A Guide to Adopting the Perfect Adventure Dog

You’ll be involved in a lot of responsibilities and commitments when you adopt a pet, but it’ll also be one of the greatest joys of your life. Your lifelong adventure becomes theirs, and theirs becomes yours. With the Clear The Shelters initiative, Hill’s Pet Nutrition and NBCUniversal Local hope to pair more people with adoptable dogs across the country and help them become the best dog parents they can be.

What are the benefits of adopting?

A dog can provide companionship, which is one of the best reasons to get one. Stephen Martin, a professional photographer, adopted his pup Ollie when he transitioned from military service to life at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs, where he knew nobody. He adopted a dog to keep himself company as a recommendation from his sister, a veterinarian. A little bundle of joy was picked out by Mary Lou for Martin in December 2012, and it turned out to be the perfect match. Martin, who grew up with adoptive parents himself, recalls thinking, “What’s going to happen to me for the next 10 to 15 years will parallel what this dog will do for me.”

They have climbed mountains, visited hot springs, played in the desert, lounged in campgrounds, recuperated at home, and traveled the globe together for the past nine years. It’s an unbreakable bond.

Nationally, there are more than three million dogs entering shelters every year, reports the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. In addition to saving an in-need dog’s life, adopting rather than shopping from breeders usually costs less and helps combat puppy mills, which prioritize profits over animal welfare. Sometimes dogs in shelters have been rescued after natural disasters or a sudden change in their owner’s circumstances, so they are already house-trained and used to living with a family.

How Do I Choose the Right Dog?

Among the dogs in shelters are puppies as well as older dogs. In addition, the number of puppies continues to increase as these pets find homes. If you’re considering getting a dog, try to find one whose personality fits with yours. Both he and Ollie have been taking big adventures together since Ollie was a puppy.

There is no need for every adventure dog to summit mountains, and be too picky may limit your search for your perfect pet. Martin says too many restrictions and parameters may lead to excluding a dog that may be perfect for your family. It is important to consider whether the animal is old or young, energetic or mellow, and small or large. Hill’s quiz can help you discover what kind of pet you should get.

I’m in. Where Do I Start?

Local humane societies, shelters, and rescue organizations are likely to offer dogs for adoption in your area. You can search the Hill’s database for shelters and rescues near you.

It will be even easier thanks to Hill’s Pet Nutrition’s partnership with NBCUniversal Local to sponsor Clear The Shelters, which celebrates adoptive pet parents during the largest pet adoption event of the year, happening from August 23 to September 19, 2021. Besides spreading awareness, the campaign provides information and resources to ease the transition for first-time owners. Over 140,000 pets were adopted from more than 1,100 shelters in 2020.

However, Martin recommends looking for a local vet clinic and purchasing pet insurance before even considering finding a new pet. Include everything your pet needs, including bedding, food, water bowls, and toys.

Should you need to train your pet, Martin says it’s a good idea to research training tips based on his breed once you’ve put him on hold or officially adopted him. Many of the dogs that are available for adoption are already trained. The responsibility level does not change before or after getting a dog, Martin says.

Your research has been completed and you have located a shelter in your area. Congratulations. The new friend you’ve been looking for is minutes away.

The science behind Hill’s Pet Nutrition nutrition creates visible, measurable and trustworthy differences. Pet parents can enjoy everyday with their pets when science-led nutrition anticipates and meets their pet’s changing needs so they can stay ahead of the game. For pets of every age, size, and need, our food scientists know the best combinations of nutrients and ingredients to use. Hill’s products are recommended by more U.S. veterinarians than any other brand. Veterinary clinics, pet specialty retailers, and e-retailers worldwide offer Hill’s Prescription Diet therapeutic nutrition and Hill’s Science Diet and Hill’s Healthy Advantage everyday foods. Our websites, HillsPet.com and HillsVet.com, and our social media outlets give you more information about the innovative products we produce for our pets.

NBCUniversal Local owns the Clear The Shelters trademark.

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