When you find it is time to add a dog to the family, you have several options. There are millions of pets that wind up in shelters across the country each year. All of these pets are in need of good homes, especially those in shelters who use euthanasia to control the population. You also have the option of purchasing purebred dogs from a breeder. Each has its pros and cons that you should consider carefully.
Saving an animal that has been abandoned or neglected is a wonderful thing to do. Shelters are always overwhelmed by the number of pets. You can find all kinds of dogs available for adoption including purebred dogs. Of course, there will be no paperwork as a rule and you will be expected to spay/neuter your new dog.
• Feels great
• Mature pets are available
• Variety of dogs
• Shots and health generally checked
• Teach children empathy
• Most are well socialized
• Dog may have some bad habits from previous owners
• Will take time to see how they are with children
• No papers on purebreds
Many people prefer to purchase a purebred dog from a breeder. You may find that you have a particular affinity for a specific breed and want a dog you can train from a very early age. If you deal with a reputable breeder this can be a very rewarding situation. Here are a few pros and cons:
• Bloodline is well documented
• Choose a specific breed suitable for you
• Health should be guaranteed
• Meet the puppy parents and assess temperament
• Well socialized
• Puppy mills- irresponsible breeding can result in all kinds of genetic defects
• Pure breeds are more susceptible to disease than mutts
• Some breeds are very expensive
If you decide to purchase a purebred dog instead of adoption, it is important to find a reputable breeder. This can be tricky but with a few basic questions, you can get a good indication of how responsible they are.
• Ask to see the dam, if the breeder hesitates move on
• Ask about breed specific defects and diseases, a reputable breeder will know
• Request references- specifically other customers
• What is the health guarantee and contract? Reputable breeders will guarantee the health of the dog for a specific amount of time and for most genetic defects. There may be a long list of requirements you must fulfill as well such as spay/neuter, home requirements and background check.
As you can see there is more than one-way to get the perfect dog for your family. Each method has pros and cons so consider every angle. You can also check your local paper for puppies being given away by local residents. These are many times "accidents" that occurred because a female pet had nighttime visitors or got away from the owner at just the right, or shall we say wrong time? Use a bit of common sense when adopting or purchasing and always set up a health check with your vet soon after acquiring a new dog.