Are you thinking of adding a new companion to your home and family, but are unsure of whether you should adopt a dog or buy from a breeder?
It’s always very important to decide what exactly you’re looking for in a dog before you decide to get one, and what responsibilities you are prepared to take over! While all dogs require care and effort, buying a puppy and rearing them from scratch is a much different experience than adopting an already-socialized and trained dog from a shelter.
What to keep in mind
Before deciding on whether adoption or buying is best for you, there are a few points to keep in mind about what exactly you’re looking for in a new friend!
- Age. Shelters often have a wide spectrum of ages, as dogs of all ages are brought into shelters all time, giving you more freedom with the age of the dog you want! But if your heart is set on a young pup to raise on your own (and you are confident of handling the responsibility) then you are more likely to turn to breeders.
- Breed. Your preference of purebred or hybrid dogs would affect where you go looking. Shelters are more likely to have a wider range of hybrid dogs, which would be perfect for those looking for a loving friend not constricted to a specific breed. If you are keen on a pedigree breed, however, then breeders would be the option for you!
Why adopt a dog?
- You are saving a life. As the overwhelming number of animals that are brought into shelters grows on a yearly basis, vacancies to house and care for these animals become limited. With shelters reaching overcapacity, many of the strays brought into shelters are rejected, or even worse put down. Adopting from a shelter not only saves the life of the dog you take home, but also leaves a space for a new dog to be brought in.
- Giving them a second chance. While many of the dogs at shelters may be rescue or stray dogs, a large number of them are also abandoned dogs, left by their previous owners for one reason or another. By choosing adoption, you are offering the dog a second chance at a loving home and a life-long companionship!
- Cheaper than shops and breeders. Generally, shelter dogs are much cheaper than breeders!
- Taking a stand against puppy mills. When you choose to adopt, you are choosing to fight against the abuse and cruelty of puppy mills. These mills profit off the systematic breeding of mother dogs which takes place over many years until the dogs are too sick or old to continue, at which point they are discarded. The dogs grow up in unsanitary settings, kept in cages their entire lives with little to no love and affection.
Why choose breeders?
It should be noted that not all breeders take part in abusive practices with their dogs. Responsible and reputable breeders are, in fact, very common! As a possible buyer, you must make sure you know where the puppies are coming from, and in some cases even pay a visit to the breeder himself to make sure they are reared in a safe, clean and comfortable environment!
How to find a good breeder?
If you have your heart set on finding a purebred companion, then it is very important to find a good and reliable breeder first! Here’s how you can decide if a breeder really is dependable and responsible!
- They are passionate and well-informed about the breed. Professional breeders often have great respect and admiration for the breed that they devote themselves too. Make sure the breeders are not backyard or novice breeders, they must be well-informed! Professional breeders would be mindful of the pairs they choose, and of the ways the puppies are reared and raised.
- They care about quality, not quantity. If a breeder is reliable, they would not fall into the unsafe reproductive practices of puppy mills. The breeder would be more concerned with the health, safety and overall wellbeing of every litter rather than rushing their dogs into a cycle of unhealthy reproduction.
- Their dogs are healthy and clean. If you do end up paying a breeder a visit, make sure you pay attention to the health of the parent dogs and pups before deciding to buy from them, as well as the overall sanitation of the area. Good breeders should be very careful and responsible when it comes to the health and cleanliness of their dogs, so this would be a good indication of what type of breeder you are working with!
Whether you eventually choose to adopt or buy from a breeder, you’ll be taking a loving new friend back home and giving them a chance at a long and happy life!