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Adopting a dog can be one of the most exciting and rewarding experiences of your life. Not only do dogs provide companionship, but they also offer unwavering love and loyalty. However, at the same time, dogs are a lot of work and you should be prepared for a 10+ year commitment. If you’re not ready for all that, it’s probably best you wait on getting a canine friend.

On the other hand, if you’re ready to add a dog to your home, there are some things you should know about dog adoption before you get started.

Dog Adoptions

There are pros and cons to adopting a pet. While rescue animals make some of the best pets, it’s important to do plenty of research so you know exactly what you’re getting into. Let’s take a look at some pros and cons of adopting a pooch.

Pros

These are the reasons most people choose adoption:

While it sounds very cliché, it’s true! There are many dogs given up to shelters each year, and the sad truth is that they don’t all survive.

    • It’s cheaper to adopt a dog

Purebred puppies are expensive. And that’s only the beginning. The initial cost doesn’t include shots, food, toys, vet visits, etc. The cost of a rescue animal includes the animal, its shots, and the spay or neuter. It’s also helpful that the dog has already been seen by a veterinarian, so you’ll know if the dog already has health issues.

    • The dog may already be trained

Sure, there’s nothing cuter than a small, fluffy puppy. But, they are a lot of work and require true dedication. Many rescue dogs are older, so they go to their new homes already house-trained. Some of them may even know some cool tricks already.

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    • Your rescue dog may be healthier and live longer

Many rescue dogs are mixed breeds. So, this eliminates the worry of some breed-specific diseases and illnesses. It may also mean that your dog can live a longer life because some breeds don’t live that long such as the Bernese Mountain Dog.

Cons

As with anything else, there can be some drawbacks to adopting a dog. Let’s take a look at the major ones:

    • It’s hard to find a puppy

Perhaps the biggest drawback of dog adoption is how hard it is to find a puppy. So, if you have your heart set on a young puppy, you’re better off looking into other options. If you are serious about adoption you can always add your name to waiting lists with smaller dog rescues, but there’s no limit on how long it may take for you to get the call.

    • You may end up with a large dog that’s not trained

Some dogs end up in shelters because their owners don’t have time to care for and train them. This means you may end up with a large dog that’s not trained. So, you may need an abundance of patience to train the dog not to jump on guests, to relieve themselves outside, etc.

    • The adoption process can be tedious

Many dog rescues have a list of questions they like to ask potential adopters and some of these questions tend to be personal. Some people decide the adoption process takes too long and makes you “jump through too many hoops”, and find a dog somewhere else.

Buying a Dog

While rescuing a dog is a rewarding experience, sometimes it is better to buy a dog. If you are looking for a specific breed and want to train the dog from a young age, then you should locate a reputable breeder and ask lots of questions to ensure the dog breed is right for you. Use caution when buying puppies from pet stores because many of them purchase their puppies from “puppy mills”. While these dogs need homes too, many of them will go to their new homes with health and behavior concerns.

In the end, regardless of where you plan to get your dog, just be sure you are ready! Dogs require a great deal of time, patience, and love, but the best part is you will get so much loyalty and comradery in return, that it is worth it! 

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