Adopt, Don’t Shop: Why You Should Choose a Rescue Dog

When it comes to picking your next four-legged friend, there are plenty of reasons why a rescue dog should top your list.

It’s Not the Dog’s Fault

It’s a common myth that dogs in rescue facilities must have something wrong with them, but this simply isn’t true. The most common reasons for giving a dog up to a shelter are changes in the owner’s life: moving house, changes in financial circumstances, and personal problems. Many are perfectly well-behaved and well trained; if this will be your first dog or you have a busy life, a rescue dog who already knows the ropes will be ideal. Puppies are adorable, but training and caring for one is intense and time-consuming.

Diamonds in the Rough

Rescue dogs have just as much character and are equally as intelligent as anything with a pedigree. Some are even able to perform assistance dog tasks and detect seizures in their owners, just like trained service dogs. It’s also worth considering that many pure-bred dogs come with certain problems – pugs have breathing difficulties and are prone to skin infections, while German Shepherds are known for developing arthritis and bad hips. A lot of these issues result from breeding standards which are designed to be attractive or win prizes at shows; rescue dogs of mixed breeding don’t need to conform to these standards and are often healthier as a result.

Responsible Choices

By adopting, you’re also helping to deal with a chronic pet overpopulation problem. Rather than supporting the market for more dogs to be bred, take one who is already out there and looking for a home. Rehoming also helps to reduce the profit to be made from inhumane puppy mills. There is very little regulation on the conditions for breeding dogs, and with puppies of fashionable breeds easily fetching thousands of pounds, there is easy money to be made at the expense of the dogs’ welfare. If you have decided on a specific breed and can’t find one locally, try contacting the relevant association or registry.

Save a Life

By adopting a rescue dog, you can literally save a life. Many shelter animals are euthanized each year because of overpopulation. Shelters do amazing work and provide the best environment they can, but are often stretched for money and resources. Adopting a rescue dog gives it the chance of a new life in a happy home, and eases pressure on the shelter. Your adoption fees will go straight back into helping other animals in need.

Jenny is a new contributor of this blog.