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11 Reasons Why Adopting a Pet Is Better Than Buying

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By Emma Stenhouse

adopt a cat

If you’re ready to add a new pet to your family, adopting is a fantastic idea. If you’re on the fence, though, we rounded up our top 11 reasons that adopting a pet is better than buying.

Hopefully, by the end, you’ll be fully convinced to adopt, not shop!

Why Adopting a Pet is Better Than Buying: 11 Reasons

1. You’ll save a life

The ASPCA estimates that every year, 1.5 million cats and dogs in US shelters are euthanized. By deciding to rehome a shelter animal, you could literally be saving their life. The good news is that these rates are slowly dropping as more animals are rehomed and lost pets are successfully reunited with their owners. It’s still a huge number, though, and by choosing to adopt, you can do your part to reduce it even more.

sad lonely cat
Image credit: medveda, Shutterstock

2. Adopting is often cheaper

While the cost of a purebred or designer pet can run to thousands of dollars, adopting a pet is usually less than $250. You’ll need to pay a fee to your chosen shelter, and this usually covers the cost of your new pet’s health checks, initial vaccinations, and spaying or neutering. Most shelters have a policy of only rehoming pets after they’ve been spayed or neutered.

3. You can avoid puppy/kitty mills

Puppy mills are a huge problem. The owners of puppy mills are more interested in making money than breeding healthy puppies. That means they cut corners where welfare and care are concerned. Many puppies from mills suffer from genetic illnesses that could be prevented by responsible breeding. They’re often sick too. That means you end up with an overpriced puppy that needs immediate veterinary attention, and even then, they sometimes don’t survive.

four-kittens_Ashley-Swanson, Shutterstock
Image credit: Ashley-Swanson, Shutterstock

4. You can still get the breed of your dreams

If you’ve got your heart set on a particular breed of dog or cat, don’t fall into the trap of thinking that it won’t be possible to adopt one! Plenty of rescue organizations focus exclusively on a particular breed. You might need to do research and travel, but you can still find the breed of your dreams waiting patiently for you in a shelter. Many purebred pets are surrendered to shelters after their new owners realize that they actually have specific requirements in terms of care and exercise.

You can find all sorts of breed-specific shelters, from Siberian Husky rescue centers and the Yorkie Rescue of America to Specialty Purebred Cat Rescue sites and more.

5. Helping that one pet will change their life

Choosing to adopt your new pet from a shelter might not save all shelter animals, but it will make a world of difference for your newly chosen companion. While dogs and cats are well looked after in shelters, it’s no comparison to having a cozy home and a family to adore them. The companionship that you’ll get from your adorable new shelter pet will soon convince you that you made the right decision.

little boy hugging his cat
Image Credit: Markus Lehmann, Pixabay

6. Shelter pets are often already house trained

Many pets are surrendered to shelters through absolutely no fault of their own. Sometimes a family’s circumstances change, an old owner dies, or someone has no option but to give up their pet. This means that many pets in shelters are already well-trained, including house training! Getting a new puppy house-trained is stressful, so choosing a pet that’s already trained will make your life much easier!

7. You can choose the best pet to suit your family

While it can be tempting to decide that the cutest puppy is the right choice for your family, sometimes that breed may not be right for you at all. By choosing to find your new pet at a shelter, you can take advantage of the knowledge of the staff who work there. They’ll ask you to fill out a questionnaire and suggest which pets would suit you and your family best.

That way, you maximize the chances of being matched with the perfect pet, even if they’re not the breed that you would have thought of.

two kids petting a cat on the street
Image Credit: Luidmila Kot, Pixabay

8. You’ll support a local organization

Shelters work tirelessly to improve the care of the animals that they rescue. By choosing a local rescue, you can support them in their mission to improve the lives of the pets in their care. The costs of your new pet’s adoption will help the shelter rescue more animals in need. By adopting your new pet, you’re also making room for each shelter to help one more pet!

9. Adopting can help encourage others to do the same

Whenever anyone asks you where you got your new pet from, you can proudly tell them that they’re adopted from a shelter! Becoming an advocate for shelters can help your friends and family consider doing the same if they decide to get a pet. As soon as they see how awesome and adorable your new pet is, they’ll probably be totally convinced!

cat being adopted
Image Credit: Anika Moritz, Shutterstock

10. You’ll get an ongoing support system

If you get your new pet from a shelter, you’ll always have someone friendly to ask for advice. With a puppy mill or backyard breeder, you can expect exactly zero in terms of ongoing support. Shelters are more than happy to support new owners as they get used to life with a new pet. If you’re not sure how or where to sign up for puppy training classes or which local vet is best, they can help.

11. Rescue pets make the best pets!

Last but very much not least, rescue pets are simply awesome. Knowing that you saved your new pet from an uncertain future is one of the best feelings in the world. It’s perhaps only beaten by the joy that you’ll get from seeing your new pet embrace their future as part of your family.

young girl hugging two kittens
Image By: klimkin, Pixabay

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Adopting is a great way to give a home to a pet in need. While you may have your heart set on a certain breed, there are thousands of adorable dogs looking for a forever home, and some may even be the breed you’re looking for. Plus, these dogs are often already trained to an extent, and will certainly cost you a lot less than purchasing from a breeder.

Featured Image Credit: VS_star, Pixabay

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