When you decide to welcome a new furry member into your family, you may find yourself torn between the options of adopting a dog versus purchasing one. You may have your heart set on a particular breed, which may push you in the direction of buying. You may then feel pangs of guilt kick in an hour later when a tear-jerking television commercial airs during your favorite program to remind you of all of the homeless pets that are waiting in shelters to be adopted. Choosing a dog should never happen spontaneously or quickly. Be sure to devote time into weighing both options, researching breeds, visiting shelters and seeking out the dog that is best suited for you and your family.
The Facts About Purchasing a Dog
The primary reason that prospective dog owners consider buying their dogs is that they have a specific breed in mind. They may like the chosen breed for its appearance or for the breed’s overall temperament, and buying a purebred seems like a promising option to get what they want. Consistent appearances and temperaments provide a strong defense for purchasing a dog, but to buy a purebred dog that will be healthy requires some homework.
Find a Responsible Breeder
To ensure the best chance of going home with a new dog that is happy, well adjusted and healthy, you must track down a responsible breeder. No responsible breeder will ever sell their dogs through online retail sites or to pet shops. Do not ever purchase a dog through these venues. Too often, such purchases result in aggravation or heartache when the dog develops a number of health conditions that responsible breeders try very hard to eliminate from their breeding lines.
Responsible breeders make efforts to match prospective owners with dogs that will be the best fit for their families and their lifestyles. A responsible breeder wants to ensure that their dogs go to loving homes to live out their lives.
Adoption Saves Money and Lives
How to adopt a dog? When choosing to adopt a dog from a local shelter or rescue group, the cost incurred is typically a nominal adoption fee, which ultimately gets allocated toward the daily operations of the facility, which includes the care of the animals in its charge. Initial medical expenses, such a spaying or neutering, screenings and basic vaccinations, can often be avoided because the procedures have already been performed prior to adoption. What is the most appealing aspect of adopting a shelter or rescue dog? The knowledge that you have opted to provide a homeless dog with a new start in a loving forever home is gratifying.
One drawback to adoption may be the lack of insight to the dog’s quality of life and health prior to its surrender or rescue. While some of the dogs may have been victims of abuse or neglect, there are many more dogs that are mere victims of unfortunate family circumstances, such as the death of a sole owner or surrender by loving owners who have fallen on hard economic times and feel that they can no longer provide a healthy and stable life for the dog.
Adopt a Dog
The dogs that are available in shelters and general rescue organizations trend predominantly toward mixed breeds. If you have your heart set on a purebred, but your conscience is urging you to adopt, consider finding a breed rescue group. There are rescue organizations that focus primarily on one breed of dog, and these groups are usually run by people who are dedicated toward keeping their breed of interest out of the shelters. These caring individuals often tend to try to match the dogs to the best owners in order to avoid repeat rescues and upheavals in the dogs’ lives.
Whether you opt to shop or adopt, welcoming a new dog into your life will offer the reward of unconditional love and the joy of loyal companionship.