It’s been such a crazy month that I missed some National Days! One that I missed is one we will celebrate today. Friday was National Change a Pet’s Life Day. I can’t believe we missed it!
 
So how do you change a pet’s life? It starts with adoption. We do the easy part. We rescue them, pay the bills, that’s actually not easy but we do it, spay/neuter them, make sure their vaccinations are up to date, work on any skin issues, coughs, and generally get them ready. Oh, we give them baths and if they really need it our fabulous groomer does her magic.
 
But a clean, healthy dog living in a shelter is not a pet. So the best way to celebrate National Pet Day is to adopt one of these special dogs and bring them into your home. Once there, how do you make a pet’s life special?
 
1. You! Your dog needs very little in their life to make it perfect. What they really want in their life is not fancy toys or clothes or being treated like the royalty we know them to be, just being in your home is the first way to celebrate. Don’t have a dog but you’re looking? We got a new transport of dogs in last week to add to the great dogs already here. That means we started today off with twenty-seven dogs who need you.
 
2. A great veterinarian is a must. When you take your dog home they will have been seen by a vet within thirty days, they are spayed or neutered, they have all the shots, have been dewormed, and should be in great shape to start their new lives. But your dog should have an annual physical so when you get that dog start calling to make an appointment. Not every vet is accepting new patients so do ask us and family and friends to find the right vet for your new family member.
 
3. Food and treats. There are a ton of foods on the market. Grain-free, high protein, made in the USA, raw food, the choices are confusing. This is where we can get you started but it’s where your new vet can help. Part of celebrating your pet year-round is keeping them healthy and just like with human beings it starts with food and treats and keeping them at their best weight.
 
4. Exercise is a must. Besides the obvious physical benefits of walking your dog or taking them to the dog park or on a long run, your dog loves being with you outside of the house. Your dog might also love people and other dogs and when you exercise them you’re helping their physical and mental health and giving them stimulation.
 
5. What does love look like to your dog? I was a huge anti-furniture person when we got our dog. No, I had furniture, but that was for the two-legged beasts, not those with four. It didn’t take too long to figure out that my dog wants to be where I am, being petted or cuddled. No matter that I spent a lot of money on a living room bed for him, he wanted to be near me. So we have dirt and hair, we have to clean the sofa more often, but it’s worth it because, well, we love being with him as much as he loves being close to us.
 
6. Besides being allowed on the sofa the best way I know to show love to my dog is through training and boundaries. Your dog WANTS to please you. But if they don’t know the rules how can they help but break those rules. Setting up a six-week obedience class and then following through will make everyone’s life better and it won’t take long at all until they are happily following the rules.
 
These are just a few ways to change a dog’s life. How have you changed their life? We love stories! The best news about changing their life? Changing a dog’s life for the better will change your own life for the better, too.