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Hard to Adopt Dogs

October 24, 2018

Ways to help hard to adopt animals find their forever homes

According to, 95 percent of rescues that were surveyed have pets defined as “hard to adopt.”

Hard to adopt dogs include:

  • Senior dogs
  • Special needs dogs (blind, deaf, differently abled)
  • Black dogs
  • Large or “bully breed” dogs, which include several breeds, such as the American Bulldog, American Pit Bull Terrier, American Staffordshire Terrier, Bull Terriers, Bull Mastiffs, Boston Terriers, English Bulldogs, French Bulldogs and Boxers

Rescue groups and shelters acknowledge that Black Dog Syndrome (and black cats, as well) is real. According to an article on Petfinder, factors contributing to BDS can include:

  • Lack of distinctive features
  • Unclear facial features
  • Dimly lit kennels
  • Negative portrayals of black pets in books and movies
  • Associations (black cats) with witches, superstition or bad luck

Things you can do to help during Adopt a Shelter Dog Month and all year long

Host an adoption event at your practice. Make sure the rescue group includes available dogs from the harder to place groups. Offer training tips through hands-on demonstrations. Create handouts addressing some common challenges with rescue dogs, such as:

  • Fear
  • Running away
  • Socialization
  • Housetraining
  • Chewing
  • Destructive behaviors
  • Separation anxiety
  • Food guarding

Partner with a local pet trainer or behaviorist who can offer specialized training sessions.

Offer a reduced fee treatment plan for someone who adopts a senior or special needs pet.

Foster a dog in your practice, doggie daycare or boarding clinic. Let the foster dog interact with clients and their pets to serve as an ambassador for overlooked pets.

Sponsor an “underdogs” contest through your social media channels. Let people nominate their own “underdog” and share a brief synopsis about their dog. Let your social media followers vote on their favorite. Highlight the winner on your website and social channels. Award the winning dog a supply of treats, grooming or kennel service. Make a donation to a rescue group in honor of the winner.

For the supplies and medications you need for your practice, contact your Henry Schein Animal Health representative at 855.SCHEIN.1 (724-3461) or online.




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