For the Love of a Mutt

Reasons to Adopt a Shelter Dog

1150377_10151518921501637_384757973_nIf you have ever visited an animal shelter, you know that over whelming feeling. You know, that feeling of an irresistible desire to want to help each and every adorable face that looks back at you with pleading eyes. Eyes that betray their sadness, loneliness, neglect, and yes, even abuse. In those eyes, you also see the unconditional love they are so willing to give back to you in return for the security of a forever home, your companionship, and your love.

Bringing a pet into your home should not be a spur of the moment decision, You not only need to think about what is best for you, but you need to think about what is best for the dog. An animal is not something you can arbitrarily dispose of if you should decide you made a mistake… for whatever the reason(s).

There are many things to consider when deciding to open your home to a dog. Does it matter whether the dog is a pure breed, or would a mutt (combination of two or more breeds) be alright? Is age a factor? Do want a male or female? There are literally thousands of amazing and loving dogs available for adoption at local animal shelters. And many times some of them are pure breeds. If you are thinking about getting a dog; here are some reasons to consider adoption over purchasing a dog from a breeder

LOYALTY

There are many reasons why dogs end of in an animal shelter. Most dogs are relinquished by previous owners due to circumstances beyond their control (divorce, death in the family, moving etc.) or because the previous owner didn’t realize what they were getting into; by not researching breed traits, they may have gotten an overly energetic dog when they really wanted a couch potato. A lady called me a few weeks ago hoping I could help her find a home for her Australian Shepherd. She did not realize that this breed of a dog has an abundance of energy and needed a lot more exercise that she could give the dog; as she had a heart condition.

We all want a second chance, even our furry friends. When a shelter dog is adopted by a new family, the dog has a second chance to prove itself to be a good pack member. Most shelter dogs are more loyal and loving to their new families because they were “rescued” from doggy jail.

MEDICAL COSTS

When you are considering any pet, you must take in consideration the medical expenses involved. People often pay between five hundred and five thousand dollars for a puppy from a breeder. The puppy most likely will have their first round of shots done before they go home. A shelter dog will not only have all their vaccinations up to date, but will come spayed or neutered as well, saving time and money at the vet. Most shelters do an initial exam when a dog enters the facility and does their best to make sure the dog is healthy before putting them onto the adoption floor. Adoption costs are a fraction of what you would pay a breeder.

STAFF

Most facilities perform a series of behavior assessments when a dog arrives. If there is no history available on the dog, this is a way to figure out how the dog will react to certain situations. In addition to these “tests” the shelter staff interacts with these dogs every day, making observations on what type of family their charges will work well with. They can tell potential adopters about the dog’s personality, what training issues there are, and what they need from their new home. It is their business to pair the right dog with the right owner.

TRAINING

It has become more common for trainers to work with shelters. Trainers offer training incentives to make sure owners and dogs alike get off on the right foot. In some cases, trainers have most likely worked with the dogs themselves and have become familiar with the issues that need to be addressed. Especially when there it is a dog with a behavior issue.

OLDER DOGS

If you are considering adding a dog to your family and would rather not go through the issues of training a puppy… well then a animal shelter would be a great place for you to adopt a dog. Animal shelters offer plenty of dogs of all ages to choose from. Many of them already house trained, leash trained, and trained in doggy etiquette. You will be able to see just how big your new furry family member already is. Is he/she the right size or not? Right color? Too much hair? So many different physical features to choose from. So many cute adorable faces. It will be difficult to go home with just one adorable ball of fur.

INTERACTION

When buying from a breeder… many times buyers will put a down payment on a puppy that not yet born, hoping to get the pick of the litter, or a preferred color and sex. They will choose a new born puppy without a clue as to the personality of the puppy. Even if a puppy is chosen when it is four or five weeks old there is really no way to know for sure what the puppies personality will be like. Puppies from breeders haven’t really developed their personalities yet; they are still young and so playing for a few minutes before deciding doesn’t offer much information. If the heart is set on a much sought after breed, then the pressure is on to put down a deposit and choose the puppy you want before someone else does with no interaction with the puppy. One perk of ad