With all the love and loyalty dogs give us, PEDIGREE® is a huge supporter of animal adoption. In our work with shelters around the world, we’ve noticed certain dog breeds are found there more than others. This is often a result of unfair breed stereotypes, overbreeding popular dogs or dogs requiring higher amounts of care than anticipated.
We want to speak out on behalf of these animals — what might not be right for one owner could be the dog of a lifetime for another, like you!
Six Common Dog Breeds in Shelters
Let’s take a look at some of these dog breeds often in search of a forever home.
Pit bulls are long misunderstood for their athleticism, which, sadly, often makes them targets of abuse and gives them a reputation for being dangerous. In reality, they’re quite patient, fun-loving and wonderful around children. Their tenacity and courage also make them very receptive to training .
This is America’s most popular dog, which, at times, leads to overbreeding by irresponsible breeders. It’s unfortunate because they’re loyal and loving, with more than enough attention to give to an entire family. Plus, they really love playing in the water.
A very popular large dog and often another victim of overbreeding, German shepherds are loyal, confident, smart and easy to train. They’re usually easygoing but can be protective when threatened, making them excellent watchdogs.
Did you know these adorable “wiener dogs” were originally bred in Germany to hunt badgers? That’s why they can have such strong and stubborn personalities despite their small size. They’re also very clever, loyal to their owners and excellent snugglers.
While adorable and loving, this breed does often have a nervous personality, which can cause them to bark or snap at strangers. Chihuahuas can be alert and wary of strangers at first, but loyal and good family pets if treated properly. Their petite size makes them perfect companions for people in smaller homes or apartments.
These strong, athletic dogs can be excitable, so they may require more exercise and attention than some owners are prepared to give. Boxers are awfully sweet and playful and love to stay busy. If you’re looking for a furry workout partner, this may be it.
Finding Your Furry Soulmate
Remember that these characteristics are just a starting point when picking a dog breed, and many shelter dogs may be a mix of several breeds. Every shelter dog has their own unique personality and temperament, so it’s important to spend some time getting to know each other at the shelter before bringing them to their forever home.
If you’d like to learn more about pet adoption and what to expect, you can find tons of helpful articles and resources at pedigreefoundation.org.
As your dog ages, you’ll likely notice changes in your best pal’s energy levels, routine and even muzzle. Older pets may require adjustments to help them get around, exercise and live their best life as a senior. One important aspect of caring for a dog entering their golden years is diet.
When it comes to diet, every dog has unique, individual needs, regardless of age. So, there's no one easy answer to the question of soft food versus hard food. Both types of food can provide your dog with the nutrition they need — as long as you feed your dog a high-quality dog food that’s nutritionally balanced and complete.
Signs Your Senior Dog May Benefit from Wet Food
If your dog has very specific health concerns, such as aging joints or weight issues, consult with your vet for more information about what type of food best addresses your dog's needs. That being said, there are a few reasons why you may consider switching your senior dog to soft food.
As your dog gets older, their teeth may become more sensitive, which can make chewing kibble more difficult and even uncomfortable. Switching to a soft food can help to alleviate your pet’s oral discomfort when eating.
However, if your dog is experiencing serious pain at mealtime from a condition like tooth decay or gingivitis, switching to soft food won't remedy the problem. Make sure you talk to your vet about oral care and dental treatment.
Digestion begins in the mouth with saliva, so if your dog has a tendency to scarf down meals, they may not be adequately chewing the food or adding enough saliva to it. Soft food can aid with digestion because it's more easily chewed.
It’s no surprise that wet food has a higher moisture content when compared to dry kibble. If your senior pup is prone to urinary-tract issues or simply needs a little help staying hydrated, canned dog food may be a good choice.
Aging dogs tend to have a slower metabolic rate compared to their younger years, which puts them at a higher risk of becoming overweight or obese. Many nutritionally balanced wet dog foods offer high protein content with fewer carbs than dry food, which can benefit older dogs with slower metabolism. Always talk to your vet if you have concerns about your pup’s weight.
While wet food may be less than appetizing to humans, the opposite is true for dogs! If your aging best friend has started turning their snout up to dry food, wet food tends to be more appealing to picky eaters. Mixing wet food and kibble offers your pup a variety of flavors and textures; try adding wet food as a topper on dry food for a real treat!
Whether you choose dry food, soft food or a mix of both, ask your vet before making any transition. And when it's time to switch your dog's food, remember to do it slowly — even if it's the same brand and flavor — to help prevent stomach upset and allow your dog time to adjust.