April is All About Shelter Pets!

With summer quickly approaching, it’s the perfect time to start making summer plans! Would taking a hike with a furry friend be enjoyable? How about throwing a frisbee to your very own dog at the beach? Dogs are amazing companions to both kids and adults, and make loving additions to any household.

Three events in April bring attention to the plight of homeless animals: Pet Adoption Awareness Month, held throughout the month April, and Adopt a Shelter Pet Day, held on April 30th.

Additionally, National Kids and Pets Day, held on April 26th every year, brings awareness to the tremendous benefits that a dog or cat can offer to a child. Started by Colleen Page, a celebrity family and pets expert, mother and pet lover, this day sheds lights on the millions of pets living in shelters in the U.S. By educating parents about the special bond that can be created when a new pet is brought into a child’s life, Page’s efforts have helped a multitude of dogs and cats get adopted.

What Benefits Do Pets Bring to Children?

Mental Help

Dogs have been proven to serve as emotional companions for children of all ages, helping children cope with depression and anxiety. A study on children between the ages of 6 and 7 found that they have a 9 percent less chance of developing anxiety than kids without pets.

Interestingly enough, “from a mental health standpoint, children aged 7 to 8 often ranked pets higher than humans as providers of comfort and self-esteem and as confidants,” according to according to this source.

Health Benefits

Although some parents fear that introducing a pet into a household can lead to childhood allergies, just the opposite has been proven to be true. Pets actually strengthen the immune system, and can prevent allergies from developing. Time Magazine reported that having a dog at home led to a decrease in the development of respiratory issues, such as coughs, sniffles and even asthma in babies and young children.

Social Advantages

It’s no wonder that a dog is called a man’s best friend; dogs are often the first and most important friend that a child will have. Pets teach children about the importance of taking care of something, which leads them to not only become responsible, but understand the value of long-lasting relationships. Pets encourage children to develop empathy, as well as social interaction and emotional skills.

Tips for Adopting a Shelter Pet for a Child

Adding a pet into your household is a big commitment, and one which shouldn’t be taken lightly. It would be a good idea to allow your child to be in the presence of dogs to see how they behave before bringing a pet home. Taking your child to a local dog park or to a household which has a dog will allow you to see whether they are scared of pets or can be prone to mistreating them.

If your child is old enough to understand, it is important to teach them rules about interacting with pets. Explaining that pets are living things that feel pain and deserve respect is essential to creating a good bond with a pet.

Research which breeds are good for small children; some are better than others for particular needs. For examples, poodles tend to be hypoallergenic and would serve well for families that are prone to pet allergies, while Golden Retrievers are known to be friendly and energetic dogs that can keep up with most kids!

Call a local shelter to inquire about available pets that would make good companions for your children. Before adopting, make sure the animal and the child get a chance to meet and observe their interaction! If possible, bring the pet home for a trial period before making the big commitment!

Taking Care of a Pet

Once you add a pet into your household, you should do everything possible to provide them with the best environment and care. Due to the fact that many pet products on the market today contain harmful chemicals and toxins, it is advantageous to do your research about the best food, medicine and hygiene products for your pet.

Dr. Willard’s® is a big advocate of natural dog care, which is why we believe every new and existing pet owner should have our Dr. Willard’s® Pet Products kit on hand at all times! This includes:

  • Dr. Willard’s Vibrant Pet Water Drops® (8 oz.) enhances dogs’ overall nutrition and general health in a simple, safe and effective way by optimizing nutrient absorption and enhancing cellular function. Dr. Willard’s Vibrant Pet Water Drops® contain no artificial colors, flavors, parabens, phthalates or petrochemicals; are cruelty free; and help improve dogs’ overall hydration and nutritional benefits, keeping dogs healthy and vibrant. By adding the secret catalyst in the Dr. Willard’s® patented formula to pets’ clean drinking water, Dr. Willard’s Vibrant Pet Water Drops® boost water’s biological functions to help with digestion, nutrient absorption, behavior and performance. This means that dogs will get more vitamins from the same amount of food they consumed before.
  • Dr. Willard’s Rejuvenating Skin and Coat Spray® (8 oz.) is made with the finest natural ingredients; restores moisture and beauty to the skin and coat of dogs; and relieves discomfort from a variety of conditions such as hot spots, scrapes, burns, abrasions and cuts. This topical application has no artificial colors, flavors, beans, phthalates or petrochemicals and is cruelty free. Dr. Willard’s Rejuvenating Skin and Coat Spray should be sprayed directly on the affected areas one to four times daily, or as needed.
  • Dr. Willard’s Soothing Aloe Gel for Pets® (8 oz.) naturally moisturizes dogs’ skin, helps restores dogs’ coats and relieves itching caused by a variety of skin irritations. The gel, which is made with natural ingredients, helps alleviate some problems associated with burns, cuts, wounds and other skin disorders. It can be topically applied to dogs’ coats and skin. Dog owners should place a dime or quarter size amount of on the affected area of the dog and/or use as a general moisturizer.

We want to hear your opinions! What has adopting a shelter pet meant for you and your family? Let us know by commenting on our Facebook or Twitter pages.


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