So You Want To Adopt A Dog
If you are reading this, chances are you have thought about adopting a dog. Congrats! Hopefully, you have already read my article about things to consider before getting a dog, found here. If so, then you are ready to start thinking about HOW you want to adopt your new friend. It can be overwhelming. You could also think you want a dog from somewhere, and realize that’s not the best fit for you. For some reason, the starting of everything seems to always be the most confusing. But Fear Not! I’m here to help alleviate that fear and make this process easier and more enjoyable!
Dog adoption comes with time and money. Sure, you will have to purchase your dog, but you also don’t want to forget about their everyday needs! Make sure you check out my post of 6 Products you should be buying from Amazon. You will save so much time and money, especially in the beginning getting things like food, toys, bed, and more! But back to adopting a pupppy
For some people this process comes naturally, some requires weeks, even months of research to figure out which way is best for them. The intent of this post is to show you ALL options for adoptions (Hehe, see that rhythm there ) so you can spend less time researching HOW to adopt and more time finding your new roommate.
Different Adoption Options
As I said, there are a lot of different ways in which owners can go about adopting a new dog into their families, and there are pros and cons to each way. Today I am going to talk about five different adoption pathways new owners can go down when getting their pet.
I am curious if there are additional ways in which people have come across their now pet, but these are the five that my research has led me to. However, if you are reading this and have gotten your pet in a different manner, please feel free to tell me about it!
Continuing on, these are the five adoption options for adopting a new dog:
1. Pet Stores:
This one is fairly obvious. A typical go into a pet store, see a dog, hold it and take it home forever.
This option is for the people who want a very specific breed of dog, whether it be purebred or a designed mixture, so they go to someone whose job is to breed.
My favorite option. This is when you stumbling upon your new friend. Whether it be a lost dog you happen to see, your friend finds a dog, anything that qualifies as you were not looking for a dog, but fate took over.
Online Adoption is a little broader than the others. This can be people looking for dogs on online websites, on social media, or any other online form of finding pets. This option is great for those who do not like to leave their houses. (ME RIGHT HERE!!!)
Last but far from least is a shelter. Most people know what these are, but these are locations that take in animals that have been dumped, left, or found and cannot be kept. There is a special place in my heart for shelter dogs, but more to come on that later.
So, as you can see, there are many ways to go about adopting, and while I like to believe that ANY form of adoption is wonderful, there are definitely pros and cons to each variation. It is not my place to make the decision of HOW people choose to adopt so I will just provide the positives and negatives of every aspect and let you the reader make the decision.
As I have stated above, the first adoption option is the pet stores. This is the option that most people gravitate towards before they do their research. And to prove that I am not better than anyone else, we had actually adopted two of our dogs from pet stores. Therefore, I can tell you first hand the positive and negatives that come with pet stores. One Interesting fact about pet stores before we dive, they are banned in some countries.
Let’s start with the positives of a pet store. They are the most readily available locations to get a pet. Often times they have the most popular breeds available, you can play with the puppies, and a lot of the supplies can be found in the same store. Pet stores are great because you can have some time to socialize with your new friend, and the puppies are usually more friendly because they have been around people all day every day. And at the end of the day, the puppies do not choose where they are placed. They all need homes.
Now, the negatives that go along with pet stores. If you are someone who volunteers at shelters or have done extensive research on pet stores, you will learn some of the horrors of pet stores. A Fact Sheet from the Humane Society explains that the majority of puppies at the pet stores comes from puppy mills. In short, puppy mills locations for mass-produced puppy sales. This means that they are working on getting puppies in and out as quickly as possible. This means the conditions in which puppies and their mothers live in are usually extremely poor.
Because of these poor conditions, puppies that are bought in pet stores usually have health problems and/or psychological problems later on in life. A perfect example is my two dogs. While I loved them so much and do not regret getting them, one had diabetes and was blind for the second part his life. This other was taken from his mother way too early and therefore had horrid separation anxiety. This poor puppy would howl whenever our family would leave. The poor guy was terrified we would never come back because he was taken from his mother.
Many people are strongly opposed to pet stores, and it oftentimes pulls at my heartstrings to see the puppies there. And as I stated before, they do not get to chose how they are born and where they go. All they know is they were taken from their mothers and just want a place to call home.
The next adoption choice is going through a breeder. Similar to that of pet stores, going through a breeder allows you to get a specific breed. Unlike pet stores though, the breeders are usually normal people who have one litter at a time and keep the mother. This allows the puppies to have better living conditions than in the puppy mills. Oftentimes, breeders are highly recommended if you are looking for a very specific breed. These are great when a family needs a hypoallergenic dog or have a circumstance where they need a very specific brand.
The biggest negative when it comes to breeds is that it takes away from the shelters. Breeders will breed usually when there is a demand for puppies. Unfortunately, when a family adopts from breeders, they take away from adopting at shelters. So puppies that were bred at a breeder, then left because an irresponsible family no longer wanted them are left at the shelter. The more owners shop at breeders, the more shelter dogs are left homeless.
The other negative that comes along with adopting through a breeder is that they are usually the same breed, inbreeding can usually lead to genetic disorders as recessive traits are more likely to come out from multiple inbreeding of the same breed. This is also why many breeders are beginning to breed mixed breeds, like a Goldendoodle, for example. This allows for the best of both breeds to come out and less room for genetic mutations.
But please remember, they do not get to choose how they are born and where they go. They are just ready for a loving forever home.
Adoption option number three! (I don’t think I’ll ever get sick of saying adoption option, just rolls right off the tongue). This one is adopting by chance or by fate. In this instance, you come across a dog either a lost dog or your friend has a puppy that they found that they need.
This is actually how my first cat came into my life. She had been dumped at my grandfather's house and needed a new home, the full story can be found here. The positives of adopting a dog this way are, it seems almost as if fate intervened to bring the two of you together. I am grateful every day for my cat wandered up on the porch by chance.
The negative side of adopting by chance is that time is not always on your side. Additionally, when it comes to waiting for a puppy to come to your door you never know if and when it will ever happen. You also get no say as to the age and breed of the dog coming to your door. In my opinion, if you are seriously thinking about adopting a puppy into your family, I would not wait for this option. I would take this option as a sign that your family is ready to start/grow.
The next option we will discuss is the online method. This one is growing more and more popular as the technology enhances our world. When I talk about online adoptions, I mean going through an online site such as PetPromise or Petfinder to find pets in your area. You could also consider online research by going on social media and seeing if someone in your network is looking to sell puppies.
The biggest positive of this option if you don’t have to leave your house! Puppy searches in your pajamas! What could be better! Usually, when you are doing online searches, the companies online do not have their own locations which means the dogs are in foster homes.
That means more and more people are welcoming pets into their homes so they have better social skills with a warm place to sleep. My most recent kitten was found online at PetPromise. She had a wonderful foster mom who took amazing care of her until we found her. The intent for these companies is to bring more and more animals away from shelters and into foster homes.
The only negative to these is you have to see the animal online, contact the company and schedule a time to meet your new pal. Most adoptions done this way cannot be done on a limb or immediately. That means from the time you decide you want to adopt to the point where you actually get to take your puppy home it can be a number of weeks. Possibly longer if your first pick was not a proper match.
And if adoption is starting to seem a little scary to you, first it is a lot of work but the reward is definitely worth it! If you are feeling even braver, perhaps you can be like one of the many wonderful people in this world and foster. If none of these catch your fancy, there is still one last option for you to explore.
Last but far from least is adopting from a shelter. This adoption option has a special place in my heart as these animals are some of the ones who need a home the most. They spend their nights is a small, cold cage after having a traumatic start to their life. Whether it be they were left by their owners or taken from their owners because of abuse, or one of the many other reasons…most of these dogs had a home and now only have a cage.
One of the positives of adopting from a shelter is these dogs remember the hard life, which means when you take them home and earn their trust, they are usually some of the sweetest pets in the world. They are so grateful to have a warm home and an owner who loves them that they reward you with lots of love. Another positive of adoption through shelters is you are keeping the shelter afloat. If not, shelters become overflowed and cannot accept new puppies that come in. While a large majority of shelters are considered no-kill shelters, some are not.
A no-kill shelter means that no matter what they never euthanize the puppies if they are overcrowded. The shelters that are not considered no-kill shelters will put the dogs down if they are either not being adopting or meet any “dangerous” criteria. I put dangerous criteria in quotes because the vast majority of the time these traits are never dangerous and always fear based or no one giving them a chance. The more adoptions that occur in the shelters means the more puppies stay off the list to be euthanized.
The negatives of adopting from a shelter are slim. The biggest negative that comes from adopting a dog from a shelter if you do not get as much say as to the breed and age of the dogs available for you. Your selection is limited to what has come into the shelter. But if you are a true animal lover, you know that the breed matter less as the connection between you and dog.
There are always good and bad things that come with any form of adoption, especially when it comes to animals. While everyone may choose different means of adopting, the main goal is you are helping a dog in need and giving it a forever home. If you also need a more intensive guide to adopting, getting ready, and bringing home your new puppy, check out my new E-Book! This E-Book is all an intensive guide to everything you need from before your puppy arrives, to the first 30 days after you get the puppy. Make sure you check it out!
Whether you side to go to a pet store, a shelter, or take your search online. As long as you do your research and find the animal that is truly the right fit for you, I say that you have saved a puppies life. When it comes to dogs, research is the power to give your dog the best life possible.