National Puppy Day, celebrated annually on March 23rd, recognizes the joy and unconditional love that puppies bring into our lives. Their wags and bright attitudes cause us to smile, and without a doubt, they’re a pure delight to be around!
This day also highlights the urgent need to provide homes for orphaned pups, and to educate the public about the atrocities of puppy mills across the country. The ASPCA estimates that about 3.3 million dogs enter shelters every year. If you’re searching for a puppy to add to your family, shelters are an excellent place to start. When these abandoned and abused animals find their way to a shelter, each one needs a forever home. Their potential is limitless.
Adopting a puppy is a big responsibility, so be sure to consider everything involved. Here are a few tips for happy puppers.
Selecting the Best Breed & Size for Your Family
If you’re considering bringing home a puppy, be sure to research the breed thoroughly. Consider its size, personality, energy level, breed characteristics and any other requirements with respect to your family’s lifestyle and home environment. Spend some time alone with the puppy to observe its behavior, and ask the staff at the shelter about the puppy’s behavioral and emotional traits.
Puppies Are Not Just Pets
It’s never wise to adopt a puppy as a gift because it will probably be viewed as a novelty. Explain to kids about the problem of overpopulation in shelters and that the puppy is a new member of your family. And just like with a new baby, puppies need love, patience and respect.
Kids and Puppy Safety
In a home with small children, young hyper dogs are seldom a good idea, as they can chew and scratch sensitive fingers and hands. It’s also preferable to adopt puppies twelve weeks or older, because they will have had additional time to be socialized by their siblings and mother, which helps a puppy’s behavior long term. Young children should be taught to never pull a puppy’s tail or ears, as both are delicate and might injure or scare the pup, producing a relationship problem between the puppy and child.
Consider the Cost
Remember that your puppy will not remain a puppy forever. Consider the dog’s growth and the quantity of food it will consume as an adult. Trips to the vet will always be needed from time to time, so maintaining an emergency fund for vet bills is a wise idea.
Some people have allergies and are averse to dog hair floating around the house. If that’s you or a family member, you may want to consider hypoallergenic breeds for people with allergies.
The Need for Exercise
Puppies require regular daily exercise, preferably short walks several times a day. Be sure to research your dog’s breed to better understand its need for physical activity.
Provide your pup a good start in life by buying all-natural, preferably organic dog food with no sugar, wheat, corn, by-products, dyes or chemicals. These additives might cause allergies in your dog that can adversely affect its overall quality of life.
When a puppy is teething, it will chew on furniture or whatever it can find to ease the discomfort. An excellent way to counteract this is with the use of puppy teething rings, which can be purchased at any pet store. They can be frozen and then given to your pup to chew on, helping to soothe and numb sensitive gums.
Spay & Neuter Your Puppy
You should certainly plan to spay or neuter your dog. Unfortunately, there are far too many unwanted puppies. Shelters are seriously overcrowded, so millions of unwanted puppies lose their lives each year. Permitting your puppy to grow up and breed again just adds to the problem, so please be part of the solution.
Some Fun Ideas on Ways to Observe #NationalPuppyDay
- Use #NationalPuppyDay when posting photos of your puppy on social media.
- Adopt a puppy from your local shelter, rescue or pure breed rescue organization.
- Donate money, food or toys to your local shelter.
- Join a fun, dog-friendly community online and post photos of your puppy for the world love!
- Visit your local dog park and have fun playing with your puppy.
- Have a portrait painted of your puppy.
- Pick up a special treat for your little fur pal.
- Buy your puppy a cute new collar and leash.
- Take your young pal for a walk.
- Buy yourself and your puppy some matching tee shirts.
- Brush your puppy to eliminate excess fur.
- Make sure you have all required vaccines and regular health exams.
- Teach your puppy some fun tricks.
- Show your puppy love every day!
The History of National Puppy Day
This holiday was originated by author and animal behaviorist, Colleen Paige in 2006. She is also the founder of National Dog Day.
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Puppies are truly a treasure! If you know how much these delightful creations mean to you, and you want to show it, More Waggin’ Less Barkin’ is your best friend on National Puppy Day – after your pup of course! We have hundreds of dog-themed items, so you’ll no doubt find something you’ll be proud to own, and even prouder to give to a friend!
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