Adopt or Buy a Dog – What Should You Do?
Many people dream of having a dog. And why wouldn't they? After all, there's a reason we say that a dog is a man's best friend. Dogs are loyal, they love you unconditionally, and they simply make our lives better. However, once you decide that it's finally time to make the dream reality, you are faced with a very difficult decision of what is better - adopting or buying.
Both buying and adopting a dog have their advantages and disadvantages. In this article, we will go through them, to help you decide which one is better for you.
Advantages of Purebred Dogs
The first thing we will be talking about are the advantages of buying a purebred dog from a reputable breeder.
You Will Know the Puppy's Background
One of the main advantages of buying a dog is that you can find out almost everything there is to know about not only your puppy but also its family. Trustworthy breeders will usually go back several generations to make sure that they find the best matches to breed healthy puppies.
What's more, there's a high chance that you will be able to meet your puppy's parents, which can give you an idea about how it will look and act once it grows up. And even if you won't be able to see them in real life, the breeder will most likely send you some pictures.
Your Dog Will Always Have a Place to Come Back
As we all know, life can be unpredictable - and while you might not want to do it, there may be a situation where you'll have to look for a new home for your puppy. Unfortunately, when it comes to adopted dogs, finding them a new home can be challenging, especially if you don't know anyone who is ready to take on the responsibility, and you might be forced to take it back to the shelter.
With purebred dogs and reputable breeders, you won't have to worry so much about it - a good breeder cares about what is happening to the puppy once it gets bought, and will most likely either take it back until your life situation becomes better or will help you find a new home for it so that both of you can be sure the puppy is in good hands.
You Will Receive Guidance
If you are a first-time dog owner, the idea of being responsible for another life could be overwhelming. However, a responsible breeder, who cares about what happens to their dog will most likely offer you some assistance in the first few moments, even if it's just giving you instructions about how to care for your new friend.
What's more, many breeders will encourage you to keep in touch with them throughout the puppy's life, which means that if you face a situation where you're not really sure how to proceed, you'd be able to ask them for help.
Your Dog Will Suit You Perfectly
Let's be honest - all puppies are different. You cannot predict a puppy's personality, temperament, and whether it will be a good match for you by just simply looking at it. However, a reputable breeder should know their dogs, which means they should be able to pick a puppy that will be the perfect fit for you.
What's more, there are probably plenty of breeders around you, each of them with a specific breed, which means that, after doing some research, you'll be able to pick the right dog that will best suit your living conditions and lifestyle.
Disadvantages of Buying a Dog
While, as you can see, buying dogs from dog breeders has plenty of advantages, it also has some drawbacks.
Purebred Dogs Can Be Expensive
When thinking about buying a pure breed dog from a reputable breeder you need to remember that you might have to pay quite a bit of money for it - while it is for good reasons, because you aren't buying a pig in a poke, it's still something that needs to be considered.
Finding a Good Breeder Requires Research
There are plenty of breeders on the market whose practices are very questionable, which means that if you want to make sure the breeder you are buying the pup from is reputable and trustworthy, you will need to do quite a bit of research, which can be extremely time consuming - especially in case of new owners (or you can browse through our listings - every breeder we work with is personally checked by us, to make sure they are taking good care of the dogs).
Advantages of Dog Adoption
Now that we have gone through the advantages and disadvantages of buying a purebred dog, let us do the same thing about adopting a dog from a shelter. Let's start with the advantages.
You're Giving a Second Chance to Older Dogs
It is no secret that most people are looking for younger dogs that can still be trained. However, by adopting an older dog, you are giving it a second chance at having a family, even if it's just for a few years.
Also, when you adopt an older dog you don't have to think about how it will be once it grows up because it is already an adult dog. Not to mention that when it comes to older dogs, you don't have to worry about your furniture, carpets, and other items that can be chewed up by a puppy.
Adopting Is Cheaper than Buying
One of the advantages of adopting is that adoption fees are definitely more affordable than the price that you need to pay for a purebred dog - those are usually no higher than $1,000 depending on the shelter from which you pick up your dog. Purebreds, on the other hand, can go for several thousand.
You're Contributing to Something Good
In many cases, a shelter is a nonprofit organization, which means that its purpose is not to make a profit for its owners. All the money that is not spent on regular expenses needs to be put back towards the organization.
Those shelters usually rely on sponsors and donations, as well as the adoption fees they collect every time someone wants to give one of their pets a new home. By adopting, you are contributing to the whole process and making sure that the shelter can operate for a little longer.
Disadvantages of Adopting Shelter Dogs
The last thing we will be talking about in this article are the disadvantages of adopting dogs coming from a shelter.
The main disadvantage of adopting a dog from a shelter is that you don't know what you are signing up for. Rescue dogs, especially those who are taken from abusive homes, tend to be in poor health. Not to mention that there were cases where the shelter lied about dogs' health, and the new owners had no idea how bad the situation was and that they adopted a problematic dog until after the adoption process was completed.
Some of the common health issues in shelter dogs include:
- Fleas - fleas are definitely not uncommon when it comes to dogs - it's actually very easy for them to get those external parasites, as all it takes is not getting proper flea prevention. Some of the signs that the dog might be infected with fleas include red skin, itching, and flea dirt.
- Heartworm disease - heartworm is an internal parasite that causes strain on vessels and the heart. Some symptoms include coughing, troubled breathing and lethargy.
- Intestinal parasites - there are plenty of intestinal parasites that are a common occurrence among shelter dogs, including hookworms, whipworms, and tapeworms.
- Skin problems - many dogs that come from shelters experience dermatological problems.
- Diarrhea - this is another common health issue in shelter dogs. Some of the reasons for it include stress, change of diet, or something we have already mentioned - intestinal parasites.
However, aside from issues with physical health, many dogs also experience behavior problems, which are often much harder to treat, to the point where the help of an expert trainer or a behaviorist is not a choice but a necessity. Some of the most common adopted dog behavior problems include anxiety, as well as aggression towards other animals.
So, whenever you're thinking about adopting a shelter dog you need to consider the fact that it might be of poor health and make sure that you have enough money to cover the medical care.
Adopting a dog, or any pet actually, comes with a lot of paperwork. Contrary to what some people seem to think, you cannot just come to the shelter and take whichever dog you want and that's all. There's a lot that actually goes into an adoption process.
First of all, you need to fill out an adoption form, which includes information such as your name, surname, age, address, what type of accommodation you are living in (is it a house, an apartment, a condo, etc.), whether you rent an apartment ot you're the owner, whether you had any pets before (was the pet was spayed/neutered, what was the cause of death), where your potential pet will be staying during the day, night and when you are not home, how many hours will your pet be left alone and many, many more questions. You will also have to list some people that will serve as your references.
After the application is processed, you will most likely be subject to home inspection - representatives from the shelter will come and see whether your home is suitable for a pet.
And then comes the final decision - keep in mind that you might be denied adoption during any of the steps we have mentioned above.
The Bottom Line
Once you decide to get a dog, you need to make an important decision - are you going to buy or adopt? Both of those have their pros and cons - however, if we do have to say so, we believe that buying is a slightly easier option, especially for those who are going to be first-time owners.
Unfortunately, there are plenty of common shelter dog problems that come with adopting, mainly concerning health. The truth is, often you don't really know what you are signing up for when getting a rescue pup - especially one that came from an abusive home.
Buying, on the other hand, ensures that you won't have to worry about the dog's medical state unless we're talking about vaccinations (although those are sometimes taken care of by the breeder). It can take a lot of stress off your shoulders.
Written by Oliwia Zawadzka, Content Writer, Search Logistics
Edited by Paulina Dolatowska, Content Traffic Manager, Search Logistics