Where To Find Your Next Dog

Choosing a pet is a stressful, exciting, life-altering decision. A pet becomes much like a child; this animal will live with you for the length of its life and you will probably spend more time with it than with some of your friends. In addition to choosing the perfect pet, you have to decide where to purchase it: from a shelter, a friend, a breeder, online, or at a pet store. Dogs are friendly, loving creatures, so a happy dog can be found anywhere; the trick is finding the dog who deserves your love and attention the most.

Where should you get your pet?

In addition to choosing the perfect pet, you have to decide where to purchase it: from a shelter, a friend, a breeder, online, or at a pet store. Dogs are friendly, loving creatures, so a happy dog can be found anywhere; the trick is finding the dog who deserves your love and attention the most.

Every year in the United States, around 2.7 million shelter dogs and cats are euthanized. This figure is staggering and maddening.

A large part of the problem is due to the fact that even though our shelters are so full, animals are literally having to be killed to make room, people continue to purchase dogs that come from puppy mills. Puppy mills are large, factory-like breeding operations where dogs are bred to be beautiful and physical testaments to their breeds, but potential mental and health defects of interbreeding are overlooked.

The females are imprisoned for years in tiny cages and repeatedly bred, only to be discarded when they can no longer be used for breeding. The conditions in puppy mills are generally horrendous and very little attention is given to medical care. Most dogs in pet stores or that are sold online come from puppy mills. Since the 1980s the Humane Society of the United States has been fighting to shut down puppy mills, but has been unsuccessful due to people’s love of cute, wriggly puppies, regardless of the risk these mills pose to the health of the parents and the puppies.

Of course, there is the argument that dogs from puppy mills need homes, too. Yes, all dogs should have a loving home and family, but we should not be purposefully breeding more dogs when there are so many already without homes. By not supporting puppy mills and not purchasing dogs that come from them, we can discourage and hopefully eventually shut down this practice.

The conditions in puppy mills are generally horrendous and very little attention is given to medical care. Most dogs in pet stores or that are sold online come from puppy mills. Since the 1980s the Humane Society of the United States has been fighting to shut down puppy mills, but has been unsuccessful due to people’s love of cute, wriggly puppies, regardless of the risk these mills pose to the health of the parents and the puppies. Of course, there is the argument that dogs from puppy mills need homes, too. Yes, all dogs should have a loving home and family, but we should not be purposefully breeding more dogs when there are so many already without homes. By not supporting puppy mills and not purchasing dogs that come from them, we can discourage and hopefully eventually shut down this practice.

If you’re looking for a purebred dog, please consider another option than puppy mills. Keep in mind that nearly 30% of shelter dogs are in fact purebreds. A common misconception about shelter dogs is that they are in a shelter due to some fault of their own. This is rarely the case. Almost always dogs wind up in shelters because of some human problem, maybe a couple moves or a family can no longer afford their pet. The most obvious reason to adopt a shelter dog is because you are providing a home for a dog who is literally homeless. Beyond this, there are numerous other reasons to choose your dog from a shelter. The cute factor of puppies is undeniable, but they are a lot of work.

The majority of shelter dogs are adults. Adult dogs come with the benefits of already being house trained, leash-trained, used to being around people, and probably socialized with other dogs as well (or their time in a shelter has certainly provided that). They most likely know basic discipline and perhaps even a trick or two.

While purebreds live in shelters, too, most of the dogs are mixed breeds. Mixed dogs generally lack the potential health, genetic, and behavioral problems of purebred dogs. Furthermore, shelter dogs are by far the most economical choice when purchasing a dog. In most shelters, the dog is spayed or neutered, preliminary vaccinations are included, and shelters ensure dogs have no worms or they are frank about whatever health problems the dog does have. The Shelter Pet Project is an amazingly useful website that allows you to enter what you’re looking for in a pet and locates similar pets in nearby shelters. There’s also a lot of pleasure in spending an afternoon visiting a few shelters, getting to know different dogs, and finding that one that you know is for you and you can tell he or she feels the same way.

There are better option than a pet store

If you’re set on a specific breed or just really can’t find the dog you want in a shelter, there are still better options than a pet store. There are two basic types of breeders: backyard breeders, generally small operations who breed for profit and are unable to provide adequate care for the animals they raise, and quality breeders. Quality breeders usually have a strong affection for a particular breed, so they take a lot of pride in carrying on the lineage of a breed. Because they actually care about their breed and not just about profit, these breeders thoroughly check parents for any health problems and breed dogs for their temperament in addition to being attractive. Quality breeders can be found through the AKC and are easily the most expensive way to purchase a dog. Nevertheless, it is undeniable that these kinds of breeders are much better than puppy mills. They provide both human and animal socialization for the dogs they breed and breed healthy, happy animals.

Quality breeders can be found through the AKC and are easily the most expensive way to purchase a dog. Nevertheless, it is undeniable that these kinds of breeders are much better than puppy mills. They provide both human and animal socialization for the dogs they breed and breed healthy, happy animals.

Most animal lovers will agree that the best place to find your dog or next pet is at an animal shelter. These are dogs that have done nothing wrong, but have been abandoned or left behind because of various people problems. They are just waiting for you, trained and full of love, hoping for a life long home.

Of course there are many dogs in shelters who have been abused (people problems again). The trauma some dogs have suffered is truly heartbreaking, but one of the greatest feelings of accomplishment and purpose as a pet owner is to adopt and care for an abused animal, and watch their innate unceasing love eventually shine through as you together break down their feelings of trauma and anxiety. Those people who are dead set on a specific breed, do your research and find a quality breeder. You’ll pay more for quality than a backyard breeder, but if

Those people who are dead set on a specific breed, do your research and find a quality breeder. You’ll pay more for quality than a backyard breeder, but if its the kind of dog you want it should be worth it. Just please, please do not buy a dog from a puppy mill and encourage your friends and family to do the same. Dogs are called man’s best friend for a reason and there are best friends waiting for you in shelters all over the country.

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