• For the Dog Lover in You!

Adopting vs. Buying a Dog: Pros and Cons

on June 24, 2023

Dogs are popular and beloved pets who bring joy and happiness to our lives. The decision to bring a dog into your home is exciting and significant and will impact your daily life. When it comes to choosing the right dog for you and your family, there are two options to consider: adopting and purchasing. Both options have pros and cons, so it’s important to weigh the options carefully to determine the best choice for you and your family.


Adopting a Dog 




  • Saving a Life: Arguably the biggest “pro” for adopting a dog from a shelter or rescue is that you are providing the animal with a new home and a chance to live out their life with a loving family. Approximately 3.1 million dogs enter shelters each year, so adopting can be a rewarding experience for those who are passionate about animal welfare and want to provide for a dog in need. 
  • Healthier Dogs: Many dogs in shelters and rescue organizations receive comprehensive veterinary care upon arrival, including vaccinations and spaying/neutering. This can make them healthier pets overall and save adopters on those additional costs in the early months of ownership.



  • Matched to Your Lifestyle: Most shelters and rescue organizations have staff members are trained to match dogs with potential owners based on factors such as lifestyle, personality, and energy level. These assessments help ensure a good fit between pet and owner. Rescues who work with foster families have particularly good insights into a dog’s personality and are often more than willing to spend the time to find a perfect match for both dog and adopter.
  • Cost-Effective: Adopting a dog from a shelter or rescue organization is usually less expensive than buying one, making it an option for those on tight budget.




  • Potential Health Issues: While many dogs in shelters and rescues receive thorough veterinary care, some may have underlying health problems that are not immediately apparent. This can result in unexpected and costly veterinary bills, but may be mitigated with properly researched pet insurance.
  • Behavioral Issues: Some dogs in shelters and rescues have experienced trauma or neglect, which can lead to behavioral issues such as aggression or separation anxiety. These issues can be challenging to work through and may require professional help, but are usually able to be mitigated with proper trainingre-socialization, and a dedicated owner.
  • Unknown Background: The history of dogs in shelters and rescues is often unknown. This can make it difficult to determine why a dog is there and whether it is a good fit for your home and lifestyle.


Buying a Dog 





  • Predictable: When you buy a dog from a breeder or reputable pet store, you will generally have a realistic idea of what you’re purchasing in terms of size, appearance, and temperament. This can make it easier to choose a dog that fits your lifestyle.
  • Health Guarantees: Many breeders and reputable pet stores offer health guarantees, which can provide peace of mind that your dog will be healthy and free from genetic disorders.
  • Training and Socialization: Puppies from breeders and reputable pet stores are often well-socialized and receive early training, which can ease the responsibility of early socialization for their new paw-rents. This can also make them easier to work with and train as they age. (Keep in mind that puppies born into foster care may also be trained and socialized early on, which can be considered a “pro” for adoption.)



  • Purebreds: If you’re interested in a specific breed of dog and want to ensure a certified breed, buying from a reputable breeder can be the best option. Many often come with paperwork to verify their lineage and AKC certifications.





  • Cost: Buying a dog from a breeder or pet store is often more expensive than adopting one from a shelter or rescue organization. This can be a barrier for those on a tight budget or who are looking to save money.
  • Health Issues: While breeders and pet stores may offer health guarantees, some dogs can still develop health problems later in life. This can result in unexpected and costly veterinary bills. If a dog from a breeder or pet store does develop health problems, it’s important to make sure the breeder or store is notified and held accountable as much as possible.
  • Inbreeding: Some breeders engage in inbreeding, which can lead to genetic health problems and behavioral issues. This is especially common in breeds that are popular and in high demand. Buying a dog from a breeder or pet store can limit the gene pool and lead to a lack of genetic diversity, which can result in an increased risk of certain health problems in dogs. 
  • Support: Adopting from a shelter or rescue organization often comes with additional support and resources, such as training and behavior classes, as well as a network of other dog owners who are accessible for support and advice. This support is not always available when buying from a breeder or pet store. 


In conclusion, the decision to adopt or buy a dog is a significantly personal one that requires careful consideration. While buying a dog from a breeder or pet store may have its benefits, such as being able to choose the specific breed and size you want, it also comes with its drawbacks, including a higher cost and the potential for health issues. On the other hand, adopting a dog from a shelter or rescue organization offers the opportunity to save a life, provides access to a wider range of breeds, and is often more affordable. Ultimately, it’s important to carefully weigh the pros and cons of both options before making a decision and to choose the option that aligns best with your personal values, lifestyle, and resources.


Regardless of whether you adopt or buy a dog, remember to provide your furry companion with plenty of love, care, and attention. Check out all of K9 & Company’s offerings to get you and your new pup started out on the right paw today!


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