Pros and Cons of Adopting a Dog From an Animal Shelter

Making the decision to get a dog can be difficult and rewarding at the same time. You may toss and turn over the responsibilities of having a dog, but you may also love the companionship and joy a dog brings to your life.

More and more people today are opting to adopt a dog from an animal shelter instead of buying from pet stores or breeders. While adoption has plenty of benefits, it also has some disadvantages. The following are pros and cons of adopting a dog from an animal shelter.

Pro: You’ll be helping an animal in need.

Dogs in shelters are in need of loving homes. Some of these dogs have grown up in shelters while others were abandoned or harmed by their previous owner. When you adopt a dog from a shelter, you are saving a dog’s life and giving a lovely animal the chance to have a loving home.

Con: You may not get the breed you want.

Animal shelters don’t guarantee that certain breeds are available at their shelters. Instead they take in dogs in need and hope to find them homes. If you have a certain breed of dog in mind, there’s no guarantee that you’re going to find it at a shelter, which means that you’ll have to settle for a different breed.

Pro: You keep money away from puppy mills.

Every dog adopted through a shelter is one less dog purchased from puppy mills. If society can keep these puppy mills from making a profit, these mills could end up going out of business, which is beneficial to all dogs throughout the world.

Con: You may get an older dog.

Puppies sure are cute, which is why many people want to get a puppy when it comes time to getting a dog. Unfortunately, puppies tend to be the fastest ones to go, and if you don’t act fast enough, you won’t find a puppy at a shelter. Older dogs make great pets too, but if you really wanted a puppy, settling for an older dog could be a downside.

Pro: You’ll be helping the shelter.

Animal shelters run solely on donations and government assistance. When you adopt a dog from a shelter, the adoption fees help to keep that shelter in business. Plus, for every dog adopted from a shelter, that’s one more available place in a shelter for a new dog in need. This can help keep dogs from being sent to kill shelters and instead find them happy, healthy homes.

Con: You lack background information.

In most cases, animal shelters will not be able to provide you with much history on the dog. They will not know the specific breed (unless it’s obvious), and if the dog came to them, they will not know the age or medical history of the dog. Most shelters will only be able to provide you with details they have from their own exams and treatments of the animal.

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