Adopting a rescue dog has many benefits. There are several reasons to consider this option instead of buying a puppy from a store if you are thinking about getting a dog. I have personally adopted many dogs from animal shelters over the years and have been rescuing dogs for over two decades.Here are some of the benefits of adopting a rescue dog from my personal experience.
Save a Dog’s Life
Adopting a dog gives the pooch you choose another chance at life. Many rescue or shelter dogs end up being euthanized in order to open up room for new arrivals. When you adopt a dog, you don’t only save that dog since you open up a spot for another dog that needs a home.
Fight Against Puppy Mills
When you purchase a puppy from a store or online, in many cases these will come from a puppy mill. Puppy mills are all about the profit and well-being and health of animals is not their priority. Dogs in puppy mills will spend most of their time in cramped cages and females in puppy mills are bred as often as possible, which seriously affects their health and longevity.
Many of 10,000 estimated puppy mills in the USA are not regulated at all, which allows them to have no veterinary control or protection from the weather for animals. They often don’t have any cleanup control which leads to dogs living in unsanitary conditions. Adopting a dog from your local rescue or shelter is the best way to fight against puppy mills and their unethical breeding practices.
Pay Less and Get a Fully Screened Dog
Adoption fees are reasonable, especially when you compare those fees to a full price you pay when you buy a dog from breeders. Buying a purebred dog from a reputable breeder will cost you anywhere from $500 to $3,000. For that price, you only get the dog and still have to pay for shots, microchips and spraying/neutering.
Adoption fees range from $50 to $300 and for that price you get a fully screened dog. In most cases, rescue dogs have to be fully vaccinated and sprayed or neutered before you can adopt them. Most of them also go to behavioral assessments in order to determine how they behave around food and other animals.
Some animal shelters will even throw in extras, like a free bag of food or even collars and leashes in some cases.
You Can Take Your Pick
A lot of people choose not to adopt a dog because they want a specific breed and don’t think that is something they can find in shelters or rescues. However, that is not true since there are many breed-specific rescues. You only have to look for them online and you can get the breed you like. ASPCA has a shelter search option for your local area.
If you don’t really care whether a dog is purebred, you can also find many beautiful and unique mixes in rescue. There is something special in mutts because you get a true one-of-a-kind dog. You can even look for a dog with specific traits, like spots or bushy tail, and if you can’t find one at the moment, you can be placed on a waiting list.
There will be many choices of dog ages, whether you want puppies, adults, or senior dogs.
You Can Learn About Fido’s Personality
Adopting from a rescue shelter allows you to see how the dog you like behaves in a home environment. You can ask their foster all about their personality and how they react in different situations. You can find out whether they get along well with other animals, how they behave around children and other people and if they have any specific quirks and needs.
Since you can know anything you want about the dog, you can truly find the best dog for your lifestyle. When you talk with a rescue, you can ask them any question you like. You can also provide them with a list of qualities that you are looking for. This is especially true for their energy levels since that is one of the most important things you should know about your future dog.
Many adoption centers now have matching programs to help you find the perfect canine companion and these programs have already increased the number of successful adoptions at some centers.
You Can Have a Tryout
If you want to see how your life would look like if you had a dog, you can try fostering a dog before you are truly ready to adopt. Fostering has many benefits both for you and the dog. The dog will get a life in better conditions, while you can get a test drive for owning a dog. In addition to this, many participants in this program lose weight due to walking their dogs.
You can find foster to adopt programs in many ASPCA shelters, as well as other rescues. This program is especially good for people who have other pets at home, or small children. That is the best way to makes sure that the dog you like fits with your family and lifestyle before you adopt him.
You Can Adopt a Trained Dog
Since most adult dogs in rescue have already been house trained, they can be a perfect choice for new dog owners. Training your dog and teaching him manners can be a stressful thing. Adopting an adult dog can take some of that stress away.
You Gain Lifetime Support
When you adopt a dog, you will get support from rescues and you can always ask them any question. Also, they can even take the animal back if something unexpected happens. Some shelters may even provide you with certain dog supplies. Usually these include the essentials like toys, dog beds, bowls and leashes, which can save you a little money.
You Can Fight Overpopulation
Shelters and rescues have been facing an overpopulation problem for a few decades. It is estimated that every year in the US more than 2 million puppies are sold from puppy mills only. Meanwhile 3 million dogs are euthanized in shelters because there isn’t enough space for them. By adopting, you can become a part of the solution instead of part of the problem.
You Get a Friend for Life
Even though all dogs are great friends, rescue dogs instinctively know that you have saved their life. They will be really grateful for the second chance. Ask anyone you know that has rescued! They’ll tell you that rescue dogs will spend the rest of their lives showing you how much they appreciate what you’ve done for them.
Thank you to Samantha Randall, Editor-in-Chief of TopDogTips.com for this guest blog post!