Are you thinking of adding a pet to your family? If so, you are probably debating the merits of buying versus adopting. It’s not a clear-cut case, even though adopting probably gets more positive press. In this article, we will examine the pros and cons of both, to help you make a more informed decision.
Buying a Pet
Buying a pet typically means buying a puppy or kitten. You can select the exact breed you want, along with the bloodline, if that kind of thing matters to you. For some people, being able to pick a particular breed matters a lot. For example, if they love to hike and camp, they might choose a breed of puppy that’s comfortable with a lot of exercise.
Puppies and kittens are also more adaptable, especially if you already have cats and dogs.
The downside is that pedigree pets are expensive. Dogs can cost as little as $50 from a neighbour with a litter of pups, all the way up to tens of thousands of dollars for a sought-after breed. The two most desirable breeds right now are French Bulldogs and Tibetan Mastiffs. Celebrities love French Bulldogs, which has led to an explosion of breeders. Expect to pay around $3,000 for a puppy, and more if the pup comes from a prize-winning bloodline. Tibetan Mastiffs can easily cost up to $20,000, which is a lot of cash!
Pedigree cats are not quite as expensive, but some breeds will set you back several thousand dollars.
Of course, you don’t need to buy an expensive pedigree pet but bear in mind that some people breed pets as a money-making endeavour, so their animals often come with health issues and behavioural problems.
Adopting a Pet
Data from the ASPCA reveals that more than 6.5 million pets are dumped in shelters each year. Just under a quarter of them are euthanized, either because they can’t be rehomed or because the shelter is full to capacity.
Adopting a pet means you’re giving an unwanted pet a chance of a happier life. Often, shelter pets are abandoned through no fault of their own. It’s not their fault they grow from a cute puppy into a large dog that needs a lot of food and exercise.
The great thing about adopting a shelter pet is that it will be neutered and vaccinated before being rehomed, so that’s one less expense to worry about. On the downside, shelter pets often have behaviour problems, such as abandonment issues and a fear of strangers. If you adopt, be prepared to take on an older adult animal. Cute young animals rarely stay in shelters for long.
Is a Pet Right for You?
Consider your lifestyle before you adopt or buy a pet. Think about how your pet will fit into your hobbies and interests. Nuwber research shows that people that travel a lot are more likely to own a cat than a dog, probably because cats don’t mind being left home alone as long as they have food and water.
Adding a pet to your family is a huge time and financial commitment. Can you really afford a pet? Are you willing to walk a dog twice a day? Give it a lot of thought before you buy or adopt. Make sure everyone in the family is onboard with the idea. And if they are and you’re sure a pet will fit in with your lifestyle, adopt if you can. Give a shelter pet a second chance – they’ll be forever grateful!