Millions of dogs are in shelters waiting for their forever homes. If you’re thinking of adding a four-legged friend to your family, there are lots of great reasons to adopt from a shelter. Here are 10 of the reasons to adopt dogs from a shelter:
10. It’s easy to find the perfect fit.
Shelters have a wide variety of dogs from just about every background. Looking for a pup that’s great with kids? A low-key elder dog? A bonded pair that can keep each other company? Odds are, your local shelter has all of these options and more. Looking for a specific breed? There are rescue groups for just about every breed.
9. They may already have their shots and be spayed or neutered.
Many shelters provide basics vaccines. They may also spay or neuter dogs before they are adopted out. These services are typically included in the adoption fee. If the fee is an issue, many shelters also periodically run specials so you can adopt for a discount.
8. You have built-in support.
Shelters and rescues want your relationship with your new pet to be successful. Do you have questions or concerns? Ask the shelter or rescue group. They may have resources that can help with training.
7. They may already have some training.
Many adult shelter dogs grew up in homes, so they may already be housebroken. Other shelters and rescues have foster programs to help socialize dogs before they’re adopted. If they’re not housebroken, adult dogs are often quick to get the hang of going outside. If you need assistance in training, look for reliable online resources or talk to your shelter or rescue group about recommended local trainers and groups.
6. You’re supporting important organizations.
Shelters and rescues spend thousands of dollars saving dogs and other animals. Your adoption fee helps them continue their mission and modernize their facilities.
5. You’re limiting the spread of diseases.
Feral dogs can spread diseases to other wild animals. Keeping dogs out of the wild and vaccinated helps keep wild animals safe and free of disease.
4. You can adopt an adult.
Puppies are cute. They also have razor-sharp teeth and love to chew on all your things. If you don’t want to deal with the challenges of puppyhood, you can adopt an adult dog. Senior dogs, in particular, are in need of good homes and are less likely to be adopted. Elder dogs need love too!
3. You’re helping to shut down puppy mills.
When you buy from a pet store or a backyard breeder, you may be supporting a puppy mill. These mills keep dogs in poor conditions. The key to shutting them down is to decrease demand. More adoptions mean fewer people are buying puppies from these mills.
2. They’ll love you.
A 2016 study in the Journal of Veterinary Behavior showed that shelter dogs were more driven to interact with humans than pet dogs (dogs who had been raised in homes). This may be because many shelter dogs have limited human contact, so when they do find a human to love them, they give them every bit of their attention. In other words, you’re their whole world.
1. You’ll love them.
Studies have shown that owning a dog improves your health and boosts your mood. You and your family will have a reason to be out and about, meeting neighbors and enjoying the sunshine. Most of all, you’ll fall in love with your new family member. You rescue them, but there’s just as big a chance that your dog is rescuing you too.