To Adopt or Not to Adopt (a four-legged friend), that is the question
Dogs are supposed “Man’s Best Friend”. Anyone who has grown up with a dog will attest to the special bond that you share with your dog.
However, sharing your life with a cat can be equally amazing and rewarding, as can spending your life in the company of many other animals.
Pets complete us. If you’re lucky enough to have children, you’ll know how richer your life becomes.
However, when you add a pet to that family, you have yourself a whole new dynamic!
Assuming for argument’s sake that you have decided that you have room in your home and your heart for that special dog or cat, one of the biggest decisions you will make is whether to adopt a dog/cat from a shelter or rescue group or buy a puppy/kitten from a breeder.
Shelter or Rescue Dog / Cat
The stigma that all shelter dogs/cats are unpredictable and come with behavioral issues is simply not true. Many dogs/cats are surrendered to shelters because of a change in family situation, not because of the dog’s / cat’s behavior, and many shelter animals have already had some training.
Out door cat Tiger
The Benefits of Adopting a Pet
You are saving two lives – the life of the dog/cat you adopt and the space that opens up for another dog/cat in the shelter or rescue.
Most dogs/cats will already have all of their vetting completed, including a microchip and spay/neuter.
If adopting from a rescue group, they will be able to tell you all about the dog’s / cat’s personality so there are no surprises when you bring the dog/cat home.
Many adult dogs/cats are already potty-trained, saving you a lot of time and training.
Private rescue groups will generally take the dog/cat back if it is not a good match.
Mixed breed dogs/cats tend to have less inherited genetic health problems.
The love and gratitude you will receive from a shelter dog/cat are unlike any other.
The Challenges with animal shelter animal is it worse …… yes it is!
If adopting a dog/cat straight from a shelter, you may not know much about how they will act in your home. It is very important to know how to pick the right shelter dog /cat.
You may not know exactly what breed the dog/cat you pick is mixed with, although there are many purebred dogs/cats in shelters.
The cost of adopting from a shelter is much lower than the cost of purchasing a puppy/kitten from a breeder.
Buying a Puppy or Kitten from a Breeder
Finding a reputable breeder is not easy. Ask around. Check with pet groomers and local vets. If you come across a breeder that keeps the dogs/cats in a garage, shed, basement or barn, turn and run! NO backyards or basement breeders allowed!
An honest, reputable breeder is in the business for the love of the breed and not the money. Their goal is to produce the finest stock possible and will question you and your lifestyle quite a bit before turning one of their puppies/kittens over to you. Some breeders will offer after-sale advice on raising the puppy/kitten.
Pure Breed or Shelter Pet
Breeders are good when you need a specific breed of dog/cat NOW.
See a breeder if you want to raise a puppy from the ground up and teach it everything it is to know.
See a breeder if you plan to show your dog/cat in the ring and you need papers.
See a breeder if you want a puppy/kitten with presumably no known hereditary illnesses. (Even then you can’t be absolutely 100% sure all of the time.)
If you buy your puppy/kitten from a breeder, you may be able to call on the breeder for advice and counsel if you run into trouble raising the puppy/kitten. Some breeders are better than others about this. If you can do it, this is a real plus for the adoption vs breeder list.
The puppy/kitten should have been adequately socialized and handled INSIDE a private residence so will be familiar with common sounds of a working household, vacuum cleaner, dishwasher and all.
The puppy/kitten has not yet learned any bad habits.
The puppy/kitten will grow up to be what YOU make her be, after putting in many long hours of tedious work in training sessions.
The Challenges to buy versus to adopt
Trying to find a truly REPUTABLE and honest breeder, in your location.
Cost, $500 to $1500 for a puppy, less for a kitten, depending on the breed, breeder and location. For the discussion of what’s good and bad about dog/cat adoption versus breeders, there has to be a mention of puppies/kittens, because that’s what breeders offer.
You’ll have to pay to spay or neuter your puppy/kitten. While some folks do this as young as 8 weeks, I prefer the old standard of 5 to 6 months for the surgery.
The puppy/kitten will need a series of vaccinations as it grows a few weeks older so there will be additional vet costs.
Puppies/kittens are a full-time chore just like a newborn baby coming home from the hospital.
They squeal, squirm around, and are perpetual peeing and pooping gizmos. They chew on everything in sight, whine and bark/meow, then pee and go to sleep. Think of that when you ponder the adoption vs breeder question.
Puppies/kittens eat 3 to 4 times a day depending on their age and go outdoors 15 minutes after each feeding, plus immediately after waking up which is also 3 or so times a day and night.
For those of you who were still undecided, I hope the assessment above of the benefits and challenges of adoption versus purchasing a puppy/kitten was helpful. And yes, I’m rooting for ADOPTION…but that’s just because of the positive experiences my family and I have had to take this route!
Thank You for reading this article and considering giving a shelter pet a home. We at my pet shop world would like to Thank You with our deepest Gratitude to help animals in need.