Adopting a Dog

***Today’s blog is a guest post by Shruti Battacharya from the Happy Puppers dog blog!***

Adding a new member to the family is a huge decision. First, you need to decide who is going to be your perfect companion (is it a dog, cat or another animal?). Then, you need to focus on the qualities, the temperament and everyday needs to understand if the fit will be right for your lifestyle. Once, you have figured out all of this, the next decision is this: adopt vs shop?

Which would be the right path for you to follow? In this blog post, I will be breaking down the amazing aspects of opting for a dog adoption over buying from a breeder. So keep reading till the end. 

Reasons for Adopting a Dog

There are many reasons why adopting a dog is a good move. Predominantly, it will save you money and save a life – getting dogs out of the shelter is extremely rewarding.

You will save money

One of the prime reasons why you should go for adopting a dog and not buying is that you will save a ton of money. Breeders charge very high rates for dogs who have been brought in from other countries. Many times, these dogs are not even suitable for the climate you are living in. Therefore, you will not only save money by not buying, you will also save money in the procedures of healthcare, the needed vaccinations, micro-chipping as well as de-sexing, since these procedures will already have been performed by the shelter. You only have to give a very minimal amount of adoption fee which will help the shelters provide support to the animals in need. If you want to save money further, you can also go in during the times like Black Friday in US when there are more opportunities to get a dog at even lower fees.

You will save a life

This is probably the most important point of this entire article. Each year more than a billion dogs get euthanized across the world because people do not want to adopt from the shelter. If more people came forward and started adopting a dog from shelters, the number of utilizations would drastically reduce. When you adopt a dog, you not only save the life of the dog, you also make them a part of your family. This act from your side opens up a space in the shelter to taking in new dog in need.

My Rescue Patterdale Terrier is Aggressive
Rescue Patterdale Terrier Blake

Dogs of mixed breeds are healthier

Even though not all dogs you see in the shelter would be of mixed breeds, some of them definitely will be. The advantage of going for a mixed breed dog is that they have overall good health due to their diverse genetic background. This makes them less prone to diseases which are more commonly observed in the purebred dogs due to the culture of inbreeding.

You can get a dog of the right age

If you buy from a breeder, the most common option available is puppies. However, depending on your lifestyle, a puppy may not be the right choice for you. Not everyone has the potential to handle training to a new puppy and keeping up with the constant high-energy levels of the pup. If you already have a busy routine, it will be easier for you to integrate a full-grown dog into your routine compared to the puppy. Senior dogs are also ideal companions for people who are looking for companions to match a slower life pace. 

You can avoid supporting puppy mills

Even though a lot of countries are bringing in legislations to reduce the problem of puppy mills, this problem has not been stamped entirely. A dog who is adopted or bought from a puppy mill may show severe behavioral as well as psychological problems. This is due to the constrained environments in which they are brought up, lack of hygiene, lack of time spent with the mother where they pickup important behavioral traits.

If you adopt a dog from a shelter, you are not only NOT supporting the puppy mills, you are also getting a companion with whom there is a higher chance of good behavior and less psychological issues.

Puppy mills are basically dog production factories. They put profit above the welfare of the pups. As I mentioned, the dogs are housed in very poor conditions, not provided medical care, suffer from a variety of behavioural troubles as well as may be physically sick. There is a higher chance of the puppy suffering from parvovirus when bought from a mill. But this is not all. 

The moms of these dogs are kept in cages and bread over and over again for yours with no human companionship and with no hope of ever being loved or joining a human family. Once the dog can no longer breed, they are simply discarded, killed or sold at auctions. 

You can potentially save a dog’s life if you adopt him or her from the shelter and say NO to puppy mills

You will get a healthy companion

when puppies are bought from puppy mills or non-reputed breeders, the most common problems observed are the pups drinking their own urine or eating their own poop. Such psychological and behavioural issues are not observed when you adopt a dog from the shelter. 

Most dogs who land up in the shelter are there because of a human problem and most often not because of the dog problem. If the family moves away, if the guardians got divorced or if the situation arose where the guardian could not take care of the dog, that’s the situation when the dogs end up in shelters. A lot of the dogs you see in the shelters are already housetrained, used to living with families and may even know basic commands. Therefore, you will have to spend much less time in training the new member of the family.

You get bragging rights!

You also get the right to brag that you save a life when you are adopting a dog from the shelter. Who is there in the world who does not like to take selfies with their pups? So, adopt a dog, get a ton of selfies and post it on your social media accounts and let the likes flood in.

You will not only save another soul, but get saved in the process

Adopting a dog does not mean that you are only saving the dog. Dogs are very sensitive creatures. They can act as emotional support animals. They are aware at all times of what you are feeling. Therefore, when you adopt a dog from the shelter, not only is housetraining not required, you will also get a companion who will be there through your highs and lows, especially when you are feeling low. Therefore, if you are a person who needs a boost of love in your life, choose to adopt from a shelter.

You will change that dog’s whole world

When the dogs are admitted to the shelters, all they want is a good family to take them in. Every day, they look out of their cages to the people who visit, hoping that maybe this family would adopt them. When it does not happen, their heart breaks all over again. Some of us would want to adopt every animal out of the shelter, but it’s not possible. However, the dog you adopt, you will change his or her whole world and vice versa. You may have relatives, friends, colleagues to talk to, but your dog only has you. Imagine how important you are to him/her. I rescued my two boys, Alpha and Delta and since then my world has become so much better and is full of undying love.

What are the most Common Dog Breeds in Shelters in the USA

Pit Bulls

In the United States, you can go for the various Pit Bull type dogs. These are the ones who make up the majority of the dog found in shelters. Even though Pit Bulls have gained a negative reputation, or you need to do is ask a Pit Bull guardian about how a Pit Bull’s behavior really is. What you will get to know is that these are one of the most adorable creatures on the planet. All they want to do is, lie around, play and make you happy. Pit Bulls have also been observed to be one of the laziest dog breeds. Thus, I strongly urge you to go for pit bulls if you are living in United States.

Pocket Pit Bull
Pocket pitbull

The other dog breeds which occupied the remaining places in shelters are:

  • American Bulldog
  • Australian cattle dog
  • Beagles
  • Boxers
  • Dachshund
  • American Staffordshire Terrier 
  • German Shephards
  • Labradors
  • Chichuahuas

Most common dog breeds found in shelters in United Kingdom

The most common dog breeds observed in the UK adoption centers are Akitas, greyhounds and Staffordshire Bull Terriers. The other breeds which make up for the remaining dogs in the rescue and adoption centers are:

Most common dogs found in adoptions centres in India

In India, there is a chance that you can adopt a dog for free. Here, most dogs spend their life on the streets, scavenging for food, fighting with other dogs potentially and looking at every human for some love. The different dog breeds in India like Rajapalayam, Bakarwal, Mudhol Hound, Kanni etc. have a huge genetic diversity, are very healthy and adaptable to most climatic conditions. Dogs of Indian origin are physically very healthy, sharp minded, extremely alert, easy to train and adorable goofballs. They can also easily adjust to the laid-back or fast lifestyle. Therefore, these dogs might be perfect for any and every household.

Adopting a Dog – The Overall View

If you are planning to adopt, remember that you are not only saving a dog’s life, but saving yourself in the process. Dogs have been known to change humans for the better. The respect you give to your dog will be returned to you tenfold especially if it is a dog your dog from the shelter because they will always be grateful to you for rescuing them and providing them a better life. Therefore, go to your nearest shelter, have a look around and see which dog chooses you to be his or her guardian.

Remember to ensure that you are in a good position for adopting a dog. This means that you have the time, money and energy to spend with your new rescue dog and that you are training minded. Sometimes homes with young children and other pets are unsuitable for dogs up for adoption. Put their needs first and make sure that it’s the right option for you before making the commitment.

  • Adopt don’t shop
  • Say NO to puppy mills
  • Save a dog and save yourself

Wishing you and your dog a very happy and healthy life ahead.

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