Dog Ownership: Adoption vs. Purchase


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There should be no judgment when it comes to dog ownership.

After all, it’s a worthwhile pursuit no matter how you come into it. The adoption vs. buying debate is one that has taken up many hours of argument, frustration, and irritation among those who choose to indulge in it. Most people go into the argument with an entrenched position that they’re not going to change for anyone and all the debate services is their desire to back up their own choice.

So let’s get one thing clear from the start:

There is no “right” way to bring a new dog into your life!

Whatever happens, you’ll still going to have a dog to care for, spend time with, devote your energies towards. Your health will improve, you have the perfect reason for keeping fit, and you are giving a rewarding life to an animal in need of it. How you come to that point is such a personal matter that it’s a wonder we even argue it at all.

Nevertheless, if you’re on the verge of being ready to bring a new dog into your life, you might be wondering which is the right option for you. While dog ownership is not an exact science, it’s worth keeping a few things in mind, and we’re going to go through them below. However, do keep in mind that there’s no determination of what is the “correct” way to enter into dog ownership – this is presented utterly without bias, covering some of the stumbling blocks you may enter along the decision-making process.

Thought #1: Adoption Is A Good Thing

In the main, adoption is a beneficial way of going about bringing a new dog into your life. The sad truth is that there are thousands of unwanted dogs, who may have ended up in a situation where adoption is required through no fault of their own. Some people give dogs up for adoption as they find they don’t have time for them after a new baby, or they need to move house and their new landlord doesn’t accept pets.

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So, it’s important to bear in mind that it’s not because the dog is at fault. There’s nothing wrong with or defective about dogs that are up for adoption – most often it’s a simple case of luck not falling their way.

Thought #2: Adopting Can Be Restrictive

If you have set your heart on a particular breed of dog (and there is often good reason for doing so), then adoption will make that more difficult. Of course, ‘more difficult’ is not to say impossible – you might have a stroke of luck and walk into your nearest rescue and immediately see a dog of your preferred choice, just waiting for a home. However, this is unlikely.

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You have to be fairly open-minded when it comes to adoption about your expectations. The likelihood of getting an exact dog match for your specific requirements is unlikely. So if you need a breed that is good with other animals or with children, then keep this in mind and be aware that sometimes buying is your only option.

Thought #3 – Dogs Can Adapt

One of the issues that adoption raises is that the dog may have been brought up in a circumstance you don’t have. If they didn’t grow up around children, for example, they may not know how to handle your children being around them all the time. Or they may have had an owner who lived in isolation who had no problems with their dog barking; or with an owner who could take them for long daily runs which you won’t be able to accommodate.

That doesn’t immediately rule these dogs out, however. Dogs are adaptable creatures who will likely change their behavior so as to suit their new family. With a little effort you can find the best bark collar for dogs to help curb barking impulses, train them to see your children’s inquisitive touches as friendly not fearsome, and adjust to a walking schedule that suits you. So long as you are going to maintain their health, the rest of habits and routine can be reestablished along what works for your family.

Thought #4 – Adoption Isn’t Always Easy

Often, when you see people enthusing on adopting over buying, they are forgetting that adoption is sometimes not that simple. Most shelters will have firm rules on who they will adopt to, and this can sometimes be very restrictive.

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If you don’t have access to an outside space, then you can still have a dog – you need to walk them and make adjustments, but plenty of people do it without an issue for them or the dog. Shelters, however, are likely to insist on a well-maintained, secure, private space for the dog to enjoy.

This is just one example of the expectations a shelter can place upon potential adoption homes. You can see their reason for it, too – they are doing their best to ensure that the dog has a ‘forever home’, having been through the maelstrom of the adoption process once. On the prospective owners’ side, however, it can make life more complicated – to the point where purchase is the only viable option.

Thought #5 – If Age Is A Priority, Adoption Can Be More Difficult

Many of us like the idea of raising a dog for ourselves. It gives us the opportunity to instill our own values, behaviors, training techniques and life circumstances – and it gives us the longest possible time with our beloved pet, of course.

It is possible to find puppies and younger dogs at rescues but these dogs tend to be in the most demand. It’s the older dogs with a few years under their collar that tend to be the most in need of adoption. So if you want a younger dog, then you might be forced to buy.

However, it’s worth remembering that an older dog has got plenty to offer as well. As always, the main decision rests on what you feel comfortable with. So be prepared with the facts and the pros and cons, and make the decisions based on your needs.

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