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Rescue Dogs: Reasons To Adopt & Don't Shop
Updated on January 4, 2023
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Rescue Dogs: Reasons To Adopt & Don't Shop

Are you thinking about getting a dog for your family? Why not adopt a dog?

Dog adoption is one of the best things you can do. Besides saving you money, you are saving the life a dog. You are giving them the chance to receive unconditional love.

Before you adopt a dog, you should know why it’s important.

Rescue Dogs: Reasons To Adopt & Don't Shop 2

The Importance of Dog Adoption

First of all, adopting a dog from a shelter or rescue is one of the kindest things you can do.

Every year, more than a million animals living in shelters are put to sleep. There just isn’t enough space, funding, or caregivers available to keep them.

When you adopt a dog, you are saving their life and the life of another animal. Adopting gives the animal shelter enough space for another dog.

Adoption gives hope to animals who lived in shockingly poor conditions. Some shelter animals were abused, abandoned, or unwanted by their previous owners.

This doesn’t mean you’ll get a “damaged” dog if you adopt a shelter pet. Many dogs in rescues and shelters are there because:

  • Their owners unexpectedly died
  • Their families moved to residences that don’t allow pets
  • They cannot be given the attention they deserve

In other words, shelter and rescue dogs are there from neglect — not because there is something wrong with their behavior.

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Reasons to Adopt and Not Buy From A Pet Store

Here’s why you should adopt a pet instead of buying one:

Stop Supporting Irresponsible Breeders

There are reputable breeders out there. But this isn’t always the case.

Selling purebred dogs is a business for pet stores, puppy mills, and backyard breeders. They sometimes deprive dogs of basic needs like:

  • Human companionship
  • Veterinary care
  • Adequate food and water
  • Safe environment
  • Proper hygiene
  • Daily exercise

Adopting pets from local shelters will prevent you from supporting them. 

If more people adopted pets from shelters and rescue groups, they would go out of business since dog breeding is no longer profitable.

Get Healthy Pets If You Adopt From An Animal Shelter

You might think that purchased pets are healthier, especially if they come from a pet store or a dog breeder. In reality, purebred dogs have more health problems.

For example, pugs are prone to skin problems and breathing difficulties. French bulldogs often have allergies. Purebred dogs and large breeds also tend to have shorter lifespans.

Shelter dogs are usually of a mixed breed. Mixed breed dogs are healthier than purebreds. 

Many animal shelters also screen dogs for health problems. They are neutered or spayed, and given vaccines before they are released to a loving owner.

Pet Parent Tip: Use an at-home test to learn more about the breed and health of your rescue dog. The best dog DNA test kits can also assess your dog’s personality. That way, you will know what to expect after bringing them home.

Adopting A Pet Is Cheaper Than Buying From Pet Stores

Adopting a pet costs thousands of dollars less than shopping for a purebred dog. Many animal shelters even offer adoption specials where you can bring home a pet for little to nothing. 

“Clear the shelter” celebrations put animals of a certain age up for adoption. This encourages people to adopt older rescue dogs.

Since most shelters provide medical care for animals, you may no longer have to pay for their spaying, neutering, and vaccines.

Not Everyone Wants A Tiny Puppy

A lot of people assume that adding a dog to your family means bringing home a puppy. 

Unfortunately, puppies aren’t suitable for everyone. Puppies are a lot of work. They take a lot of time and effort to train, even if it’s just basic housetraining.

The good news is that if you want an adult dog, you will likely find one at a local shelter. Most shelter pets are older dogs. 

What’s the Difference Between Shelters and Rescues?

If you want to adopt a pet, you should decide if you’re getting one from shelters or rescue groups. Here are their differences:

  • Shelters are usually funded by the public — They take in homeless animals and abandoned dogs.
  • A rescue group tends to be privately owned — It is run by volunteers.
  • Many shelters euthanize animals — If the dogs are not adopted after some time, they can be put to sleep.
  • Rescue groups usually have a no-kill policy — Since they receive funding, they can keep more animals for longer periods.
  • Shelters take in dogs regardless of their breed — They can have purebreeds and mixed breeds with different backgrounds.
  • Rescue groups can be picky. Sometimes, they only adopt dogs that come from certain backgrounds. Examples include racing dogs, breeding dogs, and fighting dogs.
  • Animal shelters have a formal facility — Some of them even have poor conditions.
  • Rescue groups have foster homes — All the animals are kept in a home environment. Because of this, rescue dogs are used to being around people and other pets.

What To Do If You Are Ready to Adopt

If you’re ready to adopt a dog, there are many resources to help you get started. Remember to do your research and learn as much as possible about owning a dog. 

In general, you want to decide if you want a dog that is:

  • Younger or older
  • Big or small
  • Active or inactive
  • Shedding or non-shedding
  • Good at guarding and protecting
  • Great at being a companion animal

There are quizzes you can take online that evaluate your lifestyle. They can help you find breeds and breed mixes that will best suit your lifestyle.

Finally, don’t rush into anything. Pet adoption is an important decision. Take your time, visit local shelters and contact rescue groups. Eventually, the right dog will come to you.

As soon as you adopt an adorable pet, get them tested with Embark Dog DNA Kit. The at-home test can help you trace your dog’s ancestry, relatives, and potential health risks.

Non-Profit Dog Rescue Groups in the U.S.

Whether you are planning to adopt or donate for a good cause, here are some non-profit dog rescue groups to choose from:

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Updated on January 4, 2023
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3 sources cited
Updated on January 4, 2023
  1. Bud Boccone, et al. “Purebred Dogs: What Is a Breed Standard?” American Kennel Club, 
  2. The Hidden Cost of Buying a ‘Purebred’ Dog from a Breeder | PETA.” PETA, 20 Nov. 2015, 
  3. Puppy Mill Research.” The Humane Society of the United States, 2019, 
Kelly Jamrozy
Kelly Jamrozy
Content Contributor
Kelly has experience working with clients in a variety of industries, including legal, medical, marketing, and travel. Her goal is to share important information that people can use to make decisions about their health and the health of their loved ones. From choosing the best treatment programs to improving dental and vision health to finding the best method for helping anyone who is struggling with health issues, she hopes to share what she learns through informative content.
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