So you and your family want a new dog. You have a couple different options. You could adopt a dog from a rescue shelter or you could buy one from a breeder.
Both have their own pros and cons and we’ve compiled a list of both to help you make the decision that’s best for you and your family.
Adopting from a Shelter
There are a lot of benefits to adopting (or rescuing) a dog from a shelter. For example, shelters tend to have more adult dogs (older than one year) which don’t need to be let outside as often as puppies.
Plus, it’s usually safe to assume they’re house trained, but may need a quick refresher when you take them home. It’s pretty unusual for shelter dogs to still be teething so you won’t have to go through that with your rescue dog. Dogs in a shelter are generally neutered or spayed, especially the longer they’ve been there.
When you adopt a dog from the shelter, you won’t be left to wonder about its personality traits because you’ll already see how the dog behaves. Another major pro of adopting a dog from the shelter is they’re far less expensive than getting a dog from a breeder.
While there are a lot of benefits to adopting/rescuing a dog from a shelter, there are a couple downsides. You won’t know much about the dog’s background like where they came from, how much they were abused, and their parent’s health history. Plus, the dog may have behavioral issues/trust problems from being abandoned, neglected, and/or abused.
If you go to the shelter looking for a specific breed, you may not find it. If you want a specific breed, it’s probably better to research a breeder, they’ll be able to provide more options of what you want than a shelter.
Buying from a Breeder
You always want to go visit the breeder, this way you can see what conditions the dogs live in. You want to avoid getting a dog from a puppy mill at all costs.
Any reputable breeder will be able to give you the dog’s parents’ history and let you know any health conditions the dog may experience later in life. When you get a dog from a breeder, you’re able to raise and train it as you see fit. Whether you want an active guard dog or a cuddly couch potato, either are totally doable.
A lot (but not all) breeders provide support and information after you purchase your dog. This is generally on feeding, training, and how to best care for your new dog.
Dogs from breeders are significantly more expensive than dogs from shelters. You also need to pay for additional procedures like getting them neutered (or spayed) and all their vaccinations. In addition to being monetarily expensive, dogs take up a lot of time.
In some ways, puppies are like human babies, they need almost constant care. They eat roughly four times a day and need to be let out about once every hour or two to use the bathroom, and this includes through the night.
You’ll have to housetrain your new dog too. There will inevitably be some accidents which you’ll need to clean up. While you know the dog’s parents background, you don’t exactly know how the dog will turn out.
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This blog post has been updated.