October is Adopt-a-Dog Month!

October is Adopt-A-Dog Month!

The American Humane Association is one of many groups encouraging people to adopt a shelter dog this month. A dog can serve as an exercise buddy, a best friend, therapist, companion for a beloved senior citizen in your life, or protector of your home.

Vote! Is your dog really your best friend? (POLL)

Yvonne DiVita, co-founder of the growing pet blogger network BlogPaws and blogger at Scratchings and Sniffings, agrees that a shelter is a great place to go to adopt a dog, or any pet.

"Shelters have so many animals that need 'fur-ever' homes, and they are specially equipped to help you choose the right one just for you," Yvonne said. "Want a big dog? They have 'em. Want a little dog? They have 'em. Want a dog that loves other dogs? They have 'em. Need a dog to be the 'only' pet? They have 'em."

Yvonne notes that her local shelter in Longmont, CO,helped her family pick out their two hound dogs, which can be particularly helpful if you don't know exactly what you're looking for.

Discover more ways to adopt a dog this month.

"As with most shelters, they encourage interaction between visitors and pets, allowing you to take your chosen dog for a walk, or visit with your chosen cat, guinea pig, or other pet. The process of bonding begins with that half hour or so that you spend with your pet. If the one you've chosen at that moment isn't a good fit, there are plenty more to choose from. Plus, shelters have a lot of full-breed dogs and cats that have been surrendered for one reason or another."

PetFinder.com is also a great resource.

"You should expect to qualify yourself (how pet-friendly are you?) and your home, when you decide on the pet that's right for you. Shelters are very focused on making sure the new pet parents and their new pet(s) are going to be happy together. I recommend reading up on how to adopt and also how to adapt; for instance, you may need to change a few things around your house. Consider that dogs routinely think everything left on the floor is theirs! Be kind and remove items you do not want the dog to claim. There may be accidents at first. For clean-up of accidents, I recommend products from Bissell. They are very pet-friendly."

For related stories on genConnect:

Daily expert updates, on Twitter and Facebook. To stay on top of genConnect experts' latest posts: Sign Up for genConnect.