20 Reasons You Should Adopt a Shelter Dog Today

#4 makes so much sense.

Pet Adoption
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There's a reason dogs are known as man's best friend: they're adorable, loyal, and simply the best. But instead of visiting your local pet store, there are a lot of reasons you should hit up a shelter in honor of Adopt a Shelter Dog Month — including all of the following.

Adopting a Dog
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You'll save a life.

According to the ASPCA, approximately 670,000 dogs are euthanized every single year. You can save a dog's life (or two!) by choosing to adopt rather than buying your pet from a breeder.

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Adopting a Dog
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And give a dog the life it deserves.

Many shelter animals are strays or come from abusive owners. There's nothing more rewarding than providing a loving home for a dog to live a happy and healthy life. They're supposed to be our best friends, after all!

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Adoption frees up shelter space.

Though millions of animals call shelters home, there's only so much space. Adopting a dog frees up room in a shelter for other pups in need of help.

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It'll save you money.

Owning a pet is expensive, but according to the Humane Society, the costs of neutering your dog and initial vaccinations are generally covered when you adopt from a shelter versus when you buy your dog elsewhere.

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They may come trained.

Depending on the dog, you may save both money and time on housebreaking and training expenses, according to the Humane Society. So you can say goodbye to soiled rugs and waking up at all hours of the night to barking.

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Including social training.

Just because many shelter dogs were raised on the streets or in abusive families doesn't mean that they'll love you any less. Shelter dogs go through socialization training to learn how to interact with people and other animals and how to remain calm in stressful situations.

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There's a huge selection.

Old, young, tall, small, purebred, mix — shelters have dogs of all shapes and sizes. It'll be hard to chose, but you'll surely find the right fur baby for you.

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You can even get a puppy.

Like we said, selections are wide-ranging. If you want an adorable newborn pup, you can find that at your local shelter too.

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Having a dog is good for your heart.

According to Harvard, owning a dog has been associated with a lower risk for cardiovascular disease. Studies have shown that dog owners have lower blood pressure than non-pet owners, likely because of the calming "pet effect."

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Dogs make us happier.

It's true, and there's science to prove it. A study published in Hormone and Behavior found that interacting with your dog each day and for longer periods of time can increase levels of oxytocin, the "love" hormone that can reduce stress and contributes to psychological stability.

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You'll likely become more active.

With all of the walking and playing that comes with having a dog, it's no surprise that a study published in 2017 in BMC Public Health found that dog owners take 2,760 more steps on average per day compared to the pet-less. This adds an additional 23 daily minutes of moderate exercise per day.

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Dogs make us more social.

How many times have you stopped someone on the sidewalk because you simply had to pet their adorable pup? Whether you're walking your dog through a busy town or speaking with other pet owners at the dog park, you have to give some credit to your furry friend for making you more social, and there's research to back it.

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And they're good for your mental health.

Dogs have a positive effect on emotional and social well-being, that's why hospitals around the world are implementing dog-therapy programs to help patients cope with serious illness and improve their mental health.

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Plus, they make social media way better.

Dogs are cute — that's a fact! Your followers will adore photo after photo of your adorable new friend.

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You'll be helping fight against mass breeding.

Puppy mills are facilities that breed purebred dogs in mass quantities. According to the Humane Society of the United States, many puppy mills are unregulated and therefore guilty of overbreeding, inbreeding, minimal veterinary care, poor quality of food and shelter, lack of socialization with humans, and killing unwanted animals. Adopting a dog fights against this cruelty.

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Others may follow in your footsteps.

According to the ASPCA, approximately 40% of dog owners learned about their about their pet through word of mouth. Once your friends see how adorable your new shelter dog is, they'll be unable to resist getting one of their own.

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Shelter employees are a great resource.

Shelter staff and employees work with animals every single day. They'll be able to answer all of your questions regarding training, care, tips, and more. (Of course, you should consult a vet about any health concerns.)

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You'll gain a new best friend.

As the old saying goes, dogs are a man's best friend. You'll love your shelter pet as one of your own, and they'll happily return the favor.

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Adoption is a rising trend.

Adopting is in — so why not join the cause? According to the ASPCA, 1.6 million dogs are adopted each year, and the number of dogs that are euthanized has been declining over the years too.

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You're supporting a valuable cause.

As of 2017, there are over 7,000 animal shelters in the U.S., according to a report published in Animals. Of the 5.5 million animals that enter shelters each year, only half are adopted by owners, while several hundred thousand are euthanized each year. Choosing to adopt saves lives, frees up shelter space, and gives shelters the financial means to care for others of helpless animals.

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