. If you want to be extra helpful to shelters, you should be open to adopting older dogs and mutts, too.
You can also be a foster
Even if you’re not willing or able to adopt a dog permanently, you should offer help to local shelters who are running out of space for the dogs they’re trying to help. By fostering a dog, you can offer them a safe and comfortable place to eat, sleep, and ensure they get the care that they need. You can also work with local vet care professionals to make sure that your guests get the care and the vaccinations that they need. It’s a very helpful way of reducing the overcrowding that your local shelter may have, and to take some of the burdens of cost off their shoulders.
Buy with care
You have every right to buy a dog if that’s where your heart lies. That said, you should make sure you do your research on whoever is selling. Puppy farms (or puppy mills) are becoming increasingly prevalent and normalising some very worrying trends. A lot of these places have been found to offer very substandard levels of care and shelter for their dogs, as their priority is often breeding and selling as fast as they can. There are guides to spotting a puppy farm that you should get familiar with. If the owner is advertising several different litters from multiple breeds, and the dogs don’t come with the right vaccinations for their age, then it’s a good sign that you should avoid it or even report it if you think young puppies are being brought into the country from overseas.
Volunteer at the shelter
If you live near a shelter or any other kind of organisation that helps to rescue and house uppies from the streets, then they are likely in need of a lot more than people who are willing to adopt or foster. They could also need a little extra human help to help them manage the dogs under their care. Volunteering at a dog shelter could involve walking the dogs, feeding them, bathing them, or generally helping with running the shelter, such as doing paperwork. If you have any experience in web design, social media, or other relevant skills that could help get the shelter’s presence out there, you could offer that kind of help, too.
Offer your platform to puppies who need it
One of the major revolutions for local shelters and large animal welfare organisations, lately, has been the impact of the digital world and social media. Now, more dogs are getting adopted because it’s easier to spread the word to people who are willing to take them or even looking for a pooch. Many people don’t know how easy it can be to adopt, including members of your own social circle. Following your local shelters through whatever social media they are on is a good idea. You never know when your sharing of a post leads to a dog getting a new forever home. Word-of-mouth in person still does the trick, of course. Anything to convince people to adopt rather than buy is helpful.
Donate what you can
You might not have the time to volunteer, nor the room in your home for another dog. If you have a little extra spare cash, then local kennels and shelters could certain put it to good use. However, you don’t have to donate cash alone or if you’re strapped. Get in touch with your local shelters to see if they have a wishlist for items that they need. They could make use of old food and water bowls, toys, beds, leashes, collars, and grooming equipment, so long as they are in good condition. You never know what you might have lying around that they and their pups could desperately need.
Whatever you can do to help the local communities of dogs who don’t have the help that they need, as small as it might feel, is invaluable. Don’t feel guilty if you can’t do absolutely everything, just do what you can and that’s more than enough.