August 22, 2018
Adopting a dog is an emotional and exciting experience on its own. With a pet, you gain a loyal and loving friend who can support you when you need it most – in its own way, admittedly, but nonetheless, it has long been demonstrated that petting a dog can improve your mood and lower your blood pressure. It is a companion who is always happy to see you and who is ready for all adventures. More often than not, a dog can help you in difficult situations where nobody else can; in fact, psychologists agree that for someone who struggles with heavy depression, adopting a dog can be a life-changing experience that can significantly and positively affect their mental health. In other words, having a dog makes your life better.
Of course, there is no denying that from the dog’s perspective, life always comes to an improvement, as they get to build a bond with you. However, if you want to make a real difference in the life of an animal, you should rehome a dog. It isn’t always an easy journey, but emotionally, psychologically and mentally, it’s a rewarding adventure.
What’s the story of your dog?
When you take a dog from a shelter, more often than not, the previous story of the animal isn’t entirely known. Some dogs were found after they were abandoned. Others were rescued from abusive owners. Others simply came under the protection of the shelter after their previous owner had died. Regardless of the past story of the dog, it can be difficult for the shelter to provide you with a full health background. While illnesses and wounds that the dogs exhibit as they are in the care of a shelter – from the moment they arrive to the moment they are adopted – are documented and treated, you might find it helpful to use a genetic test such as the Embark dog DNA test to find out more about the potential health risk factors and even the breed of the animal. Finding out about things to look out for can help you to prevent health issues for your new friend.
Learn to handle stress
Aside from their health history, a shelter dog also comes with an emotional background. Depending on how they’ve landed in a shelter situation, dogs might be timid in your presence or scared by people. But don’t be fooled by their behaviour. A dog that is kept in a shelter facility doesn’t have the chance to get used again to interacting with people. As your dog relaxes to your presence and discovers its new environment – aka, your home –, you’ll find that they gradually gain their confidence back. You can also help your new friend to relax with calming products. From chewable tablets to spray and homeopathy, there are plenty of solutions around.
Let your dog relax
You save a life
Ultimately, dog shelters need people to adopt – they can’t keep all the animals forever. Dogs that can’t be adopted will often be put down. When you decide to adopt an animal, you’re not only given them a warm bed and a loving family. You could be saving its life.
You make a new friend
There is no denying that a dog can change your life. Rehoming an animal from a shelter can help you to recover from emotional or physical distress. When in 2010, an overweight man decided to adopt Peety, a shelter dog that suffered from similar issues, they were both far from imagining that their friendship would change everything. Indeed, when Eric O’Grey adopted Petty, the 51-year-old salesman had a record weight of 340 pounds and suffered from type 2 diabetes as well as depression. Peety too struggled with weight and depression, so the bond between the two happened over the first walk. As they increased the distance – from 100 yards to several miles –, their health issues improved. Eric knows well that without Peety he wouldn’t be alive anymore.
It can become a contagious habit!
When you save one dog, you want to save them all. It’s not always possible, but it has been the dream of one couple who adopted over 45 dogs and built a four-acre enclosure for them. The idea was simple: They couldn’t let unwanted shelter dogs die. So they took it upon themselves to save as many as they could. Who knows? Maybe you’ll once be inspired to do the same.