When you’re looking to add a new pet to your family, you will face two main choices: Should you adopt a pet from a shelter, or “go shopping” with breeders? There are pros and cons to either choice, but here are some of the main points to consider.
When you work with a breeder… You’re guaranteed to get the breed you want and if you conduct diligent research on your breeder, you stand a great chance of getting a healthy animal. In many cases your new dog or cat will come already housebroken (depending upon how dedicated your chosen breeder happens to be). If you’re looking for something very specific – for example, a livestock guardian dog – they might already be trained or at least inclined to perform that role.
On the downside, many breeders don’t practice the most biologically sound breeding techniques. Generations of in-breeding can result in both physical and behavior problems in the animals. Remember, just because an animal is expensive, doesn’t mean it, and its mother and littermates, were treated well.
When you adopt… You will bring home one of the millions of animals currently residing in a shelter. If you are looking for a purebred dog, they can be found in shelters as well as through a breed rescue. You will also save one of the 1.2 million lives lost to euthanasia each year, due to overcrowded shelters and pets being labeled as “unadoptable”. You’ll be doing your part to reduce pet homelessness in your community and supporting a local shelter. And finally, because all shelter animals are already vaccinated and spayed or neutered, you can reduce your upfront pet ownership costs.
Of course, some people do fear that shelter animals might come along with behavior problems. That’s why visiting the shelter and communicating honestly with personnel can be so important. They will help match you to a dog or cat whose temperament works for your family and can refer you to socialization and training programs as well.
There’s no answer that’s right for every situation. But once you have chosen your new pet, remember to schedule a checkup with us first. We can assess your new pet’s health, make recommendations for food and care, treat your pet for any ongoing conditions, and help you get your new pet settled into its new home.