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Getting a Dog – Buying vs. Adopting

dog in a cage
Photo credit: Koljambus / Bigstock

Congratulations, you’ve decided to get a dog!

Now all you have to do is decide whether you’re going to adopt or buy. There are many who strictly support one avenue or another, but then there are those who don’t see the situation only as black and white. Knowing the pros and cons of both buying vs. adopting can save you a lot of hassle now and in the future.

Let’s take a look at adopting a dog. Every year there are approximately 2.7 million dogs in shelters around the United States, so when you adopt, you’re giving a dog another chance at life. You’re also giving them a chance to have love, a family, companionship, and plenty of play time, all of which they can never get enough of while cooped up with numerous other dogs.

In return, you know you saved a life, which is reward enough in itself, but then you get the love and companionship back in return. Prices to adopt vary from shelter-to-shelter, but the average cost is typically around $250, while buying a dog could cost upwards of hundreds or thousands of dollars.

The only downside of adopting a shelter dog is that their health issues and temperament are questioned as the dogs are usually mixed breeds. However, if you adopt from a reputable organization, they will be able to give you a full run down of the breed, health, and temperament of the dog, and will not let the dog be adopted out until they’re ready.

Now, onto buying a dog. Many typically choose to buy because they want a pure-breed, especially if they are looking to enter their pet in shows, breed the dogs themselves, or just because they want a very specific dog for their lifestyle. As stated above, buying a dog, depending on the breed and where you get him from, could cost hundreds or thousands of dollars.

The biggest downside of buying is the risk of inadvertently supporting a puppy mill. Many are not aware that when they buy from a puppy store, that’s what they are doing. However, there are plenty of reputable breeders out there, it just may take some extra effort and research to ensure you find one who is honest and treats animals fairly. To find a reputable breeder, check with your local kennel club as they can usually point you in the right direction.

When it comes down to it, there’s no right or wrong answer whether you should buy or adopt, it’s all about your personal decision and what works best for you.


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