Buying Vs. Adopting a Dog

Pomeranian puppy in a cage at the park

Pomeranian puppy in a pet shelter

Ready to bring a new canine member into your family? Good for you. Having a dog will enrich your life in many different ways. Thinking about how to find the right dog for you? You may be considering whether you would like to adopt from a shelter or buy a puppy from your local pet store. Let’s take a look at the advantages and disadvantages of both.

 

Cost

When you choose to pay retail for a pet, expect to pay anywhere from $500 to $1,000. When you adopt instead, you save big. An adopted dog will only cost $50 to $200, depending whether it is adopted from a city shelter or if it was a rescue group that spent money on boarding, vets and grooming.

Breeds

Generally speaking, when you choose to adopt a dog, you are getting a mixed breed of dog. Some find this advantageous while others who are looking for a pure bred see it as a con. According to the principle of hybrid vigor, an animal that is a mixed breed is likely to live longer and cost less in vet bills than a pure breed will. This is because many dogs that are purebred are predisposed to having health problems that range from hip dysplasia to an enlarged heart.

Support

When you purchase a pet at a pet store, you never know where it came from. Once you leave the store with your dog, you are on your own. Most pet stores don’t have anyone you can turn to if you have any questions or problems with your new dog. When you choose to adopt from a rescue group however, they generally have kept a history on the animal. The rescue group wants to help you get familiar with your dog so that you can provide it with a good home. Bottom line? To a pet store, you are just a sale. To an adoption center, you are helping an animal thrive in a new environment.

Life

When you choose to adopt a pet, make no mistake about it- you are saving a life. Although there are a few no kill shelters and organizations around, most animal shelters have to put down dogs when they don’t get adopted. When you choose to buy a pet, you are supporting an industry that thrives on supply and demand, at the expense of the welfare of animals. Puppy mills are determined to make as many dogs as fast as they can to make a profit. In addition to this, puppies may suffer from ill health due to inbreeding and lack of human companionship.

Age

When you buy from a pet store or a breeder, you are buying “brand new” puppies, which liken to brand new merchandise. This is appealing to many people, which is what brings them into a pet store in the first place. However, even though puppies are cute and cuddly, they are more difficult to care for than adult dogs. Sometimes an adult dog just makes a better fit in a household. When you adopt, you have the choice of picking out any age of animal that you like. It is much easier and more humane to adopt an older dog who is already house trained and will come to you.

As you can see, there are many reasons why adoption just makes logical sense. Whether you choose to buy or adopt, the love that you receive from your dog will be the same. The only difference is that the adopted dog unknowingly had its life saved, and it was all because of you.

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