Pros and Cons of Adopting Dogs from Shelters

When getting a family pet, you have the option of buying a pedigree pup from a breeder or pet store or adopting an animal from a shelter. Both options have their benefits and advantages; both have their limitations. We look at why you should adopt a dog from a shelter as well as the possible issues you could face when you do so.

Pros of adopting a dog from a shelter

Firstly of course it is the right thing to do – you actually end up saving a life when you adopt a dog who may otherwise have no future. You’re literally giving the creature a new lease in life when you adopt a dog from a shelter.

A dog from a shelter is more likely to be a mix breed and the advantages of a mix breed are many: they tend to live longer and can be quite good natured and intelligent.


Another advantage of adopting a shelter animal is that they would already have had their shots, and would have been neutered / spayed, which is one.

Then of course there is the fact that adopting a pet is a more economical option than buying a pet. You may also have to expend less time and effort on housetraining or training some shelter dogs if you’re lucky enough. The dog may already be house broken, may be able to follow basic commands so this may mean that the main problems of puppyhood are taken care of.

The more responsible shelters can provide a lot of information about the dog you wish to adopt so that you can get to know a lot about the dog’s history, their health, temperament and requirements. a shelter dog doesn’t necessarily mean nasty surprises.

Cons of adopting a dog from a shelter

While many shelters may provide information about the dog, some may not. You then don’t know about the health history of the dog, their temperament, the reason why they were let go and so on. You may well find that the dog has behavior problems or health issues later – these may be unwelcome surprises.

Also if you’re keen or a particular breed of dog and like the idea of entering your dog in Dog Shows and so on, then a shelter dog may not be the best option. Though you may likely find a purebred dog in a shelter, this is not very common. Also their papers may be unavailable or may not be in order.