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The Benefits Of Adopting A Dog

image of mixed breed dog waiting for adoption.png

You are thrilled about the idea of getting a pet dog. With all the adorable puppies available in pet shops and advertised by breeders, the choice of a perfect furry friend can be tough.

But have you ever thought about opening the doors of your heart and home to a  shelter pup? 

Unfortunately, many people frown upon this idea. It is usually the result of numerous misconceptions when rescue dogs are in question. Most future pet owners seem to be unaware of all the benefits of adopting a dog

So, why should you give a dog from a shelter a second chance? You may be in two minds about this matter, and that is completely fine. For this reason, we will point out some of the main arguments why adopting is a great thing to do.

Adopting Vs. Buying a Canine from Breeders

Careful planning and responsible approach will be the key to parenting a dog successfully. The first decision you have to make is where to look for your new furry friend. Is a reputable breeder the safest option, or would a visit to a dog shelter be equally worthwhile? 

Breeders with a long tradition and positive reviews from customers offer purebred puppies, provided with proper care during the first months of their life. If you pick one of these little fellows, you will know what to expect from that specific breed in terms of temperament, size, trainability, etc. The price of such puppies will usually range from several hundred to a couple of thousands of dollars.

Adopting a canine, on the other hand, has several pros [1], too. By saving the life of a misfortunate dog from a shelter, you are increasing the chances for another dog to be taken into a shelter and eventually rehomed. 

Your new buddy will receive all the required medical care before you take them home. In many cases, you will find them to be home-trained, friendly, and obedient. That can save you a great deal of effort and time, teaching them the rules of behavior.

On top of it all, adopting a rescue pup is always a more budget-friendly option.

Misconceptions About Pet Adoption

illustration of dog adoption statistics

Why do so many people have such a negative attitude about rehoming a pooch?

The explanation appears to be simple, but at the same time, very sad.

There are so many prejudices as well as misconceptions about dogs kept in shelters, that it is no wonder why a lot of future owners instantly turn to breeders and pet shops, rather than pay a visit to a nearby shelter.

Dogs are in Shelters Because They're Not Good

He must be a troublemaker – why else would he be in a shelter? It is, unfortunately, the picture many people have of rescue dogs. And quite logically, that is what puts them off adopting one.

However, the truth is that the vast majority of these pooches are victims of unfortunate circumstances, are up to no trouble at all, and would make lovely companions to a new owner. Many of these canines end up in a kennel after being abandoned by reckless owners or following the death of their owner.

Shelter Dogs Have a Bad Past

This is another myth that, to many pups’ misfortune, keeps new pet owners away from shelters. A vast number of people believe these dogs to have a history of aggressive behavior or traumatic past that must have left a deep mark on their personality.

The truth is that many of these pooches have a great character and are peaceful, affectionate, and amicable. They only need to be given an opportunity to prove it


Adoption Fee is Costly

You are about to get a new furry buddy, but you are afraid that money could be an issue, as your funds are limited. If you believe high adoption costs will get in the way of taking a pup from a shelter, take the time to do a little bit of research. 

You will be pleasantly surprised at how much lower adoption fees are [2], compared to the expenses involved in buying a puppy from a breeder or a pet shop. So, why not take advantage of this fact?

You Don’t Have Options

With more than 3 million dogs living in shelters across the United States, this can hardly be an excuse! Namely, there is such a great variety of canines looking for a new home, that you only need to be persistent enough, since an ideal match may be just around the corner.

Even if you have a particular breed in mind, you should know that there is a number of breed-specific facilities where you can start your search. Services such as Petfinder enable you to set specific criteria and even wait for a perfect pup to appear.

You Don’t Know What You Get

Though you may not expect it, you will learn a lot about the pup you pick before the adoption process even starts. You will be provided with a sufficient amount of information about your prospective pet – either by a foster dog parent or the shelter staff.

In many cases, this information will include the smallest of details regarding the pup’s habits and character. This will help you understand what your new tail-wagging companion is like before you’ve even met.

Why You Should Adopt a Rescue Dog

Before you walk into a pet shop and buy yourself one of their irresistible little puppies, have a look at our list of some of the benefits of adopting a rescue dog.

Save a Dog's Life

Once you have picked a rescue canine and taken it home, always bear in mind that you have helped to save not only one, but a couple of dogs’ lives. By rehoming a pooch from a rescue, you have made it possible for another stray or abandoned canine to be accepted and taken care of.

Still, many dogs kept in shelters never get a second chance. To deal with the issue of overpopulated shelters, lots of pups face euthanasia as the only means of making room for new residents.

Healthy for You and Your Kids

With a pet pup in your home, all the members of your family will experience multiple health benefits. It is particularly significant for your children, as many kids nowadays lack physical activity.

Taking your dog for a walk every day, running, and playing with them regularly means more time spent outdoors, being active. It will have a positive impact on your general wellbeing.

Gain a Friend and Life Support

As soon as you leave a shelter in the company of your new pet, you are likely to feel all the gratitude and loyalty of your new best furry buddy. They will not hesitate to show how much they appreciate your care, attention, and above all – the fact that you have saved their life.

Many shelters will carry on providing you with support and assistance in dealing with any problems you may encounter with your new pet. By supplying you with free goodies such as leashes, beds, feeding bowls, or toys, they even reduce some of the initial expenses.

Help Solve Shelter Overpopulation

Despite the superhuman efforts made by the people working in the existing shelters, these facilities do not have the capacity to take care of all the dogs in need of a new home. The only way out of this situation is the least popular, but unavoidable measure – euthanasia. According to some estimations,  more than 600 000 dogs per year see the end of their lives in this way.

At the same time, dog mills sell around 2 million puppies every year. That is clear evidence that choosing adopted dogs compared to bought ones would be an effective way of fighting the issue of overpopulated shelters.

image of close up lovely cocker spaniel

Discover Dog's Personality

You should always think carefully about how a  pet you chose will fit with your lifestyle. In other words, learn as much as possible about their character and behavior to make sure they will be happy and content by your side. 

A high-energy dog will hardly be able to thrive if adopted by an inactive person leading a sedentary life, or a busy individual unable to engage in outdoor activities and regular workout sessions with their active pet. Shelter workers or foster dog owners will update you on all the relevant information regarding a pup’s behavior around other pets, people, and children, as well as their personality in general.

Nowadays, it is even possible to take part in matching programs available in some shelters. As suggested by their name, they aim to help you find a canine that will tick all the boxes for you. These have proved to be rather productive and resulted in a higher rate of successful adoptions.

Choose What Breed You Want

You have your favorites in the canine world. In case you have ruled out all other options and narrowed your choice down to a single breed, make sure you get in touch with one of the breed-specific shelters. These specialize in looking after particular breeds of rescue dogs and make a great alternative to breeders or puppy mills.

And if a pure breed makes little or no difference to you at all, shelters will also offer a choice of lovely, one-of-a-kind pups that will win your heart from day one.

You Can Adopt a Trained Dog

You expect your pet pooch to be obedient, well-behaved, and respond to your commands attentively. It can be achieved through a proper, continuous training process. Yet, it can be rather time-consuming too, which may cause a problem for busy owners lacking free time.

Shelters, however, offer a high number of pooches that are already home trained. Once you take them home, you will not have to worry about disciplining them or teaching them the rules of behavior.

Save Money

Many of us receive our pet puppies as a gift from friends or family. Yet, the amount of money we needed to invest [3] in the vaccines, microchips, neutering/spaying, or other necessary check-ups was significant. 

The same goes for puppies that we buy from renowned breeders or shops. Plus – they will charge you from a few hundred to as much as $3000 for a purebred pup.

When it comes to adopting a canine, we should note that the fees do not go nearly as high as when buying a pet. More importantly, a puppy you are about to adopt has already been through all the medical treatments mentioned above. In this way, it is possible to save a considerable sum of money.

close up image of cute black french bulldog

Lower Demand from Puppy Mills

Lack of legal regulation and high profits have led to a mushrooming of puppy mills across the United States. According to the latest data, there are around 10000 such centers, supplying many pet shops and online sellers with puppies for sale. 

Canines kept in dog mills face terrible living and hygienic conditions and are not provided with proper care. They live in cramped cages, often exposed to harsh weather. Females are at particular safety and health risks since they are bred as often as possible.

By promoting adoption from shelters and encouraging more people to take a rescue pup rather than buy one, it would be possible to reduce the demand for puppies from mills drastically.

Dogs Make You Look Approachable

Are you eager to improve your social image, but are not sure how to achieve this? You may find it surprising, but surveys show that people tend to perceive dog owners as more approachable and friendly.

Moreover, having a pup by your side may well boost your confidence when meeting new people and engage in casual conversations. In a nutshell –  a new furry friend will stand you in good stead of making even more new friends.

Skip The Difficult Puppy Stage

A new puppy in the family usually brings an immense amount of joy. But we all know how demanding they can be during the first year of their life. And how much patience and effort it takes to teach them what behavior is acceptable. 

Some owners do not have enough time to dedicate to their rascal baby pets. For them, getting an adult dog from a rescue, thus skipping “the puppy phase,” seems to be an ideal option. It will mean fewer messy incidents around the house or your favorite slippers staying in one piece.

They are Easier to House Train

Before they ended up in a shelter, a lot of these pooches used to live in somebody’s home as pets. It means that many of them, especially the adult ones, already know how to behave when kept in a house. Some of them, however, did not undergo this kind of training.

Rescue pups are usually not too demanding, and it does not take much time and effort to teach them manners.

close up image of veterinarian examining dog

Their Vaccines are Updated

You certainly want your newly-adopted pet to stay healthy and in good shape. Vaccination is one of the first actions you will take to protect your furry pal from certain diseases. 

What is more – mostrescues will give you a hand in keeping your pup’s shots up-to-date. In some cases, it has already been done during the time spent at a rescue. In others, both vaccination and microchipping can be done at a shelter for a minimal fee.

They Are Ready to Be Spayed or Neutered

Spaying or neutering is a requirement that has to be met before a canine leaves a shelter with their new family. This is a legal regulation applied in about half of the states.

Most shelter pooches will be spayed or neutered before the adoption deal is sealed. It is another advantage of rehoming a rescue pup that future owners should be familiar with.

Their Temperaments are Developed

Are you in search of an active canine, full of energy, and always up for some action? Or you wish for a cuddly little buddy to doze off by your feet on the sofa? Whatever your preference, you can be sure that shelters can offer you a dog with just the right type of character.

Grown-up pups living in shelters already have a developed temperament. If one of them grabs your attention, you can quickly learn what their personality is like. When buying a new puppy, it is impossible to know for sure whether they will grow up to have a soft nature or quite the opposite.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why are shelter dogs the best?

Adopting a pet pup can be a life-changing experience! And there are so many real-life cases to confirm this.

The list of benefits of adopting a rescue dog is long. They will make a true friend to you and your family members, be easy to housetrain, keep you company, encouraging you to be more active. So, if you are intent on getting a pet pup, do not put your visit to a shelter off for much longer!

Related post: 10 Things to Know Before Adopting a Shelter or Rescue Dog

How many dogs are euthanized each year in shelters?

Although the situation is starting to look somewhat better compared to the past, the statistics are still devastating [4]. It is estimated that around 670000 rescue canines get euthanized in a single year.

Campaigns promoting adoption from shelters resulted in a higher number of pooches finding a new home. However, there is still a long way to go before radical improvements are to be seen.


Although there has been a drop in the number of rescue pups in recent years, there are still many of these ill-fated creatures out there, waiting to be given a new chance to live a happy life. 

Despite all the hard times they have been through, they are friendly and affectionate, and would make loyal companions and friends for life to their new owner. And above all, the fact that they ended up in a rescue is not their fault at all.   

Rescue pups have just been less lucky and privileged. Maybe it is time for you to right some wrongs by providing one of them with a new home!


• [1] Top Reasons To Adopt a Pet – www.humanesociety.org

• [2] What Is Included In An Adoption Fee? – www.petfinder.com

• [3] The Costs of Owning a Dog – www.rspcansw.org.au

• [4] Pet Statistics – www.rspcansw.org.au