Just as there are many things that must be considered when choosing to purchase a puppy from a breeder, there must be at least as much, if not more thought, being put into adopting or rescuing a dog.
One of the first things that must be considered is what kind of dog are you wanting for your family. It is important to consider your family, your lifestyle and how you envision the new family member fitting in. This decision should include the traits that you are looking for in your dog, because a lot of the rescued and adopted dogs are mixed breeds and do not have the “defined” personalities that are more guaranteed with an intentionally bred dog.
Secondly, and this is huge, how much experience does your family have with dogs? Is this your first family dog or have you trained many dogs? How well do you understand dogs and dog behaviour? The life of many rescue dogs has likely been a hard road - in one capacity or another. Otherwise, they would not be looking for a home. At the very least, this is a dog that has lost its first family and that can take an emotional toll. Most rescue dog owners can tell you that the dog they met on day one has many hidden secrets and personality traits that come out over the next 6-12 months as they become comfortable and relaxed in their new home. Some of these traits may be wonderful - like walking perfectly on the leash or bringing you your slippers; but others may be difficult - such as leash aggression or a more reactive personality, especially if they have a history of abuse. A history of abuse can be difficult to determine on a first meeting and is likely not something that someone would tell a rescue when relinquishing a dog for adoption.
Indeed, bringing home a new family member from a shelter or rescue group such as the OSPCA and working in the #adoptdontshop can be a wonderful experience, especially for the dog that your are rescuing. However, if the adoption is not carefully considered or thought out then the #furever home sometimes become another stop-gap and having to return a rescue dog is heart breaking for everyone involved.
In summary, the decision of whether to adopt a dog or to purchase a dog from a breeder is just as important a decision as the one you made when you decided it was time to add a new family member to your home. Both methods have very positive aspects - from bringing home a cuddly new puppy, to giving an older dog a second chance for love. Ultimately, neither option is better than the other. Instead, the choice really comes down to what makes the most sense for you and your family.
If you need help selecting a veterinarian for your new family friend, or have questions about how to properly care for them, speak with a veterinarian today to find the answers you’re looking for!