Quality blankets can help rescue and foster dogs through the entire rescue process – from arriving at the shelter to settling into their new homes.
Despite the loving care that shelters and foster homes provide, the adoption process isn’t easy for dogs. Until a pup is settled into his forever home, he’s likely to undergo constant unpredictability. His caregivers will vary, his living situation will remain unstable – even his day-to-day routine will be disrupted by various factors. During this process, a blanket can provide him with the comfort, consistency and safety he needs to remain healthy and happy.
1. Comfort and security in unfamiliar places
If kids can have “security blankets”… why shouldn’t dogs? Researchers at The University of Bristol Vet School and School of Psychological Science are investigating the attachment that dogs form to objects like toys and blankets – a behavior that isn’t uncommon in canines. Like children, this type of “emotional support tool” helps dogs feel more at ease in new and changing environments – like shelters, for instance.
According to MonaLisa Ortiz, the Manager of the Manhattan-based no-kill shelter, Bideawee, the regular donations of blankets they receive from Tall Tails has greatly improved the well-being of their canine adoptees. “Living in a shelter can be very stressful,” she says. “Providing our animals with warm beds and blankets allows us to give them the comfort and security they deserve while they wait for their forever homes.”
2. Consistency in the face of change
Rescue and foster dogs face a great deal of change, often in a very short period of time. While some dogs adjust better than others, it’s never a stress-free process, and providing some semblance of consistency is helpful – from initial rescue to foster to adoption. In few lucky situations, that consistency comes in the form of a loving rescue worker who cares for the dog at the shelter and then opts to become a foster or adoptive parent for that animal. But more often than not, consistency comes in the form of something much simpler – like a blanket. It gives dogs a comforting object to take with them, providing a sense of familiarity that helps them feel stable and cared for, even in a revolving door of faces and living situations.
3. A safe place to rest
Quality sleep is a crucial component of health. Unfortunately, many dogs in shelters lose sleep due to the constant commotion and unfamiliarity of their sleeping quarters. Besides providing a soft, familiar resting place, having his own blanket makes a rescue dog feel safe enough to get some quality shut eye. He can burrow and nest, pushing, pulling, and pawing the blanket until his sleep spot is just right.
For this reason, Tall Tails gives blankets to thousands of dogs entering foster homes. “We rescue all of our dogs from shelters in both Texas and New York City, where they’ve ended up after being found as strays or abandoned by their owners,” says Allison Seelig, Head of Marketing at Hearts & Bones, a non-profit foster organization. “Most of them haven’t had a lot of love and comfort in their lives, but that all changes the moment they enter their foster homes. Being able to give them amazingly soft blankets helps them feel safe and cozy in their new environments.”
Click here to take part in Tall Tails’ Buy A Blanket, Give a Blanket campaign. For every blanket purchased on their website, they’ll donate one to a dog in need.
Animal Wellness is North America's top natural health and lifestyle magazine for dogs and cats, with a readership of over one million every year. AW features articles by some of the most renowned experts in the pet industry, with topics ranging from diet and health related issues, to articles on training, fitness and emotional well being.