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So Many Mutts to Love! 5 Reasons to Adopt a Shelter Dog

Kid dogThere are many things to consider when deciding to open your home to a dog. Does it matter whether the dog is a pure breed, or would a mutt (combination of two or more breeds) be alright? Is age a factor? There are thousands of amazing dogs available for adoption at local animal shelters. Here are some reasons to consider adoption over purchasing a dog from a breeder.


Most dogs are relinquished by previous owners due to circumstances beyond their control (divorce, death in the family, moving etc.) or because the previous owner didn’t realize what they were getting into; by not researching breed traits, they may have gotten an overly energetic dog when they really wanted a couch potato. When a shelter dog is adopted by a new family, the dog has a second chance to prove itself to be a good pack member. Most shelter dogs are more loyal and loving to their new families because they were “rescued” from doggy jail.

Medical Costs

People often pay between five hundred and five thousand dollars for a puppy from a breeder. The puppy most likely will have their first round of shots done before they go home. A shelter dog will not only have all their vaccinations up to date, but will come spayed or neutered as well, saving time and money at the vet. Most shelters do an initial exam when a dog enters the facility and does their best to make sure the dog is healthy before putting them onto the adoption floor. Adoption costs are a fraction of what you would pay a breeder.


Most facilities perform a series of behavior assessments when a dog arrives. If there is no history available on the dog, this is a way to figure out how the dog will react to certain situations. In addition to these “tests” the shelter staff interacts with these dogs every day, making observations on what type of family their charges will work well with. They can tell potential adopters about the dog’s personality, what training issues there are, and what they need from their new home. It is their business to pair the right dog with the right owner.


More and more facilities work with trainers and offer training incentives to make sure owners and dogs alike get off on the right foot. These trainers have most likely worked with the dogs themselves and have become familiar with the issues that need to be addressed.


Puppies from breeders haven’t really developed their personalities yet; they are still young and so playing for a few minutes before deciding doesn’t offer much information. If the heart is set on a much sought after breed, then the pressure to put down a deposit as soon as possible arises, ensuring there will be a puppy. One perk of adoption from a shelter is interaction. Potential owners can play with dogs, take them for a walk, and bring in their own dogs for introductions. They are able to take a moment to mull over this life changing decision.

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Written by Renee Moen
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