Many children beg their parents for a pet, and families that have never owned a dog before sometimes make the mistake of purchasing a pooch from the pet store. Personally, I find this as a mistake since pet stores often obtain their stock from “puppy millers” (aka: unethical breeders that churn out dogs as a way to make money and do not test their dogs for temperament or inheritable medical diseases).
For parents that are thinking about bringing home a four-legged friend, their best bet is to go to a reputable rescue, shelter, or breeder, depending on their lifestyle and what they are looking for.
There are some folks that swear by adopting a dog while others will only purchase one from a reputable breeder, but both are valid options and each have their pros and cons (listed below).
I rescued my younger dog Zoe from North Shore Animal League of America, but she’s very skittish. Even though I am grateful for the lessons she’s taught me, I would like my next dog to be from a reputable breeder.
Just like some people prefer Macs and others love PCs, families wanting to add a dog to their life need to research both adopting from a shelter or purchasing from a reputable breeder. Depending on the situation, one will be a better fit for their own personal needs.
1. A RESPECTED RESCUE WILL HELP FIND A DOG THAT FITS THE FAMILY
According to Parents magazine, a reputable rescue or shelter will temperament test each and every one of their dogs before they let them go to their forever homes.
For families that are looking to add a four-legged friend to their home, a reputable rescue and shelter will know which dogs are going to be the perfect fit for their lifestyle and will steer them towards those animals instead of letting them take home any old pooch that might not be right for their home.
2. FAMILIES CAN FOSTER A DOG BEFORE THEY ADOPT IT
Parents magazine points out that if a family isn’t sure about a doggo they have their eye, many reputable rescues and shelters often have a foster-to-adopt program in place so that potential adopters can get a feel for how the animal gels with them and their home.
Stories of foster failures are pretty common in the rescue world; my friend was fostering for a rescue and fell in love with her pup. She made the decision to make him a permanent part of the family and he’s blossomed into a really awesome companion for her.