10 Reasons to Adopt a Dog
I used to be a cat person, but at one point I found myself ready to adopt a dog. Adding any pet to your family should be a well thought out process, but once you have decided to do so, here are 10 reasons why you should adopt a dog, rather than buy one:
1. You save a dog’s life.
This is the most obvious, yet the most powerful reason to choose to adopt a dog. Not only are millions of dogs waiting for homes in shelters around the world, but if that home is not found within a certain time this could mean the dog is euthanised. Adopting a dog and getting them out of the shelter will not only save and improve the life of your chosen one, but also ensure that shelters can continue providing temporary housing for more animals in need.
2. You don’t support puppy mills or over-breeding of dogs.
By buying puppies from a pet shop, you are likely to support a horrible concept called a puppy mill. Puppy mills are commercial dog breeding facilities where everything evolves around the profit, rather than the welfare of the animals. Dogs are used as breeding machines, having litter after litter, and are often kept in unsanitary, sub standard conditions. Because of this, puppies born in mills could have both health and social issues. If you adopt a dog instead of buying one, you can be certain you aren’t supporting these cruel puppy mills with your money. Puppy mills will continue to operate until people stop purchasing from them.
3. There is nothing wrong with dogs in shelters.
Dogs often end up in shelters through no fault of their own. The most common reasons animals are given up is because of a change in circumstances of their family: a move, a divorce, a new baby or because their family was not ready for all the responsibilities of having a pet and “no longer has time for them”. Due to the massive numbers of abandoned hunting dogs, I imagine this statistic in Spain would be slightly different – but still. The fact that a dog is no longer deemed fit to hunt, doesn’t mean they are not a perfectly sweet and adoptable pet.
4. You can find a dog to match your personality and lifestyle.
Unless you buy a puppy from a reputable breeder and you get to meet both parents, there is no way of knowing what kind of dog your pup will grow up to be. If you adopt a dog from a shelter, the staff can help you choose a dog whose age, temperament and exercise requirements fit your lifestyle. In addition, if you choose to adopt a dog that has previously been in a home, there is a good chance some of the training and socialisation was already done for you. Because the staff in the shelter has got to know your specific dog, they are able to advise on many things you would not otherwise know. They will be able to tell you whether they like cats/children/etc., which in return helps you make an informed decision to ensure a happily ever after.
5. You get more for your money.
Adopting a dog from a shelter is often cheaper than buying a puppy from a pet shop or a breeder. Most shelter dogs are spayed or neutered before adoption, so you won’t have to pay for the cost of surgery. Almost all shelters give their animals thorough physical exams and provide vaccinations and a microchip – all included in the adoption fee.
6. You contribute to a good cause.
By paying an adoption fee you support the work of the shelter you are adopting from. The adoption fee covers the cost of the vaccinations, neutering and chip, but anything you pay or donate above that will be used for helping the shelter to continue their work. Not only monetary contributions count. There are too many dogs without a home to encourage creating new ones, so if you adopt a dog you are also making an ethical decision.
7. You will experience an amazing transformation.
Strays and abandoned dogs are often in a bad state when they first enter the shelter. For some people, seeing dogs in that way, rather than all cute and cuddly, can be off-putting. For others, myself included, it sparks an extra desire to help. I would have them all if I could. It is such an amazing feeling to see what some TLC can do for a shelter animal. It’s great to help them settle into your family and experience new things. Some amazing stories can be found right here, and I will soon share my own 2 “From Pound to Pet” stories.
8. Charity is contagious.
Few things are more inspiring than charity. If you adopt a dog, you can not only become part of a network of like-minded people, you can also spread the word. When you are proudly walking your new family addition in the park, other dog owners will want to hear about where you got him. You never know who you may inspire by sharing a positive rescue story!
9. Get the mongrel of your dreams.
Pet shops and breeders only tend to supply purebred dogs. Even though there is no guarantee a purebred dog will not be abandoned, the vast majority of dogs in shelters are mixed breed. While all dogs may succumb to illnesses, accidents and other unforeseen issues, it is certainly true to say that mixed breed dogs as a whole live longer than pedigrees.
10. You will have a friend for life.
In my experience, rescued dogs seem to always remember what they went through and they are grateful to you for giving them a new lease of life. Both my rescues are extremely loyal and affectionate. They follow me everywhere (yes, everywhere…) and as I am writing this they are battling over who can sit on my lap.. You will never again be lonely.