Thinking of adding a new member to your family? Certainly, it is the most exciting time when you decide to have a dog. And to make that excitement twofold, I always encourage adoption. Moreover, you can’t buy happiness, it comes to you. Beyond that, there are numerous advantages of adopting a dog over buying one.
At the same time, I do know you wish to have a breed of your choice and want to have the dog from puppyhood. Interestingly, there are a lot of homeless puppies in your area, and many animal shelters too that have a variety of dog breeds of different ages groups who are eagerly waiting for a friend like you.
Sadly, this facility is not available at a pet store. Yet – as soon as you step into a pet store, you see tiny little puppies in cages or crate fences, curiously looking at you. Their cuteness will immediately attract you to pick one and get them home.
But, I am sure, after you know what happens to these cute little puppies to be made available to us, you will definitely have second thoughts. In this article you will understand the hidden implications behind buying dogs, and further, the advantages of adopting a dog over buying one.
While estimates vary, approximately two to three million dogs are euthanized each year in the United States because not many people spay/neuter the dogs they have, very few adopt their new dogs, and a lot of people abandon their dogs.
The situation is even worse in countries like India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh given the not-so-strict laws, insufficient animal abuse punishment, and stray dog population.
However, adoption is playing a vital role here.
Besides this, there are multiple advantages of adopting a dog over buying one, especially when you’re looking for a specific dog to match your personality and lifestyle.
But, before we see the benefits of adopting a dog, let’s take a look at what happens when you buy a dog.
“You don’t own a dog, you have a dog, and the dog has you.”
Kaveri Bhardwaj (The Dog Mother)
1. When you buy a dog, you are supporting a puppy trade.
The puppy trade is booming, and cruel puppy traders are profiting from people like us who prefer to buy a dog.
When you buy a dog from a pet store, you are actually supporting puppy mills which are “breeding factories” that put profit above the health of dogs. Dogs raised in puppy mills are kept in a very unhygienic and miserable condition with no proper medical care and human companionship.
The breeding mothers are housed in isolated cages, and used to reproduce over and over for years. When they are no longer profitable, they are abandoned or euthanized.
Buyers never get to see where the pups are bred, which is the most important step in puppy-buying.
2. Buying a dog contributes to the overpopulation crisis.
In the absence of strict laws and punishment, one of the main reasons of overpopulation of dogs is over breeding. More demand, more supply!
While pups and dogs are struggling to survive in animal shelters due to lack of homes, no breeding – no matter how lovingly done, can be considered “responsible”.
Be it a puppy mill or a backyard breeder, all breeders add to the dog overpopulation crisis. And, every time you purchase a pup instead of adopting one from a dog shelter, a homeless dog loses his chance of finding a home, and will be euthanized eventually.
The proof lies here – most breeders don’t require every puppy to be spayed or neutered prior to selling, so the dogs they sell can soon have litters of their own. This creates even more dogs, and fuels the overpopulation crisis.
Also read – An autobiography of a stray dog (Selfie) 3-min read
3. Buying a pet means getting an untrained and unvaccinated dog.
A pet store only sells puppies that are – untrained and not vaccinated! They leave the training and vaccination expenses to you even after you pay so much for the pup.
Most breeders do not bother about the vaccination requirements or a vet examination of the pups, and some breeders make false claims about having vaccinated the pups on their own. Beware!
In either case, the dog you purchased may not have received the vaccines at all, or may have been inadequately vaccinated.
Additionally, store pets do not receive any training, not even the basics like obedience training, eating habits, pee & potty training, basic commands like responding to calls, etc.
The most important training a puppy requires is bite inhibition, which he naturally learns from his mother and other siblings. But store pets lack in this because they are taken away too early from their mother and family.
Hence, store pets display excessive biting habits and aggression due to this reason.
The breeder only cares about getting sale of the pups as soon as possible, not worrying about the pups’ behavioural habits in the long run.
So, that leaves a lot of work for you to do after buying a dog from a pet store.
4. Buying a dog leaves no option to choose.
When you walk into a pet store or buy from a backyard breeder, you have only one option to choose from – puppies.
Puppies are suitable for people who are ready to spare a lot of time, sleepless nights, and a huge amount of patience to train and raise them. But, not everyone has that time and patience.
Some would like to have an adult dog which is already trained and raised with good manners.
An adult dog is more understanding and easy to handle, especially when it has received all the basic training in his earlier stages. So, there is less work for you!
But, pet stores or breeders, none provide adult dogs.
5. Buying a dog is all about the ‘cute factor’.
It’s the bitter truth!
When we decide to spend a huge sum of money while picking and choosing from a litter, the last intention is to give them a home. We prioritize on getting the best looking pup, and not the one who actually needs a home.
For instance – Would you buy a healthy, active pup, or a skinny, inactive pup?
I’ll answer that for you, the skinny pup (usually the last born of the litter) needs more nutrition and care, that you can easily provide with all that money.
Sadly, no one likes a defective product! Yes, PRODUCT!
6. The cynic knows the price of everything and the value of nothing.
While logically anything with a price tag is a product, DOGS ARE NOT PRODUCTS.
Dogs are our friends, and no one buys a friend.
Sadly, there are many people who already know about animal shelters and dogs in absolute need of a home, but they still buy a dog from pet stores or backyard breeders.
Also, it’s not uncommon to see people buying and gifting pups to their friends, even without considering that there is a dog already waiting to receive the gift of a home.
I am pretty sure, when you think of having a dog, you are looking for a friend.
The good news is – you see and know your friend every day. He is facing a difficult time on the street – lost or abandoned, or at an animal shelter – healthy but homeless – this friend of yours needs a home the most.
But, when you buy a dog, you are indirectly labelling it as a product. You are supporting commercial dog breeding.
Sometimes, people are not satisfied with ‘the product’, so they get rid of it, and buy a different one this time.
Unfortunately, such people learn the price of things and value of nothing. They don’t realize that, this poor attitude naturally passes on to their kids – who follow examples and not advices.
Advantages of adopting a dog
Since now you know what happens when you buy a dog, you must consider adoption as a first choice!
What’s more, there are many advantages of adopting a dog over buying one, for both – you and your new furry friend.
Check it out!
1. Adoption is inexpensive!
Yes, this is the most obvious one!
Adopting a dog is less expensive than buying one from a pet store or through other sources.
Usually, adoptions at animal shelters are totally free, or come with a nominal fee, which is taken to support the other animals at the shelter.
Moreover, these shelters and recue groups make sure your adopted pet dog is already vaccinated, dewormed, vet-checked and micro-chipped prior to adoption.
At many animal shelters, some adoptions include a free vet visit and 30-days of free pet insurance!
Now, that’s a steal!
2. When you adopt, you get a healthy dog.
Animal shelters and rescue groups are packed with super happy and healthy dogs just waiting for someone to take them home.
To your surprise, you will find purebred dogs and puppies at many of these animal homes.
At these centres, the dogs are thoroughly examined, vaccinated, spayed or neutered and microchipped prior to adoption.
In addition to medical care and assistance, they also sort and organize dogs on the basis of specific temperaments and behaviors to make sure each family finds the right dog for its lifestyle.
Many people have a common misconception about shelter dogs. They think that dogs end up in shelters or with rescue groups because there is something “wrong” with the dogs.
That’s a 100% myth.
In fact, most dogs lose their homes and end up in shelters or rescue groups because of “people reasons” like a divorce, a move to a new place, lack of time, patience, and financial limitations.
Also read – Top 10 Indian breeds of dogs I Bet You Didn’t Know About (4-min read)
3. When you adopt, you get to pick your own companion.
When you visit an animal shelter, you will see smiling faces and happy tails just waiting to be adopted.
Most shelter dogs that are abandoned have been given up or left alone for no fault of theirs. Hence, they are eager to shower love on their companion who accepts them.
It is indeed a great deal that you get the chance to pick which life you want to save.
4. Adopted dogs are mostly house-trained.
As previously mentioned, dogs are abandoned because of human problems.
People give up their dog as the family is moving, or when they aren’t able to take care of the dog anymore. Old age or some sickness in the dog are very common reasons why these pets end up in shelters.
However, since they have spent a good amount of time at homes already, they are well trained and disciplined.
Additionally, when they spend a lot of time at the dog shelter, they are trained by the officials/attendants there too.
So, again, less work for you!
5. When you adopt, you’re saving at least one life.
Each year in the United States alone, around 2 million adoptable dogs are euthanized because too few people choose to adopt.
Because of limited space within these shelters, staff members frequently have to decide which dogs will be euthanized.
You can reduce the number of euthanized dogs by one if you adopt your pet dog instead of buying.
By adopting from a local dog shelter, or rescue group, you will help save the lives of two dogs – the dog you adopt, and a homeless dog somewhere who can be rescued because of the space you helped free up.
In reality, you’re saving more than one life.
6. By adopting a dog you’re helping to keep the excessive pet population down.
When the world is dealing with a crisis, the least you can do is not add to it.
Dog population is growing uncontrollably all around the world, especially in countries like India. While it is a cliché that there are too many homeless dogs and not enough homes, it can be solved by you and me – all we need to do is adopt a dog.
When we adopt a dog, we indirectly help to control the excessive dog population, as adopted dogs are always spayed/neutered.
It is just like recycling. You recycle paper and plastic so it doesn’t end up in landfills. Similarly, when you adopt a dog, you give its life a purpose, and you save it from a sad ending.
It is our responsibility towards the environment to not aid in any more animal cruelty by buying dogs. But instead giving a decent life to a breathing animal in need.
7. You can adopt a dog of any age.
Animal homes and other rescue groups have various breeds of dogs, of different age groups. It makes a great catalogue to choose from.
We can select a puppy, an adult dog, or a senior dog of any breed we wish that fits perfectly well with our lifestyle.
Older dogs are loaded with manners and calmness. They form deeper bonds and are perfect for families with elderly people.
Adopt an older dog and you can skip the puppy stage!
8. Adopting a pet will make you feel proud of yourself.
Dogs have a way of putting a smile on your face, no matter what’s going on in the world.
Not only do they give you unconditional love, but research confirms that dogs provide us, humans, with psychological, emotional, and physical gain.
Adopting a dog and caring for it, can provide a sense of purpose and bring in a good deal of positivity in all age groups.
Simply put, adopting a homeless dog is not just getting home a good friend, it is changing two worlds at once.
Your new furry friend will also be a good therapy during a gloomy day, and can improve your well-being in many ways.
Adopting a dog will make you a better human. It is the ability to feel the pain of others, to be moved by their plight that makes us more human.
9. You’re inspiring others and teaching your kids the value of life.
When you decide to get a dog and opt to adopt one, you promote companionship and inspire everyone with your kind act of selfless love.
It shows that you understand the risk a homeless dog has on the street. They can easily get hit by a vehicle, die of starvation or even abused by the rest of the world.
You are also aware that such dogs are carried to shelters on a daily basis, and you like to help them in a way you can.
They say, it a sign of a great character to see beyond the dirt, terror, pain, sadness, and defeat.
You are setting a solid foundation of humanity in the kids around you, and the best part about this is the love is returned manifolds.
You are writing a shining future of two species – the dog and your kids, with one pen.
Also read – Tips for First Time Dog Owners That is Very Important to know(4min. read)
10. When you adopt a dog, you have a support system.
Adoption shelters and rescue groups have a well-structured support system for people adopting dogs. They help you with the entire adoption process and make sure the dog gets the best home.
They take care of the dog’s micro-chipping, vaccination records, and a compulsory vet check-up before handing over the dog to you with documents.
It doesn’t end here – these adoption agencies provide a friendly 24×7 support system after the adoption just in case you have any queries regarding your new friend.
Adopting a dog gives you the best feeling in the world. Believe me, you will learn and discover a lot about yourself when you adopt a dog! Every day, when you return home from work, it’s an elated feeling for both you and your dog. After waiting all day for you to come home, your dog is on cloud nine to see you. A warm feeling of joy takes over you when you realize that you actually made that dog feel loved and wanted– you’ll definitely sense pride flowing into your heart. The heart that turned love into action, and decided to change the world – adopting one homeless dog at a time.
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