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National Adopt A Shelter Pet Day is celebrated across the nation this year on Saturday, April 30 — and it’s the perfect opportunity to learn tips and insights for how to handle a furry new addition once a family, a couple or an individual has made the very big decision to adopt a pet this way.
Shelters across the nation right now “are over-capacity and highly adoptable pets are at risk as we face one of the largest crises in recent years,” said Cathy Bissell, a Michigan native and founder of the Bissell Pet Foundation, in a news release.
Bissell founded her group in 2011 with a goal of getting dogs out of shelters and into good homes.
Among the tips shared on “Fox & Friends Weekend” on Saturday morning: Shelter dogs who are newly adopted need time. Lots of time.
They need time to adjust to their new surroundings and their new family after living in a shelter, said celebrity dog trainer Tom Davis.
Also — they need exercise, he said.
“Exercise is really important. A lot of dogs, especially in shelters, or in organizations where they don’t get to come out and do this — they don’t have adequate exercise,” said Davis.
So “making sure they get up to speed and are able to become a dog” is really vital to know for anyone adopting a shelter dog.
Davis also stressed routine — and how important that is.
He said that domesticated animals “do really well with routine.”
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He also said, “Training is really important … It’s big” for them. They need to know the lay of the land in terms of what they can and cannot do.
His fifth tip for new dog owners to understand is leadership.
Dogs need to be taught who’s in charge — and what that means for them.
“Teaching them, ‘Hey, I got you, I’m in charge, I’ll show you what you can and can’t do'” is critical for dogs to learn from their new owners, he said.
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Dogs, of course, are far from the only animals that are available for adoption at shelters.
Cats, rabbits and many other types of animals also need good and caring homes.
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For those unable to adopt an animal, many shelters gratefully accept donations of dog and cat food, supplies, old blankets and other such materials and goods. Check with your local shelter for details.
For more information about what to know when adopting a shelter dog, check out the video at the top of this article, or click here to access it.