Should I Adopt A Dog?

When you are in the market for a new dog, you may wonder about adopting the pet or getting it from a breeder or pet store. Some people fear that if a dog is in a shelter or with a rescue organization that there must be something wrong with it. While this can be true, there are many different reasons why dogs are put in shelters. It can be due to illness or death of the owner, a move that will not allow for a dog, or someone in the family is allergic to the pet., among other reasons. On the negative side, the owner couldn’t take the time to properly train the dog so it was given up.

Just the act of adopting a dog from a shelter or rescue organization is rewarding and fulfilling, knowing you have saved a dog’s life. You may need to invest a lot of time initially in training your newly rescued pet. But once over the hurdles of ridding excess doggy baggage, the love and bonding you have from your pet is priceless.

If you go to a shelter, interview the staff and volunteers about the pet’s personality and habits. They will usually tell you if the dog was a stray or had to be given up by its previous owner. Ask about the reasons the dog was given up. Ask about health or behavioral issues that have been evaluated. Work with the staff to figure out which dog is a good match for your lifestyle and personality.

Often shelters or rescue groups have covered the costs of spaying or neutering, vaccinations and flea or tick treatments among other things. This can save hundreds of dollars over the initial vet costs you would pay for a purchased puppy. Adoption fees vary but are much less than the cost of a dog from a pet store or breeder.

Remember, when you buy your dog from a pet store, thinking you are freeing it from life in a small cage, you are actually perpetuating the puppy mills. These are dog breeding factories with overcrowded and less than healthy environments. Often these dogs are inbred and may have genetic problems. Mixed breeds, which make up about 70% of a shelter population, are less likely to have inherited genetic diseases since they are not inbred.

Dog rescue organizations often save a pet from euthanization, which is common in over-crowded shelters. These rescued dogs may then live with a foster family who can take the time to assess behavior and do any training needed before the pet is adopted. There is also the added benefit that if for some reason the adopted dog does not work out for you, the rescuers will take the dog back.

Whether you adopt from a shelter or a pet rescue organization, you are saving a dog’s life. Plus, you are creating an opening for another dog that needs rescuing. It is a win-win situation for all of our abandoned friends!

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