Are you looking for a new animal companion? A puppy would make an excellent choice. The first step is to know where you’ll get one. If you don't have a relative or friend whose dog is expecting, then you must choose whether to source from a breeder or shelters and rescues. 

Breeders (in most cases) offer newborn puppies, and you would be the first owner. On the other hand, shelters and rescues provide homes for homeless dogs. You would not be the first owner. Both options have pros and cons. In this article, we tell you why we think adoption is better. 

Once you’ve figured out where the puppy will come from, you can work out all the other details. For example, naming your furry buddy. Here are the reasons why we think adopting is better.  

It is a great way to fight puppy mills

Few people go through the trouble of verifying the breeders’ credentials. If you skip that step (for whatever reason), you will probably buy from an uncertified seller, and the canine could be from a puppy mill. 

Puppy mills keep dogs under deplorable conditions. They are responsible for a significant chunk of the nearly 1,000 dogs euthanized daily. On your part, you could end up with a disease-prone puppy that bears less desirable traits like aggressiveness. 

Shutting down puppy mills is a good enough reason for any caring pet parent to turn to shelters. But, to ensure you don’t have any doubts, here are more reasons why adopting is better. 

It costs less

Buying from a breeder is exciting. You will feel the rush of getting a “brand new” item. However, it also means that you will take the puppy for all its shots and vet visits which costs a pretty penny.

Your puppy would need at least three core vaccines and various non-core shots. Puppies also require other procedures and treatments like neutering and regular dental checks. Since pet insurance can only kick in after the dog is over eight weeks old, you must foot the bill out of pocket. If you want a high-value breed, like a pit bull, you will not only part with a pretty sum for the dog but also pay a lot more for the health procedures. 

On the contrary, many shelters provide medical care before adoption. In most cases, an adopted dog would be vaccinated, spayed/neutered, and given antiparasitics. A few could go the extra mile and provide identification (like microchipping) and other services, like tracking, at no additional cost.

You will be helping a pet in need

Every year, animal rescues and shelters house nearly 3.1 million homeless dogs. The capacity of these rescues and shelters is limited. They count on pet lovers to adopt so that extra animals can avoid the euthanasia list. 

Pet lovers have responded positively, and the number of pets euthanized in the US dropped more than threefold because the animals found loving homes.

When you want to bring in a new pet, remember this, adopting means helping a pet in need. You could be rescuing them from the euthanasia list. What could be more kind and selfless than saving a life? 

You could take less time to understand your furry buddy

Unlike buying from a breeder, your new furry buddy is not a mystery to everyone. The staff at the shelter know them. They understand the food they like or dislike, whether it's dry dog food or human-grade dog food, the activities they enjoy, some of their behaviors, and their health histories. You will not guess or struggle too much to understand your furry buddy.

You could take the dog back if they are not a good match

If you struggle to cope with your new-found furry buddy, you could return them to the rescue or shelter and request a switch. Most shelters and private rescue groups are flexible. They would hear you out and help you cope or offer an alternative animal that is a better match. Most breeders do not do this. You cannot bring back the puppy (say after four weeks of struggling) because the dog is older and harder to sell.

Nevertheless, buying from a breeder has its pros, and these could be what you want. 

Pros of buying from a breeder

Buying from a breeder could be a better choice if you would like to experience the following advantages:

  • You will have the opportunity to mold your puppy as it grows.
  • Some breeders provide trained puppies. The puppy may have social skills and could understand some commands. 
  • You would know the puppy’s lineage, what they would look like when they grow up, and health issues - no surprises.

Of course, these advantages depend on whether you buy from a certified and reputable breeder. 

Puppies in a wagon in a field

Final remarks

The above reasons make adopting from a shelter better than buying from a breeder. Whatever you choose, you must work to build a relationship with the canine. Your relationship depends more on what you do when Fido gets home. Of course, adopting is better because the shelter staff often helps you bond with your pet.