You’ve seen that hashtag floating around, right?
While I’m a huge advocate for adoption, there can be more factors to consider. There should be no shame in adopting from a reputable breeder when appropriate! While reputable breeders do exist, they can take some work to find and you may have to wait for the dog you want. Above all, please avoid pet stores that sell dogs from puppy mills and backyard breeders who don’t provide proper care for the animals!
Benefits of Adoption
Adoption is wonderful! You have the chance to provide a good life for a dog that may have struggled in their previous situations. Adoption fees are typically much lower than buying from a breeder and the payment goes to the shelter or rescue, helping them provide resources for other animals in their care.
You usually get to meet a dog first when you adopt, which gives you a chance to see their personality. Many shelters and rescues will encourage you to bring any pets you already have to make sure they get along.
Another lesser-known benefit: mixed breeds typically have fewer health problems. This can vary widely based on the individual dog, but it is a good thing to keep in mind.
One more great thing about adoption: not everyone has the time or energy for a puppy! Or, some may not want to deal with the puppy phase. Adoption gives people the chance to give a home to an older dog, whether that be an adult or senior dog! We know that these dogs need fur-ever homes too, and it can be very fulfilling to provide a home to an older pet.
A breeder could be for you
You might consider buying from a breeder if you want a specific breed of dog. Although breed-specific rescues do exist, it may take longer to find the perfect dog from these types of rescues. Many of them can have behavioral or health issues, especially in the case of more “trendy” dog breeds (like Corgis, French Bulldogs, etc.).
There can be more predictability in a dog’s health when you buy from a reputable breeder who does thorough health screens on all of their breeding dogs. Some dogs may be more likely to develop breed-based health issues, but knowing what they are vulnerable to can help in prevention and early detection.
Another reason that breeding could be for you is due to restrictions that rescues and shelters may place on adopters. Rescues especially (although some shelters are the same) can have very strict requirements about other pets in the home, the home itself, and the adopters. Things like not allowing pets to be adopted unless they have a fenced yard, a limit on the types or number of other pets in the home, or the age of people in the home can be a huge limitation for those looking to give a shelter dog a better life! Some of these restrictions can be a policy for the organization without considering the individual personality of the dog. For example, not all dogs need a fenced yard. Many dogs are perfectly content with walks and playing inside. Having this rule restricts almost every apartment renter from helping these dogs. While some spaces may be too small for some dogs, there are plenty of dogs (even large breeds!) that are perfectly content in an apartment, provided their owners provide them with stimulation and attention.
I’ll always recommend considering adoption first, but reputable breeders are great and many of them do wonderful things to help animals in need of homes. All in all, do what’s best for you!
#AdoptOrShop, but do it responsibly!