If you’re thinking about getting a dog, there’s a lot to consider. Will you be home enough to train and care for it? Can you afford a dog? Does your living space accommodate the kind of dog you are looking for? And a ton of other considerations, as well. However, your dog search probably starts with buying versus adopting. If you’ve never had a dog before it can be hard to know which route to go. There’s so many people who tell you to “adopt don’t shop,” but then you also have people who tell you not to adopt because you never truly know the background on the dog or what you’re truly getting, and so on and so fourth. The truth of the matter is, there’s pros and cons to each and the ultimate decision is yours to make, and don’t let anyone make you feel bad about what you choose. Take a look at these pros and cons of adopting vs buying a dog!
Let’s start with the pros and cons of adopting a dog. Here are the pros:
- Shelter dogs are very inexpensive compared to breeders. The prices at each shelter vary, but they’re all inexpensive.
- If you adopt an older dog, it likely already has basic training. That could come in handy for someone who might not be home enough to dedicate the proper time to training or someone who just isn’t really sure how to properly train a dog.
- You’re giving a dog a second chance and maybe even saving a life. Many shelters are or are becoming no-kill shelters, but that doesn’t mean that the dogs there don’t start to deteriorate after a while anyway. You don’t know the dogs’ background or where they came from, but whatever it was you are giving them a second chance at having a loving and happy life. This is just one of the pros for adopting vs buying a dog.
Now for the cons:
- As I just mentioned, you don’t know the dogs’ history. The only information on the dog that you have is what the shelter tells you, which may or may not be accurate. That’s not to say that they would intentionally lie to you, sometimes they just don’t really know themselves and they have to take their best guess as to what their history is based on the time they’ve spent around the dog. This can be something as small as the dog being skinny because they were not properly fed, or it can be more serious where they were abused and have behavioral problems as a result.
- You don’t really know what breed your dog is. The shelter can take a pretty good guess, but it might not necessarily be accurate. I volunteered at a shelter a few times and there was a lot of, “We’re not really sure what this dog is, but it looks like a (blank) and (blank) mix.” You may be totally unbothered by that and don’t really care what breed of dog you get, or you might have a breed in mind that you want or simply would just rather know what you’re getting. It’s all personal preference. This is just one of the cons for adopting vs buying a dog.
Now for the pros of buying a dog from a breeder:
- You’ll know exactly what you’re getting. A good breeder will have a detailed history on the dog and the dogs’ family, so there’s no secrets or surprises. When the dogs are ready to be sold, they’ll even already have their shots, which is one less thing for you to do.
- You can get a purebred dog. Unlike in the shelter where you don’t really know what you’re getting, by buying your dog from a breeder you’ll know exactly the kind of dog it is. If you have a particular breed in mind that you want, this would be a good option for you.
- You’ll get to meet the parents of the dog you are buying. My family bought my dog from a breeder and not only did we meet his parents, but we also got to meet his siblings.
Now for the cons:
- The cost can be high. Prices vary depending on the breed, but you can expect anywhere from several hundred to even a few thousand dollars for your dog.
- Training your new puppy is time consuming. If you go the route of buying your dog through a breeder, you’re going to need a lot of time to dedicate to care for it and train it properly.
Regardless of whether you decide to buy or adopt your dog, there’s two pros to both:
- You’ll be getting a new best friend.
- You will be improving your quality of life. Whether you have anxiety or depression or some other health issue, dogs are extremely beneficial. They force you to get out and exercise daily, which is always a good thing. Adopting vs buying a dog is quite different, but either way you end up with a best friend!