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Should I Buy Or Rescue a Dog

This is an interesting subject we speak about regularly at The Pet Parlour and in this article we will try to give you all the options we believe that may help you make the correct decision.

First of all, think about the moral question as to whether you should be buying a puppy or rescuing a dog from a shelter. This is a very personal decision and can only be made by you, so don’t let anyone push you in either direction. Both are rewarding but both have their own challenges.

Many people believe there is no need to buy from a breeder while there are hundreds of dogs sitting in shelters around the country.

The cost of a dog can have a huge bearing on this decision for many people in this current time as many sought after breeds of puppies can be very expensive, some costing thousands of euros.

Sadly, The last few years of trouble and lockdown had lead to an unprecedented lack of supply issue and in turn led to an increase in the breeding of puppies for sale across Ireland and indeed the world. While initially demand outstripped supply, this has recently changed and so we have seen the rescue centres become full again as many people returned to work or didn’t quite know what they were getting into when buying a puppy to begin with and so were unable to care for it.

Rescuing from a home is by far a cheaper option though as most centres will only look for a small donation from the new owners, if even that.

Another important decision to look at is the size of the puppy or dog. As crazy as this may seem, feeding a large dog is expensive whereas a smaller breed will cost a lot less.

Considerations over insurance also come into play as certain breeds cost a lot more than others to insure….sought after pure breeds especially so.

Rescue vs breeder – the joys of a puppy.

The excitement of picking up a young bouncy puppy can bring enormous joy to the family. You have been to look and select the puppy of your choice and watched them grown until the day comes when you can collect your new fluffy bundle of love. A lot of people want a puppy because they can bond with them from day one and there is usually no concern over any behavioural issues (unless of course the puppy comes from a puppy farm). Checking the breeder is registered and genuine is very important as there can be many health implications to consider with certain breeds.

Doing your homework is essential. 

Puppy farms are worth avoiding for obvious reasons. Often these farms do not visit the puppies on a daily basis, so the puppies are never socialised properly and don’t even see the light of day, let alone have the chance to run around outside picking up all the natural immunity they need.

It is worth noting that many rescue homes also have unwanted puppies, so if you are leaning towards a puppy it is definitely worth checking your local shelters first. That way, morally you will making the correct decision, unless of course you have already chosen the breed you want.

Breeder vs rescue – the benefits of a rescue dog.

Visiting a rescue centre can be a challenging and emotional experience, so be prepared! Most rescue centres may do the following:

  • Check you out to make sure you are a suitable adopter
  • Make sure your home is safe and secure
  • Most rescue centres will be likely to come and visit you in your home and ask a whole load of questions to make sure you are suitable to look after a rescue dog. They do this for many reasons and the most important is that the rescue dog does not have to go through the rehoming process again as this can cause unnecessary upset and trauma.

Quite a few rescue centres will not allow:

  • Families with young children
  • Homes with other dogs
  • Families who are out at work all day
  • Houses with no garden

One of the many benefits of rescuing a dog is that you see exactly what you are getting. Choosing a fully grown dog for example, means you may not have to housetrain the animal or go through the dreaded chewing everything in the house process or the normal bouncy puppy behaviour most young dogs have!

It is important to get to know the dog a little before committing to taking it home. This way you can observe their temperament and possibly see how they behave with others in the family or even other dogs in the community.

The Rescue centre should be able to give you some history of why the dog is there in the first place and what kind of family set up would best suit the dog thereafter. So most people get to meet a rescue dog and know whether they are likely to be lifelong buddies or not before they finally commit to a lifelong companionship. It is a very  different story with a puppy as it is almost impossible not to fall in love with a puppy immediately, come what may.

Some dogs end up in rescue homes as the owner may have died and no other family members can help.

Pups can end up in rescue homes because of divorce or if the family has to move to another country for example.

Sadly some rescue dogs don’t get a good start to life and may have experienced aggression, starvation or loneliness which can often lead to challenging behavioural issues. So before agreeing to take on such a case consider the time and patience such an animal may need in the future. It is also worth noting that should you rescue a dog, you could potentially be saving a life too, many pups who go into rescue homes don’t always find a suitable family to live with and are sadly put down.

Puppies – breeds and problems

You may have thought about a specific breed you wish to buy. Please do as much research as possible beforehand. Many breeds are prone to physical issues which can often cost a fortune in vet bills, never mind a huge amount of heartache in the process. Breeds such as French Bulldogs, Pugs and other flat-faced breeds known as ‘brachycephalic’ are pre-disposed to a great deal of health problems.

The Grand Blue de Gascogne – a breed with a very deep chest may have the potential to develop ‘bloat’ more than some other breeds so the more you can find out about a specific breed, the better prepared you will be.

Conclusion – the pros and cons.

The pros and cons of buying a puppy or rescuing a dog are purely down to choice.

Both have advantages and disadvantages but both need serious consideration.

Either way, we hope this article has given you some information to help you make the best choice.

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