Upcoming 'National Puppy Day' Should Give Pet Parents a Huge Wake-Up Call

National Puppy Day is March 23 and it's celebrated annually to celebrate puppies and promote adoption. I think we can all agree there is nothing more adorable than a little puppy. Puppies are the best. They are also adopted 60% faster than older dogs.

While the concept of National Puppy Day is absolutely commendable for shedding light on the importance of 'adopting over shopping' and exposing the horrors of puppy mills, it seems almost unnecessary to advocate for the adoption of these little fluff balls. Our social media feeds will undoubtedly overflow with endearing puppy pictures, and that's always adorable, but in reality, puppies rarely struggle to find loving homes.

There are lots of puppies all over the world in shelters that need homes. And there are many more older dogs, especially seniors, that need homes as well.

I'm not saying people shouldn't adopt a puppy, but I do feel like there are plenty of wonderful reasons to give an older dog a home.

I'm not saying people shouldn't adopt a puppy, but I'm saying that maybe in honor of National Puppy Day let's encourage everyone to spay and neuter their dogs so we don't have so many unwanted puppies in shelters to begin with.

Related: Foster Mom Takes in Precious Blind Puppy Discarded by Puppy Mill

I'm not saying people shouldn't adopt a puppy, but there are a lot of considerations they should think about before they do.

Pet Pardon explains, "The sad reality is that senior dogs are one of the most at risk groups in shelters as they are usually the last to be adopted, spending up to 4 times longer as a younger dog. With a 25% adoption rate, compared to the 60% adoption rate of younger dogs and puppies."

Another thing to think about is that an older dog is less work then a little puppy. They have all ready been socialized to an extent, they are probably housebroken, and they are probably less prone to chew up everything in your house when they are teething.

If you absolutely must have a puppy, please consider adoption before anything else. There are many wonderful puppies in shelters and in breed specific rescues in your area.

Over three million dogs enter shelters every year. A lot of these started out as adorable puppies who through no fault of their own ended up back in the shelter either once they stopped looking as adorable or when their owner felt their behavior was less than adorable. Before returning your pet to the shelter please reach out to the shelter or an animal trainer or your veterinarian for help. So many unwanted behaviors can be corrected with patience and practice.

I'd love nothing more than all the shelters to be cleared out of all the puppies for National Puppy Day. That would be amazing. But if you're considering adding a dog to your family, all I'm asking is even though puppies are incredibly cute, your ideal dog, the one that has every characteristic you've always wanted in a pet, may be hiding inside the body of an older dog, just waiting to come home with you.

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