Congratulations! You have finally decided to add a dog as a new member of your family. You are excited with the thought but, you are unsure whether you should buy or adopt a dog.
While this article will not really say which is better of the two, hopefully, this will help first time dog owners like you reach the final decision as to which suits you and your family.
Consider These Things Before Getting a Dog
- Can you afford a dog?
Getting a dog requires financial commitment. Things such as food, pet insurance, vet bills, bedding, treats, toys, pet care, and others are all essential. You have to be confident that your monthly budget is enough for covering such needs. (Read our article on cost of owning a dog)
- Do you have time for a dog?
It will take up lots of your time to care for a dog. After all, a dog can’t look after itself. It will need love, playtime, walks, and attention. You have to clean up after your pet, visit the vet, and change its beddings.
- What kind of dog is suitable for your family?
One of the things that first time dog owners should remember is that while puppies are probably the cutest things in this world, sooner or later, they will still get big. See to it you do the research first to know how big a specific breed can get. When your home has limited space, getting larger breeds will be a mistake. If you don’t have lots of free time for dog walks, high energy dogs will not be your best choice. If there are kids in the family, you also have to consider if a dog can be around children. (Read the article on which type of dogs are kid friendly)
Good and Bad Sides of Adopting a Dog
- You can literally save a life. Taking a dog from rescue centers lets you save a life. Most rescues end up putting dogs down because of space issues. Adopting one means you save that dog from seeing the end of its life.
- The dog you will get is already neutered or spayed. It can be a considerable saving for you when it comes to vet expenses.
- You can pick the age or breed of dog which will best suit you and your family.
- Many rescues will microchip the dogs before letting them get adopted. It is mandated by the law to have dogs chipped, which means that you will also be able to save money instead of having to do it yourself.
- You can check the behavior of the dog around other dogs. The rescue will also be able to let you know about the dog’s nature, particularly if they have been staying at the center for quite some time.
- Most rescue dogs are older, which means that they are already toilet trained. This will save you from having to train your new pet.
- By adopting a rescue dog, you will be giving a donation to the center that they can use to fund their works of helping other dogs.
- With any dog, there’s a possibility that there are health problems that you do not know about and frequently, pet insurance companies won’t insure the older dogs. But, it’s something you could discuss with the rescue beforehand as well as see if they have health records from when dogs were check out by rescue initially. Of course, there could be some health concerns with any age of dogs and other purebred dogs are prone to disease.
- You really do not have a clue about the history of the dogs. Once you adopt a dog, you do not know the background of the dog. There are times that there are some dogs in the rescue that could’ve been surrendered because of a change in the family circumstances, yet more often than not, they’ve found dumped across the country. It might mean they have some issues on aggression or foods. With the best behaviorist or dog trainer, such problems could be resolved usually.
The Good and Not So Good about Buying a Dog
- Get Official Documents for the Dog
Registered breeders can give you some official papers for dogs showing their family history as well as confirming their breed.
- Meet the Parents of the Dog
If you’re buying a dog from registered breeders, you can meet the dog’s parents. If it isn’t made available to you, it is suggested that you question the reason why it isn’t possible.
- You Know the Breed
With rescue dogs, you might not know the breed that you’re adopting. There are some breeds that you won’t be able to see often.
- Micro-Chipped and Vaccinated
The law basically requires every breeder to micro-chip and vaccinates puppies before they consider selling them. If you’re not sure about the paperwork’s legitimacy, you may contact the vet for verifying them.
- Time Spent to Train Your Puppy
Once you get a puppy from the breeder, you should expect to commit several months to train it to ensure it is a well-rounded and well-behaved dog. The advantage to this though is you could train your puppy to behave on how you prefer it to. If you don’t want your dog to sit on the sofa, you should train your puppy not to right from the beginning.
- Cost Could Be High
Buying a dog from the breeder may be very high. Expect paying hundreds for dogs. Once you adopt dogs, you’re giving back to rescues that help them.
- Allowing Constant Dog Breeding
You might argue that if everybody stopped purchasing dogs there’d be no reason for the breeders to breed them and the rescues would not be full of dogs requiring a home. Legitimate breeders would breed their dogs responsibly, yet if you’re buying a dog from the puppy farm, you’re feeding the industry in which some unscrupulous individuals are making money from the innocent dogs without caring for their own welfare.