According to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), October marks Adopt a Shelter Dog Month. The ASPCA sponsors hundreds of events each year in hopes of raising awareness for animals, whether it be dogs in shelters or take your cat to the vet day.

Cuddling up with a soft dog during the brutal winter weather is something everybody looks forward to, so get your pup before the below-freezing temperatures and snow.

What is Adopt a Shelter Dog Month?

Woman pets shelter dogs

Adopt a Shelter Dog Month was created to improve the lives of dogs in animal shelters by finding them families, whether they’re Greyhounds or Yorkies. This month encourages people not only to embrace adopting a dog – but also helps spread awareness about shelter dogs in need. We can all make a difference in these dogs’ lives even if adoption isn’t in the picture.

History of Adopt a Shelter Dog Month

Old dog image in black and white

The national day was founded in 1981 by the American Humane Association due to the growing number of dogs entering shelters every year. The numbers began to rise as people were adopting dogs at a lower rate and more dogs were being brought in every day.

Approximately 3-4 million animals are waiting in shelters every year for someone to love and care for them.

How Can I Participate?

How to participate adopt shelter dog month

In a perfect world, the best way to participate is to accept a dog from your local shelter. If you want to consider pups of all ages, adopting a senior dog from a shelter is a beautiful way to show you care.

However, we understand that not everybody has the option of adopting a dog or senior dog. You can also spread awareness by sharing this post on social media or with your friends and family. Volunteers and donations for shelters are also much appreciated during this busy month.


If you share on social media, be sure to use #AdoptAShelterDogMonth to raise notoriety for this important month and possibly be featured on an Instagram or Facebook page, such as Prudent Pet (#PrudentPetFam).

Adopting a Shelter Dog Checklist

3 puppies in shelter

You’ve committed to adopting a furry friend from a shelter, but do you have everything your pup needs when you finally take them home? That’s why we’ve compiled a dog adoption checklist to make sure everything is in place for your doggo when they come home.

  • Collar & Leash

You’ll be taking your new pup on a ton of walks and will need a safe way to get them to the car from the shelter.

  • ID Tags and Microchips

Just in case your little guy escapes from the backyard and wanders around town. If they’re already microchipped, make sure to update the owner information ASAP.

  • Crate or Carrier

This is a must for transporting your dog anywhere from the groomer to a friend’s house.

  • Bed

Make sure your furry friend feels safe and comfortable in their new home; it’s a huge change for them.

  • Food & Water Bowls

Set up an eating area for your pup with their own bowls and clean them regularly.

  • Toys

Toys are an absolute must. Your pupper deserves to have just as much fun as you.

It sounds strange, but more than 75% of dogs will develop some form of dental disease. Make sure to brush you dog’s teeth routinely.

  • Treats

Reward your adopted dog for good behavior but remember to provide treats in moderation to avoid unwanted weight gain or upset stomachs.

  • Training Pads & Poop Baggies

For whenever your dog has an accident inside or accomplishes the miraculous feat of doing their business outside.

  • Non-Toxic Cleanser

To clean up those accidents on your expensive rug or carpet inside the house.

  • Baby Gates

Just because you don’t have a baby doesn’t mean you don’t need baby gates! Protect your pup from going into unwanted areas and having a disaster on your bed or even worse.

Always be ready for the worst-case scenario, even if a natural disaster, such as a hurricane or earthquake hit your area.

  • Dog Insurance

Despite probably not being on the top of your list, enrolling your shelter dog in a dog insurance plan that fits their individual needs is one of the most important items a new pet parents should be aware of before adopting. Dog insurance can ensure your new furry friend is covered from head to tail no matter what life throws at you.

Downloadable Checklist

Adopt dog month check list from Prudent Pet

*Click the image to download the Check List

Do you need that checklist to go? Download your dog adoption checklist to make sure you have everything your adopted shelter doggo needs.

If you decide to adopt a shelter dog, be sure to help your new pet live their best life with a pet insurance policy from Prudent Pet.