Did you know that April 30th is National Adopt a Shelter Pet Day? National Adopt a Shelter Pet Day is a day that’s celebrated across the nation, reminding people and bringing awareness to animals who are waiting for their forever homes. When you adopt a pet from an animal shelter, it can save their lives while enhancing yours. Continue reading to learn more about pet statistics, adopting a pet, and being a pet owner.
When it comes to tabulating national statistics for the animal protection movement within the United States (U.S.), no government institution or animal organization is currently responsible. Listed below are national estimates of animals in U.S. animal shelters, cat and dog owners, and households located within the U.S.:
- Approximately 78 million dogs and 85.5 million cats are owned in the U.S.
- 44% of all households located in the U.S. own a dog and 35% of all households located in the U.S. own a cat
- 23% of dogs and 31% of cats are obtained through animal shelters or the Humane Society
- Annually, approximately 6.3 million companion animals are brought to animal shelters within the United States (U.S.)
- Every year, approximately 3.1 million dogs and 3.2 million cats are brought to animal shelters.
- Each year, it’s estimated that approximately 920,000 shelter animals are euthanized. Amongst those animals, 390,000 are dogs, and 530,000 are cats.
- An estimate of 4.1 million shelter animals is adopted each year. Amongst those animals, 2 million are dogs and 2.1 million cats.
- About 810,000 stray animals who enter shelters are returned to their owners. Amongst those animals, 710,000 are dogs, and 100,000 are cats.
- Pet problems are one of the most common reasons pet owners rehome their pets.
- 47% of dogs and 42% of cats are rehomed due to pet problems, including physical appearance, behavioral issues, or health issues
Preparing for a New Pet
Adopting a new fur baby can be a fun, exciting, and sometimes overwhelming process. Preparation is a great way to ensure your new pet’s comfort and safety, making it easier for you and them to transition into their new family and home. Listed below are ten things you can do to prepare for a new pet:
Gathering all the necessary supplies helps ensure your fur baby has everything they need to feel safe and comfortable before bringing them home. Supplies for your fur baby should consist of the basics, including a collar, leash, food, water bowl, and other items such as a bed, pet gate, toys, treats, grooming supplies, and other items.
Prepare Your Home
Preparing your home is also key to keeping your fur baby safe and protecting your home. For instance, you should walk through your home and remove or store items that might be harmful to your fur baby or items you don’t want them to access. It’s also important to prepare your family for the many responsibilities accompanying a new fur baby, such as feeding, walking, and training. If you own other animals, be sure that their vaccinations are up-to-date for everyone’s safety.
Assign a Safe Space
Making a private space for your fur baby provides them with a place to feel safe while adjusting to their new home. You can use a crate, room, or gate off a section in your home just for them and visit them there for bonding time. However, it’s important to keep kids and other pets out of that area during this process.
Bringing Them Home
If possible, strategize a plan to pick your new fur baby up when you will have free time to help them adjust. It’s recommended that you don’t pick them up at the beginning of a long vacation, however, so they don’t develop separation anxiety when you go back to work. Having someone else accompany you while you pick them up allows you to focus on them during the drive to their new home.
Show Your Dog around the House
As your dog explores their new home, keep them on a leash. Show them their food, bed, and toys, and let them know what’s off-limits with short and firm commands such as “no.” Along with exploring your home’s interior, it’s important for adopted dogs to be able to explore the yard and sniff out their new surroundings. Make sure you keep them on a leash in the yard
in the beginning, as well.
Introduce the Family
It’s recommended that you bring family members and other pets around your new fur baby one at a time to meet the new addition to the family. You don’t want to overwhelm your new friend
with too much commotion all at one. It’s important to keep other dogs on their leashes while supervising their interactions. It is also important to make sure interactions with other pets and
children are always supervised while everyone adjusts to the changes.
Slowly Switch Your Dog’s Food
If you can, slowly incorporate some of the food the shelter was feeding your dog, then gradually switch to the dog food you intend on serving them regularly to avoid digestion issues that can occur from a quick change.
Start Training Right Away
It’s important to start training right away to help your new fur baby adjust to their new home rules. Training will not only set expectations and set everyone up for success, but will also help
you bond with your new baby. For instance, if you plan to crate train your dog, introduce them to their crate right away, and practice leaving them with a toy for short periods of time. We can also help you with obedience training here at Mount Carmel Animal Hospital (MCAH) with our
training courses offered to families with their new babies.
It’s important to take your new family member to us as soon as possible for a health check and to ensure they have all their necessary vaccinations.
Adopting a Pet from BARCS
BARCS stands for Baltimore Animal Rescue and Care Center, a non-profit organization that operates Maryland’s largest animal shelter and pet adoption center. One of the best ways to honor and celebrate National Adopt a Shelter Pet Day is by adopting a pet through BARCS.
Here at Mount Carmel Animal Hospital, We’ll Treat Your Pets Like Family!
Mount Carmel Animal Hospital has been serving the Northern Baltimore/Southern York community for over 30 years and is proud to be an independently operated, small animal practice committed to excellence in veterinary medicine and client service. From grooming to wellness services, along with Canine Life Skills Training Courses, and surgical procedures, we have the expertise that will best serve the needs of you and your pet. Contact us at 410-343-0200 and follow us on Facebook!