**This post is sponsored by Mirum Shopper, but opinions expressed are my own. How to make a feral dog feel loved and safe is a personal story.** #PurinaPETtogether #AD

How to Make a Feral Dog Feel Loved and Safe - give her time

Some of you know the story of my latest rescue, Joy. Some of you do not. But I know that all of you know that I have a serious soft spot for dogs who had a rough start to life. While One Eyed Jack and Piper came to me as rescues that were looking for love and accepted it right away, Joy came to me broken. Beaten down and scared of, literally, everything, this feral, or wild, one year old dog had no idea what trust was. A rescue from a shelter after being turned in because her original owners ‘had not time for her’, she was an adoption fail that went back again. Rescued by the Houston Beagle and Hound Rescue, she had mange, was badly malnourished and needed nothing more than to be loved and to feel safe. With National Pet Month upon us, I am always looking for ways to show appreciation to those who help! I am joining in the fun of Purina’s Great American PETtogether, a month-long campaign that celebrates people and their pets and the PetFinder Foundation! It is time to get those pet selfies posted!

How to Make a Feral Dog Feel Loved and Safe plus selfie love

Purina is donating $1 to the Petfinder Foundation for every pet selfie shared this month that includes the #PurinaPETtogether hashtag (up to $25,000). For more information and to see other pet-lovers’ photos, visit their website!

How to Make a Feral Dog Feel Loved and Safe plus Piper Selfie

Joy started out terrified of me, the children and anything having to do with this home. It took almost an entire day to even get her to come into the house. Once in, her chosen spot was under my bed. We fed her under there, tried to talk to her under there and let her get used to the craziness of three kids, three other dogs and me. When I would pull her out or she would get closed out of the room by accident, I would find her, crouched in the corner in her own mess, shaking like a leaf. It was terribly heartbreaking.

We are 6 months in and she is better. She is still terrified of the kids but, instead of hiding out all the time, she comes out and barks at them. She still won’t let me grab her and love on her like my other dogs, but she will cuddle with me in bed at night. Her greatest achievement is that she has become the permanent buddy of Jack. They are both young and they run and play and spend the days glued to each other’s side. She no longer messes in the house at all and really is a jewel. We are blessed to have her.

How to Make a Feral Dog Feel Loved and Safe by letting them have a playmate

There are Purina National PETtogether events that you can attend this May, too!  Purina is hitting the road with events all over the country for pets and pet-lovers alike. Attend an event at your local Walmart store for free samples, pet photo opps and more!

Friday, May 12, 2017

Saturday, May 13, 2017 200 US HIGHWAY 80 E MESQUITE TX
Sunday, May 14, 2017 4100 W AIRPORT FWY IRVING TX
Friday, May 19, 2017 2225 W INTERSTATE 20 GRAND PRAIRIE TX
Saturday, May 20, 2017 3155 W WHEATLAND RD DALLAS TX
Sunday, May 21, 2017 5302 N GARLAND AVE GARLAND TX
Friday, May 26, 2017 1635 MARKET PLACE BLVD. IRVING TX
Saturday, May 27, 2017 7401 SAMUELL BLVD DALLAS TX
Sunday, May 28, 2017 555 W INTERSTATE 30 GARLAND


But taking in and caring for a feral dog can be challenging. However, with the right level of understanding, they can all be amazing family pets, even if they are not the pet you imagine.

Let a feral dog go at their own pace

How to Make a Feral Dog Feel Loved and Safe by letting her dictate

When the kids or I stepped in and tried to get Joy to interact, we had issues. If we let her be… let her live under the bed, let her eat under the bed, let her come out on her own, she made much faster progress! I know we all want to grab and love on cute puppies but feral dogs need a lot of patience.

Feed them well

This may seem like a no-brainer but every dog is different. Feral dogs may have been starved or know the feeling of hunger. It is our job to promote that safe feeling by feeding them well and consistently. You may be surprised to know that I do not feed all four of my dogs the same foods. They all have different needs and, luckily, Purina has a reliable brand that each can benefit from. Joy gets a food that promotes her active lifestyle of play and energy but that also fills her up and gives her that warm feeling!

How to Make a Feral Dog Feel Loved and Safe by feeding them well

Jack gets his own Purina food and Jack and Piper get a senior formula that works of their lazier lifestyles. I like and trust Purina and happily choose it for all four of my happy dogs!

Know that a feral dog is different

Three of my dogs are in my face, happy go lucky pups. One of my dogs is scared and unsure and only lets her guard down when she is running with Jack. I had to accept that when I adopted her. I had to get the kids to understand that as well. It may be years before she comes and jumps on the couch for movie night. But she will not die in a shelter a healthy, young beagle mix, because she is unadoptable. I have to remember that almost every day!

Celebrate the baby paw steps – they are huge for a feral dog

How to Make a Feral Dog Feel Loved and Safe and give them hugs

Joy has come a LOOOONG way since the day she came home. I mean… a looong way! The first time she took a family walk was a huge deal. The first time she ate with the other dogs was huge. She was complimented and petted and told how amazing she is. Little encouragement within her limit has really helped.

We have opened our home to a dog that would be really hard to place and we could not be happier. She is safe, loved and appreciated. That is why I am such a HUGE supporter of PetFinder Foundation and the amazing work they do!

How to Make a Feral Dog Feel Loved and Safe and Jack agrees

Now it is time to do your part! Grab your pet, grab your camera and share your Selfie with your pet using the hashtag #PurinaPETtogether! $1 per selfie up to $25,000 will go to the PetFinder Foundation! Mark your calendar for the in-store events as well!

How many pets do you have?