Dog Adoption – The Benefits to You!

Dog Adoption – The Benefits to You!
02 Dec 2015

Question: What do George Clooney, Simon Cowell, JK Rowling, Anne Hathaway, and Cesar Milan have in common?

Answer: They all went ahead with a dog adoption.

Dog Ownership: Breeder or Shelter Dog?

You’ve dreamt of owning a dog. It’s only now you are in a position to look after one responsibly. You’ve waited so long, which means you’ve earnt the right to be fussy and buy a purebred.


Before answering, let’s ask another question.

Why do you want a dog: Are you looking for a four-legged soul mate or a fashion accessory?

No – don’t turn away! Think about it some more.

Pet Adoption - Holly and Hugo Animal Care Courses

Research the Breed

OK, you did the research and let’s say a pug is the perfect size for you, the right temperament for the kids, and has such a lovable face. You have a good reason to choose this particular breed.

But don’t forget dogs are individuals in just the same way as people. Buying a particular pedigree puppy doesn’t mean he won’t be a real hand-full, or anxious, or nervous.

Dogs are Individuals

Just because the breed has a certain reputation doesn’t mean your purebred puppy is guaranteed to conform to type. What if you buy a pug and he’s so determined to have his own way that he urinates on the kids’ toys and defecates near doors. Not so pug-perfect then, is he?

Most rescue dogs have grown through the puppy phase and established their character. This means you better know what you’re getting, rather than riding the lottery of a purebred pup.

Purebred Rescue Societies

And if your heart is still set on a pedigree, don’t forget the breed rescue societies. People get divorced, they lose their jobs, and circumstances change. Unfortunate circumstances mean heartbroken owners end up surrendering perfectly lovely pedigrees. So why not give one of these dogs a home?

Pet Adoption - Holly and Hugo Animal Care Courses

Open Minded

So you’re open-minded about breed, and just want a dog you can look in the eye and make a connection. Then a rescue is absolutely the place to go.

Of course, you may well be saving a life (some rescues run a “No kill” policy, but others look after strays for seven days and unclaimed dogs are euthanized) which is hugely important (especially for the dog involved).

This is all very well, but how do YOU benefit by adopting a rescue dog?

  • A Head Start on Health: You know what you’re getting. Most rescues have a veterinarian check their charges over for health problems. Then dogs (and cats of course) are neutered, chipped, vaccinated, checked for heartworm, and parasite treatments started. Talk about an all-inclusive package! (And all for less than the cost of a pedigree pup)
  • Canine Character: Your prospective new family member has established their personality. Why wonder how they’ll get on with kids, when you can introduce them and find out? Again, most dogs have undergone extensive personality testing, so the rescue can tell you how the dog gets on with other dogs and reacts in different circumstances, hence cutting out the uncertainty.
  • House Broken: Fancy getting up every two to four hours through the night to give than new puppy a toilet break? Believe me, the novelty soon wears off. Rescue dogs are house-broken so those inevitable puppy accidents are a lot less likely.
  • Purchase Price: I’m not advocating spending less is a motive for rescuing a dog – after all, this not a cheap hobby you’re entering into, and if you can’t afford the purchase price you can’t afford to keep a dog. But when adopting a rescue the purchase price goes to looking after other dogs in need, and supporting them through a time when their whole life has been ripped apart – Nice to know the money goes to a good cause!

If you need further convincing, or if indeed celebrity endorsement is something you aspire to, then here are some celebs who thought things through and decided dog rescue is the way ahead: Emma Stone and Andrew Garfield, Sandra Bullock, Kevin Spacey, and Jenni-fur Anniston (see what I did there!)

Have you got a rescue dog? We’d love to hear why you made the decision to adopt, and if you would do the same again. Please comment, and share your experiences with other dog lovers. 


Pippa Elliott

Pippa Elliott, BVMS MRCVS, is a veterinarian with 27-years' experience in companion animal practice. Pippa's first job was in a practice by the sea, where she acquired her first (of many) waif-and-stray, a Dockyard Cat Rescue kitten, called Skate. She then worked for the PDSA (People's Dispensary for Sick Animals) which is a national charity that provides veterinary care for the animals of owners with limited finance. Currently Pippa works in a Veterinary Clinic in UK.


  1. Eleanor Binder : September 8, 2015 at 1:03 am

    We adopted Elmo, a Shih Zhu last January. He was 2 years old at that time. He knows that he should go out for his business. The problem is he doesn’t know how to tell us most of the time. We bought bells for the door, we have tried to make him understand that because we use the bathroom, his bathroom is outside. We now give him a treat when he goes out. I hate to crate him as he is afraid of his crate. But when we go out, we normally find accidents when we get home. Help.

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