What you should know about adopting a dog during COVID-19


What you should know about adopting a dog during COVID-19

by Amber McLinden (with her dog Kootenay as lead talent)

With all of us staying home from work and school because of the pandemic, we have more free time on our hands than ever before. While some work from home and others try their hand at new hobbies, like baking and painting, our canine companions are living in the lap of luxury.

Never have so many of us been at home to give the dog attention! If you’re like my family and friends, your pup is getting walked way more than they ever have before. It’s no surprise, then, that many people are considering adopting a dog during the pandemic. But, like before we were all staying home, having a pet is a lot of responsibility. How do you know when you’re ready to adopt?

Why you should adopt a dog

The mental health benefits are second to none; your new friend forces you to get outside daily, and go for a walk, one of the most rewarding things we can do for our souls right now; and anytime quite frankly.

During COVID-19, many shelters are still allowing adoptions, although contact with them is limited. Make sure to check out the website of your SPCA or Humane Society to see how to adopt.

The SPCA has numerous stories about folks who adopted pets and found a new companion. Take Bo, adopted from the BC SPCA Vernon & District Branch, in 2017, who’s family say he’s a full-fledged member of the family. You can check out his and other stories of adoption here.

Adopting a dog that fits your lifestyle will make every aspect of your life more fun. Going hiking, biking, or a long walk is just more fun with an outdoor buddy. Plus, having a dog, like a kid, will certainly take up some more of your time, but giving them a good life is incredibly rewarding. What’s better than being loved by a dog?

What could be better than building friendship with an animal, having an excuse to spend time in nature, and welcoming a furry sidekick into the family?

What to know before adopting a dog

Of course, adopting a dog isn’t a walk in the park (pun intended). It’s a new responsibility. Knowing if you’re ready to adopt and preparing accordingly will mean the best life for you and your new pet.

Luckily, the advice of BC SPCA is applicable even during a pandemic. First and foremost, adopting a pet is a lifetime of responsibility. Pets will age, go through changes, and need medical care. While you might have plenty of time during the pandemic, think about what your life might look like post-quarantine. This should factor into your decision.

The BC SPCA also recommends thinking about your expectations, lifestyle and household before adopting. Different animals have different personalities and needs, and not every pet will be a perfect match. That’s why organizations like the SPCA work to match pets to families by their personality and needs.

While we love dogs, we also can’t ignore our furry feline friends. For all you cat lovers, Linda Hoang, Canadian blogger and founder of Edmonton International Cat Festival, is hosting the first ever online Cat Fest on May 30, 2020. You can learn more about it here.


The Edmonton International Cat Festival @yegcatfest is going VIRTUAL!! 🥳 . Some of you may know I am the founder of Alberta’s biggest celebration of cats, cat culture and cat people, that raises money for cat rescues. 😻 . Since 2014, #YEGCatFest has raised $112,000 for local cat rescues!! We had to cancel this year's physical event due to the pandemic but today I'm excited to ameownce that my festival team and I are putting on: #YEGCatFest: ONLINE EDITION! 🥳 . If you're a cat lover, "attend" the virtual festival on CATURDAY, May 30 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. There will be back-to-back and simultaneous CATivities and PURRgramming happening LIVE! Virtual attendees can hop back and forth between whichever sessions they like. You can also watch replays of your favourite sessions or sessions you missed! Sessions include cat yoga, how to draw your cat, how to take better photos of your cat, musical performances by cat loving musicians and MORE! 🥰🎉 All you need to access the livestream festival is a computer or phone with Internet access, and a ticket (register with an email address!) Tickets are just $10 per “computer” with the option of donating additional money, as 100% of festival proceeds will be donated to @littlecatslost, @scars_care & @artssenioranimalrescue! 🙏🏻🐱 . Tap the link in my bio to see the virtual festival PURRgramming and get tickets! 😻 . . . . . . . . ‬#yeg #edmonton #exploreedmonton #yegcats #yegpets #edmontoncats #catsofedmonton #catsofyeg #tailsofyeg #edmontonpets #edmontonalberta #explorealberta #edmontoncatfest #catfest #catfestival #yegarts #yegevents #edmontoninternationalcatfest #catfest #virtualfestival #yegcatfestonline #yegrescues #yegcharities

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A pet is a new member of your crew, and their care comes with a price. This includes things like food, toys, collars and travel carriers. They also need annual veterinarian exams and might have emergency medical needs down the road. You can purchase pet insurance and set aside emergency funds while being monetarily prepared for a new pet is important.


We have a very important PUP-DATE! 🐶🐶🐶 Goliath, Gasket & Gunther, the three Saint Bernard dogs who won the hearts of people worldwide, are now in the comfort of their forever home with their newly adopted family! Their adoption was finalized yesterday, October 17. The new family was chosen after we received hundreds of inquiries to adopt the dogs, which resulted in a week-long process of reviewing applications to narrow down potential adopters for both phone and in-person interviews. The couple are devoted proponents of adoption, having previously adopted numerous pets as well as one of their two children. Gasket, Gunther and Goliath, along with the family’s other dog, will have plenty of room to run and play in their one-acre fenced yard. While they are excited to be giving these three their forever home, they wish to remain anonymous as they adjust to their new family members and while the dogs get used to their new surroundings. The response to the story of these gentle giants, from the thousands who helped share our call for help to those who offered their homes to these dogs, has been truly astounding. At the end of the day we could only choose one family for them, but there are thousands of other homeless pets who are all as deserving of a forever home. We hope this story inspires people to adopt from their local shelters and rescues. We are now hosting an adoption event in an effort to find forever homes for the more than 250 other animals we currently have at their shelter. The event runs until Sunday, October 21 and the adoption fees for all animals will be reduced during this time. To read the full release on Gasket, Gunther & Goliath's adoption, please visit our website (link in bio). #adopt #adoptdontshop #the3gs #saintbernards #dogsofig #dogsofinstagram #EHSadoptables #EHSpets

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Even though adopting a pet can come with challenges, it’s a hugely rewarding experience for both you and the animal. You can look at the resources available through BC SPCA and Alberta SPCA for more information about caring for your pup.

You can find dogs (or cats) ready to adopt at locations around B.C. and Alberta, but you can specifically check out the Edmonton Humane Society, Calgary Humane Society, Vancouver SPCA, and Kelowna SPCA.

Have you made a new friend?  Did you adopt?  Share your dog pics marked #ZenSeekers so we can share them with our world.