I’ve adopted both dogs that I’ve had (I don’t like to say that I owned my dogs, since they’re a part of the family). Both of my dogs have enriched my life and have been an integral part of my family. I can’t imagine life without them. My current dog, Lila, is a mixed breed mystery and that’s part of her charm. I’m a big advocate for pet adoption. In my 20 years of adopted dog experience, I’ve found at least 15 great reasons to adopt a dog. And adopting a mixed breed dog makes pet adoption that much more fun and adventurous.
Some how I adopted the dog that is the one with the lampshade on her head at a party (which is ironic since I’m somewhat reserved) and I just love it. Every day is a party to Lila and every new experience is a reason to celebrate. She’s taught our family how to thoroughly enjoy life. Lila was a stray in New York City. She was caught and placed in an animal shelter there. She was adopted out and then returned to the shelter about a week later. A small rescue group in north New Jersey rescued her from the shelter and fostered her until we found Lila and adopted her. She was approximately one year old when we got her and no one knows her background. We just know that she’s a mixed breed dog and so she fits perfectly into our very mixed, diverse family.
After living with Lila for more than 10 years, I’m an even bigger advocate for pet adoption than ever and specifically mixed breed dog adoption.
15 Great Reasons to Adopt a Dog
Save a Life – I’m all about adopting dogs from a rescue group or shelter. In many states, shelters have to euthanize dogs due to overcrowding. Even if you’re an area that has no-kill shelters and rescue groups, adopting a dog allows those shelters and rescue groups to take in dogs from other areas. Who doesn’t want to save a life? I know I do and I hope you do, too.
Fight Puppy Mills – If you’re not familiar with the conditions at puppy mills, take a few minutes to read up on them. The conditions are horrific. No animal should be subjected to those conditions. Puppy mills supply dogs to many pet stores. It’s a matter of supply and demand. I choose to not participate in supporting puppy mills by adopting a dog from a shelter or rescue group.
Good for Your Health – Adopting a dog is good for your physical, mental and emotional health. A dog will encourage you to get more physical activity walking and playing with your dog. She will help reduce your stress level. Studies have shown that having a pet provides numerous health benefits.
Get a One-of-a-Kind Designer Dog – People pay lots of money for designer dogs with funny designer names. If you adopt a mixed breed dog, you can have the original designer dog – a mutt. We adopted Lila and have no idea of her background. What kind of dog do you see in her?
It always amuses me because people seem to see their favorite dog breed in her. I’ve heard from interested folks that she has German Shepherd, Basset Hound, Australian Shepherd, Corgi, Rottweiler, Dachshund and Doberman Pinscher. Somehow she combines both a regal bearing with a make-you-chuckle oddball look. We’ve always wondered what her background is.
I went to Feed The Friendship, a mobile site created to give mixed breed owners a chance to learn more about our dogs. You simply upload a picture of your dog to the site and it will guess the breed mix of your dog. It’s a fun way to add a back-story about your dog’s possible breed(s). I uploaded a photo of Lila and you’ve got to check out her results.
A Beagle-Shepherd Mix. -smile- I can see that in her. My kids and I had fun reading more about Lila’s possible background. The Feed the Friendship site is a whimsical way to imagine your mixed breed dog’s background and adventurous story.
From 1/25 to 2/19/2016, as part of the Feed the Friendship experience, site users can enter to win a free Feed the Friendship kit which includes a WISDOM PANEL® Canine DNA Test, free sample of CESAR® HOME DELIGHTS™ dog food and a custom CESAR® placemat.
All participants who try the Feed the Friendship site will be eligible to receive coupons for CESAR® HOME DELIGHTS™ and for a WISDOM PANEL® Canine DNA Test as one of the 500 winners that will be randomly selected once all entries are received. Be sure to upload a photo of your dog and join Lila and me in the fun of seeing your dog’s cartoon illustration and background story. (Note that the information given on the site is intended for fun and enjoyment and is not factual).
Taking Lila’s DNA was so easy. The kit arrived with two brush-swabs. It was simple to swab her cheek and then place the two brush-swabs in the box stand while they dried. I was given a link to enter my contact information so that they can notify me of her DNA results. Then I sealed the samples up in the box and mailed them off to the lab. I’m excited to solve the mystery of Lila’s background.
Bond with Other Adopters – Dog adopters are a very supportive group. You will have a built-in support group to turn to if you have any questions. Many adopters become involved in supporting their local shelter or rescue group and make lifelong friends with other adopters.
Rescue Dogs Often Received a Temperament Screening – Most shelters and rescue groups will do a temperament assessment on your dog before you adopt her. You’ll have an idea of what type of dog you’re adopting and of potential challenges. Many adopted dogs are fostered and you can learn even more information about your dog’s temperament. This is particularly helpful if you have children or other pets at home. You can often ask the shelter or rescue group to check a dog you’re interested in to see how she handles your unique situation.
Set a Great Example for Your Kids – Adopting a rescue dog teaches your children to care for and rescue animals that need help. You’re also teaching responsible pet ownership as you discuss over-population and compassion as you discuss situations when loving pet owners have to give up their dog.
Set a Great Example for Your Friends – When your friends meet your wonderful adopted (and quirky mixed breed) dog and hear all about your reasons for adopting and your experience, you’ll be planting the idea that they should adopt a dog, too. You adopt one dog, and your two friends each adopt a dog, and their two friends each adopt a dog, and so on and so on.
Save Money – Adopting a dog from a shelter or rescue group is usually cheaper than purchasing a dog from a pet store or breeder. You can save money on the front end that you can use to care for your dog. The money you save can go towards to purchasing quality dog food. I don’t know if it’s because of her time as a stray on the streets of New York City, but Lila has always been a big fan of eating. She adores CESAR® HOME DELIGHTS™ dog food. (She was not happy that I made her wait to eat while I took this photo!) Sharing Cesar’s Canine Cuisine with Lila is one of the many ways I show her how much I care. She appreciates it by doing a happy dance before dinner (and I appreciate laughing at her sheer joy at eating).
Rescue Dogs Are Usually Spayed/Neutered, Vaccinated and Microchipped – Most shelters and rescue groups do a thorough health check on dogs before they’re adopted out. Your dog will also most like be spayed or neutered and vaccinated. You’re paying less money to adopt a dog plus you’re getting a dog that is starting off on the right paw. Additionally, many shelters and rescue groups will have already microchipped your dog, so you’ll have the peace of mind of knowing that if she is ever lost, the microchip will help make sure she can be returned to you. This was important to me since as part of a military family, Lila has already moved to four different homes in three different states with us. I want to make sure we can find her if Lila should ever become lost.
Help the Environment – Adopting a dog is good for the earth by helping reduce the existing overpopulation of dogs.
Make Room for Another Dog to Be Rescued – Shelters and rescue groups have limited resources. There are only so many spots and so much money to care for animals. By adopting a dog, you’ve just ensured another dog will be rescued and have a shot at being adopted. We adopted Lila from a small rescue group. When we adopted Lila, that meant that the foster family could take another dog in Lila’s place.
Safety and Protection – Having a dog is a great security system. She’ll alert you when she hears a noise. Her barking is a great deterrent to potential intruders. Her barking will alert your neighbors. Even signs of having a dog, like a dog dish outside, can deter intruders. My mixed breed Lila has the bark of a giant German Shepherd but comes in a compact package – she’s got the best of multiple breeds all combined in one adorable package.
Best Social Ice-Breaker – Having a mixed breed dog is a great social ice breaker. You’ll get to know your neighbors when you take your dog out for walks. You can take her to the dog park and meet other dog owners. You can take her out in public and spend hours talking to people that want to admire your gorgeous dog and ask you what kind of dog you have.
Change a Life – You know that by adopting, you’ve saved a life, but you’ve also deeply changed a life. The only question is who’s life is most improved – the dog you adopted or your own life? I know that adopting Lila changed her life greatly and she has enriched the five human lives in our family, so six lives have been positively changed through one dog adoption.
I can’t wait to find out the results of Lila’s DNA test and find out if she really is a BeaHerDog. Knowing Lila’s background won’t change how much we love her, it will just help us understand her better. How many reasons to adopt a dog do you have?
I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.