In our consumer culture, we’ve been trained to automatically walk into a pet store when we want to bring a new furry friend into our lives. But have you ever thought of adopting? When you adopt a dog, you open your home to a pet that doesn’t have one, and there are a number of other benefits as well. Here are 5 reasons to consider adopting instead of heading to the pet store.
1. Save money.
When you buy a dog from the pet store, it is generally quite expensive. When you adopt a pet, you may pay a nominal fee or nothing. Not only that, but many shelters will actually cover the initial medical costs (vaccinations, and treatments for existing health conditions). That means you can use that money to purchase supplies for your new pet, like canine coats for winter, and the right collar for your dog.
2. Your pet will probably be healthier to begin with.
Pet stores often do not follow the best practices when it comes to taking care of their animals, and may also receive them from sources that did not take good care of them. By contrast, many pets that end up in shelters are healthy to begin with. Those that aren’t are often treated by the shelter before you adopt. And even if a pet isn’t healthy, if you go through a reputable shelter, they should tell you what health issues you will need to address. If you need any special supplies for dogs with disabilities, you’ll know. The pet shop would probably tell you nothing, or even lie about the pet’s condition.
3. You won’t be supporting puppy mills.
Sadly, the pet industry truly is an industry—one concerned with profit, not morality. Every year, puppies are bred en masse in breeding facilities. The breeding dogs are kept in cages and used again and again before being abandoned or killed. The puppies themselves are often kept in equally appalling conditions, and often develop severe behavioral and health problems. When you buy from a pet store, you are supporting these abominable businesses and their inhumane practices. When you adopt from a shelter instead, you are saying “no” to puppy mills and their abuses.
4. Prevent pet overpopulation.
Thanks to the cruel practices described above, there is an overabundance of domestic animals in the world without anyone to take care of them. Millions of dogs and cats are euthanized every single year. Pet shelters are forced to pick and choose cases, because there simply are not enough resources to care for all these homeless animals. Abandoned on their own, most dogs and cats do not live long. As domesticated animals, they are largely helpless on their own.
When you adopt a pet, you are refusing to contribute to this cycle of negligence and indifference. You are refusing to support an industry that continues to breed helpless animals with nowhere to go and no one to care for them. If every person who was planning on heading to a pet store went to a shelter instead to adopt, this cruel industry would probably collapse overnight. Gradually, the problem of pet overpopulation would be solved.
5. You will be saving a life.
And the number one benefit of adopting instead of purchasing? You will be saving the life of a wonderful animal that deserves to be loved and cared for. Many animals in shelters have been abandoned, neglected, and abused. You can turn an animal’s unhappy life around, and provide him or her with a happy, loving home.
Pets that do not get adopted are often slated for euthanasia. If you check with your local dog shelters, you will probably find animals that are scheduled for euthanasia and have very little time left. Often, pets are saved with only days or hours to go. You’ll feel a glowing sense of pride when you save a dog’s life and offer him a chance at real and lasting happiness.