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Getting a dog: Should you adopt or buy?

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Dogs are, of course, not just for Christmas, but this time of year is when so many of us welcome a new furry friend into the household.

Research by Dogs Trust has revealed that the phrase “buy a puppy” saw a 44% increase in online searches in the week before Christmas 2019, compared to the yearly average.

The charity has warned against getting a new puppy unless you’re sure you can afford to look after it. So, before you go ahead with adding a new member to the family, check your finances to be sure that you can properly care for the new pooch.

Once that is done, the first question you will have is: adopt or buy? Let’s take a look at the differences between them and what to consider.

Adopting a dog

Charities like Dogs Trust and RSPCAwill have mutts available to adopt, as will any local kennels in your area. Dogs that have been given up by others for a variety of reasons will be kept by these charities before suitable new owners are found.

The pros

  • Adoption fees are typically cheaper than buying puppies from breeders
  • You’re doing good – giving a dog another chance to find their forever family
  • If you adopt an older dog, they may already be house trained

The cons

  • Some adoption dogs may have lost their home due to behavioural issues and may be unsuitable for inexperienced dog owners
  • If a rescue dog is not already used to children or other pets, you may not be able to introduce them to such a household
  • As rescue dogs are generally older, they may not be part of your family for as long

Buying a dog

If you want to bring a puppy into your home, it’s worth searching through Kennel Clubregistered breeders for one. This way, you know you’re getting a healthy dog from a responsible breeder.

The pros

  • The excitement of bringing a puppy into your home is tough to beat!
  • You will be able to make the puppy familiar with your lifestyle, be it with kids, other pets, or something else, such as farmyard life
  • As long as the pooch remains healthy, it will be in your family for many years

The cons

  • Training a puppy is hard work – you may need to enlist the help of a specialist trainer, and you have to be prepared for accidents
  • There are many unscrupulous breeders out there, looking to make a quick buck while raising puppies in unsuitable conditions
  • If you want a pedigree breed, puppies can cost a lot of money, before factoring in the associated long-term expenses

What works best for you?

If you’re looking to bring a puppy into a home with children, buying may work best. This will help teach your children how to be responsible for the dog’s welfare, while a puppy will grow used to them much quicker.

If a house trained companion is your priority, maybe for an elderly person, then adopting could help them find that new pal, as long as their home and lifestyle are the right fit.

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