Adding a new pet to your family is a big decision, even if you already have pets in your home. This is particularly true of dogs and cats since they will be free-roaming in your house and interact with both people and other pets. Having a companion animal can be a wonderful and rewarding experience. So choosing your new pet is an important decision. Since you want your pet to be compatible with you and you with it, taking in a new pet should be taken seriously. But there is also a decision you can make that will make a difference in the problem of unwanted animals. That decision is whether to buy a purebred or to adopt. I have nothing against purebreds. I love animals of all kinds, and years ago I helped my mother buy a purebred which we still own. However, I have a different view on the situation now and would never purchase a purebred myself. Even though you may be enamored of a particular breed, a mixed breed can give you just as much love and satisfaction and you will know you have given a home to a pet that needed it. You may also be able to get that same breed from a rescue organization. Following are ten reasons why you should not buy a purebred.
10. Purebreds are expensive. Depending on the breed and where you buy it, your pet could cost you hundreds or even thousands of dollars. Considering that owning a pet is a financial consideration to begin with, why bother spending even more money? If you are buying a puppy or kitten, you will have to put out quite a bit of money in the first few months with shots and vet checkups. Also, the breeder you want to buy from may not be in your area, which could involve costly travel. And many animals, particularly purebreds, require regular grooming which you’ll likely have done by a professional. So no matter which where you get your pet, there are costs you should consider. Adoption, on the other hand, costs little to nothing and your new pet may come already neutered and having had their first shots.
9. Purebreds can be stolen. Like a fancy car, purebreds are attractive items to steal, and often very easy to swipe. Believe it or not, dogs are stolen out of yards all the time and resold or kept by an owner who wanted the breed but wouldn’t pay for it. Regardless of how much money you might be out by having your pet stolen, imagine the heartache of losing your new companion. On the flip side, you might even be buying a stolen dog from a fake or disreputable breeder.
8. The breed you want may not be compatible with your lifestyle. The breed you think is so cute or would make a great guard dog may not be compatible with you, your family, your other pets or even the environment in which you live. A friend of mine once purchased a Husky, primarily because she was enamored of how it looked. But when the dog grew out of puppyhood he basically destroyed her house. He was also miserable a great deal of the time because she lived in Florida and Huskies are made for cold climates. Another friend fell in love with a Jack Russell terrier who ended up driving her out of her mind with its crazy personality. So don’t let the look of a breed cause you to end up with a pet that isn’t right – for either of you.
7. You are limiting your choices. If you want a purebred, especially if you have a single breed in mind, you will have less choice in terms of finding the right one. What if you have been waiting on a particular litter, and when you go to get your new pet, none of them seem to click with you? If you adopt a stray, you have a wide array of choices from a variety of places. They are crowing humane societies, rescue organizations and the classifieds no matter where you live. After all, if you are purchasing your pet as a companion, it’s important that you feel a connection to that animal. Sometimes you have to do a lot of looking before finding that perfect match.
6. You may not be getting what you paid for. If you buy a purebred from a pet store, you have no idea where the store got it from. They may say it was from a reputable breeder, but how do you know? There’s a good chance they got it from a puppy mill (see the next reason). Employees may not know anything about the breed and will be of little help with your selection. If you buy from over the Internet or from a newspaper ad, you may run into the same problem. Again, many puppy mills sell this way. Note: Many pet stores today, like Petsmart, bring in animals from rescue organizations for adoptions. This is a great way to offer pets through a store yet still provide the adoption option.
5. You may be getting a puppy from a puppy mill. Puppy mills often keep their dogs in deplorable conditions where the animals are mistreated and unloved. These animals may be sick, inbred, and may not be sociable since they have spent their lives caged among dozens, maybe hundreds, of other animals. Puppy mills should be stopped, but they won’t be as long as there is demand for their product. And that demand comes from pet stores and individuals alike.
4. Purebreds are not “better” than mixed breeds. In fact, certain breeds come with specific genetic problems. If you buy from a bad breeder you may end up with a sickly or problematic animal due to inbreeding. If you thinking because an animal has “papers” it is a better pet, or that you want a particular breed as a status symbol, you may be getting the animal for the wrong reasons anyway. Reconsider you reasoning for having a pet at all if this sounds familiar.
3. You can get the same breed you want but cheaper from a shelter or rescue organization. Purebreds end up at the pound just like other animals. Also, there are many rescue organizations dedicated to finding homes for a particular breed. Here you can get the best of both worlds, a breed you want but the knowledge that you gave an unwanted animal a home.
2. Buying a purebred is part of the problem. Adopting a stray is part of the solution. Animal overpopulation is a huge problem in the United States. Ways to stop overpopulation is to get your pets spayed and neutered and to adopt strays.
1. Adopting a stray instead of a purebred will make you feel good and may even be saving that animal’s life. If you adopt a stray, you will feel good knowing you have not only helped that particular animal, but you are helping the problem of animal overpopulation in general. Every stray adopted and spayed or neutered is one less animal breeding unwanted animals or one less innocent animal being euthanized. When you buy a purebred, that is one less animal saved.