Here's Why You Should Consider Adopting A Rescue Dog

They're actually the BEST.

should i adopt a dog?

Adopting a dog is seriously the best.

It’s not only immensely rewarding, but it’s also cheaper and more practical than buying a dog (and tons of fun).

The Dodo reached out to Laurette Richin, executive director at Long Island Bulldog Rescue in New York, and Dr. Corinne Wigfall, a veterinarian working with Spirit Dog Training to find out more about whether or not you should adopt a dog (and why it’s such an amazing decision if you can!).

Am I ready for a dog?

Do you have enough time to take care of a dog?

One of the most important things to consider is whether or not you’re fully committed to the time it takes to care for a dog.

“They are a full time 365 days a year commitment and can live between 10 and 15 years depending on the breed,” Dr. Wigfall told The Dodo. “This is a large portion of your life to give to a pet, which can be an incredibly rewarding experience, or a life sentence if you realise you have taken on too much.”

Are you financially able to care for a dog?

Dogs cost a lot of money, and that goes well beyond any initial fees or basic dog necessities you get.

“Do you have the ability to pay for food, grooming, day care, toys, accessories such as beds and coats, treats?” Dr. Wigfall asked.

The other big cost for pet owners is veterinary care. “This can be both routine such as vaccines and dental care or for emergency treatment which can cost thousands of dollars and payment will be required at the time of treatment,” Dr. Wigfall said.

You can always help with some future costs by investing in pet insurance when you first get your pet. Like health insurance, this can drastically reduce any emergency medical expenses that pop up down the line.If you’re interested in pet insurance, check out Fetch by The Dodo.

Do you have the space for a dog?

Make sure you have the space for not only a dog, but also to comfortably fit the size of the dog you do get.

If you have a backyard, you’ll also need to make sure it’s fenced in to prevent your pup from accidentally getting out. “Whilst this is the easiest on the list to fix, it's still something that needs to be done prior to bringing the dog home,” Dr. Wigfall said.

Do you have experience handling and raising dogs?

Some dogs who are adopted have come from troubled pasts, and may not be the easiest to train. “Make sure you match your dog handling and training ability with the right dog,” Dr. Wigfall said.

Adopting vs buying a dog

When you adopt a dog she’ll most likely come vaccinated, microchipped, up to date with flea and worm protection and already spayed or neutered. “There is also support on hand if you are having issues with your adopted dog and would like advice,” Dr. Wigfall said.

In terms of costs, there is often an adoption fee to help cover the initial costs of healthcare and support the organization to be able to take on further dogs for adoption, but this fee is typically just a fraction of what you would pay to buy a dog (and you save tons of money by an adopted dog already coming to you fixed, microchipped and with many vaccinations taken care of).

Purchasing a dog, on the other hand, often means buying a puppy who will need further vaccines, microchipping and desexing so consider the costs of this when purchasing a puppy.

“When purchasing a dog you can choose breed and if it’s registered or not, which may be of interest if you plan to show/compete your dog,” Dr. Wigfall said. “Purchasing a dog, especially a purebred dog can be expensive (sometimes thousands of dollars).”

Benefits of adopting a dog

Adopting a dog into your family is life-changing in some beautiful and unexpected ways — here are just some of the best reasons to consider it:

You’re saving a life

When you adopt a dog, you’re actually saving their life — and the life of the dog who will take their spot in the rescue. “By adopting a dog, you could be saving a life and giving an unloved dog a new hope at a happy, healthy existence within a family home- every dog's dream!” Dr. Wigfall said.
Many adopters say their dog seems to recognize this — and they notice a difference in how the dog loves them.

“Rescue dogs make amazing family pets because, since many have not had the best lives, they’re grateful for their new life,” Richin told The Dodo.

You’ll find a better match

More than some places that sell dogs, a rescue takes placing their dogs in the right home very seriously.

It’s not about the money for them, so don’t be surprised if you see an application process that contains not only a written portion, but also a home visit, and a meeting with any other kids or dogs you have in your home.

A rescue is looking to find the right match between a dog and their forever home — so that also means they’ll be looking for the perfect dog for you and your family.

You can skip the training stage

In most cases, you get to fly right past the puppy stage!

“You won't have to deal with puppy chewing, teething, housebreaking — or the puppy crazies,” Richin said.

Of course if your heart’s set on a puppy, most rescues have them available, too — but for families who don’t have the
time or experience to train a pup, you can adopt a slightly older dog who comes with manners!

They’re usually already spayed/neutered

Your new rescue dog will typically come already fixed, so you don’t have to worry at all about scheduling your pup’s necessary spay or neuter procedure. (And for younger dogs, who are adopted out before they’re old enough to get fixed, the rescue will help you arrange the procedure.)

Rescue dogs will save you money

While adopting a dog from a shelter isn’t free, the fees associated are far below what you’d pay some place else. While a pet store or breeder might cost several thousands of dollars, getting that exact same breed from a rescue can cost you under $100.

That’s more money to spend on toys, food, rainy day funds and all-around spoiling.

You’ll know their health history and temperament

Getting a dog from a rescue won’t leave you with the surprises that bad breeding can (like genetic or temperamental issues that don’t show up until after a dog is in your home).

Reputable rescues take their jobs seriously, and you’ll likely get a full rundown of your dogs health history and temperament, including how they react to various situations (like around kids or other dogs).

If you’re getting a dog who was fostered, you’ll also be able to talk with the foster family who knows from experience how your dog behaves in a home environment.

Rescue dogs teach you selflessness

While all dogs need and deserve love, knowing that your rescue came from a shelter, and possibly had a harder past, will inspire you to give him the extra love and pampering that he needs to trust you and build an unbreakable bond.

Because there’s nothing like the love of a rescued dog — and maybe you’ll inspire other families to rescue their own dog, too!