7 Ways a Shelter Dog Can Improve Your Life
Nothing compares to a cute and cuddly puppy, but many dog owners don’t think about the extra costs and work that come with buying a puppy. If you want to experience the joys of owning a dog but aren’t sure that buying a puppy is the right choice for you, think about adopting a shelter dog. Adopting a shelter dog can be a wonderful experience, not to mention the fact that you could literally be saving a dog’s life by adopting him. Not only do you get to benefit from a wonderful dog, but you may experience some unexpected benefits in your life as well.
1. Reduced Cost
If you purchase a puppy from a breeder you can expect to pay between $500 and $1,000 (or more) for the puppy. For those who plan to breed or show their dogs, this is a perfectly reasonable expense. If you are simply looking for a family pet, however, and do not have a lot of extra money to spend then this option may be completely out of the question. Adopting a dog from a shelter is a much more affordable option – many shelters assign adoption fees based on the age of the dog (higher fees for younger dogs to encourage the adoption of older dogs). For the most part, adopting a dog from a shelter shouldn’t cost you more than $250.
2. Skip the Puppy Stage
If you don’t have the time to deal with housetraining and don’t want to worry about a puppy chewing up your house, it may be a good idea to adopt an adult dog. In many cases, shelter dogs are already housetrained and may have already received some obedience training. With a shelter dog you get to skip the stressful stage of never knowing what a puppy is going to get into next and move straight into the adult stage.
3. Already Vaccinated and Spayed/Neutered
In order to help control overpopulation, most shelters have a policy of spaying/neutering all of their pets either before sending them home or shortly thereafter. This is extremely beneficial for pet owners because you not only get to save on the cost of having your pet spayed/neutered, but you will also get a dog that has already been checked by a veterinarian and brought up to date on vaccinations.
4. Standing Up Against Puppy Mills
Many pet stores are supplied by “puppy mills” which are basically factory-style breeding facilities for dogs. Dogs that are kept and bred in puppy mills are subjected to horrible conditions, inadequate medical care and, often, abuse. By adopting a shelter dog rather than purchasing from a pet store, you will be standing up against this form of animal abuse.
5. Find What You Didn’t Know You Wanted
One of the best things about visiting an animal shelter is that you will find dozens of dogs just waiting to be adopted. You are likely to find common breeds like Labrador Retrievers and Huskies, but you will also find a wide range of mixed breeds that exhibit beautiful coloration and vibrant personalities. Why limit yourself to buying from a breeder that sells only one breed when you can have your pick of the litter?
6. Ready for Love
As humans, we can never truly know what a dog is thinking but countless adoptive parents swear that their shelter dogs are forever grateful to have been brought home. Many shelter dogs come from abusive or neglectful families and others are born directly into shelter system. By the time a dog gets out of the system, he is ready to love and be loved. What more could you ask for in a dog?
7. You Will be Saving a Life
It has already been mentioned that adopting a shelter dog could very well mean that you are saving that dog’s life, but what does this really mean? It is a sad reality that over 2.7 million pets are euthanized each year simply because there isn’t enough room in shelters to care for them. By adopting a shelter dog you can help to reduce that number and give a deserving pet a loving home.
Kate Barrington is the loving owner of two cats (Bagel and Munchkin) and a noisy herd of guinea pigs. Having grown up with golden retrievers, Kate has a great deal of experience with dogs but labels herself a lover of all pets. Having received a Bachelor's degree in English, Kate has combined her love for pets and her passion for writing to create her own freelance writing business, specializing in the pet niche.
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