How To Decide Where to Get a Dog

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So you have decided you want a dog, what now? The first step can be the most difficult. Where do you buy a dog and how do you decide if you want to adopt, purchase, or some other method? There are advantages and disadvantages of each, it is all about personal preference and your situation.


Adopting is the more socially aware way of getting a dog. There are millions of dogs in shelters that need rescued and rehomed. The shelters are overflowing and a dog’s window to get adopted before being euthanized is getting tighter and tighter. There is only so much space for all the dogs that need a home. Saving a dog from this environment can be a very rewarding and fulfilling experience. You are really giving the animal a new lease on life and there is no telling what would have happened if you had not come along. Other than the feeling of saving a dog’s life, adopting can save you tons of money. Dogs from pet stores or breeders can be hundreds or even thousands of dollars, while adopting at a shelter usually costs under $100. Sometimes shelter adoptions are even free with a donation encouraged. So why wouldn’t everyone just adopt?

Adopted dogs are like buying a new car, they come as is. The dog could have tough behavioral issues to crack, especially if they had an extended stay in a shelter. It is also much harder to find a specific type of dog if you are on a focused search. You have to get pretty lucky to find a desirable breed or the breed you are looking for in a shelter. Finding younger dogs and puppies can be equally as hard when searching shelters. Most of the dogs in there have come from some sort of hard situation and are usually older, so finding desirable dogs in a shelter is the only drawback to adopting.


Buying a dog is a quick and easy way to find the dog you want. You won’t spend time searching shelters or websites looking for the dog you want, you can just google a breeder or pet store and go pick one up. Almost all dogs purchased in stores or from breeders are puppies, which is one of the main reason people choose to take this route. If you want a younger dog that will be easier to train and not come with the potential behavioral issues associated with shelters, purchasing may be a good option. Buying a dog allows you to get whatever breed you want at whatever age you want. You can buy an already trained dog or look for a puppy just weeks old.

One of the main drawbacks of purchasing a dog is price. Depending on the breed, dogs can be thousands of dollars and are often more expensive the younger they get. Some dogs at pet stores are astronomically priced and it is usually a little cheaper to find a breeder. There could also be some health issues associated with breeders and pet stores that you might think you are avoiding by not using shelters. Dog’s from breeders are often pure bred which can lead to all kinds of health issues in the dog down the road. If you do get a dog that has some pre-existing medical conditions you don’t know about, you can find yourself spending even more money. It is important to be sure a dog you are about to buy is healthy and has been well taken care of while at the pet store or breeders.

There are all kinds of factors that affect where you get a dog from. It would be great if there were no such things as shelters and homeless pets, but it remains a harsh reality. Adopting and buying each have their own advantages and disadvantages and could be right for some and not others, it really just depends on personal preference and what you are looking for in a dog.

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