I bought my first dog. Yup, I know. I wish I could tell you that I was ignorant and all that, in truth, I was suffering from major anxiety at the time and really needed a dog that very minute.
So I’m not here to preach about how terrible buying a dog is, but how you can make an informed decision. I ain’t gonna tell you how to live your life!
1. So many abandoned dogs
Between 2015 - 2016, SOSD rescued a total of 952 dogs, and SPCA took in a total of 651 dogs, 1,265 cats (seriously?!), and 389 small animals. This is a significant decrease from the 3,000 dogs abandoned in 2008, thanks to the tireless efforts of AWGs, volunteers, and adopters alike. There are so many dogs who need homes, and it would make a huge difference to the dog, and to these AWGs, to adopt a dog instead of buying one.
2. Adopt a dog, rescue another
AWGs rely on donations and volunteers to operate, and are constrained by time, resources, and space. After volunteering with SOSD and ASD, I saw that they are often unable to rescue every dog that comes their way, simply because they didn’t have enough fosterers or space in their shelter to take in another dog. Each time we adopt a dog, we are effectively making room for another rescue.
3. Screening process
I couldn’t get a dog immediately, because I was put on a waiting list to adopt a dog. You might think that this process is counterintuitive, in reality, it’s a great way to screen potential dog moms, thus preventing cases of abandonment. AWGs have a robust system of viewing, interviewing, and conducting house visits to ensure that the potential adopter is legit, and doggo is in safe hands! They also have lots of experience, and give great advice on how to care for your dog.
4. Traits and training
The other upside of adopting a dog, is that most of them would have been successfully rehabilitated, potty and leash trained. Of course you still have to be prepared for a ‘breaking-in’ period, as your dog adjusts to its new environment, but it’ll definitely be easier than training a puppy from scratch. The volunteers would also be able to tell you all about the dog’s characteristics, and are more than happy to advise you on how to care for it.
5. Community of dog moms
Adopting a dog will automatically grant you entry into the most loving community of dog lovers you can ever hope to be a part of! As an introvert, this can be rather intimidating, but I’ve always been thankful for the times I needed advice on whether my dog needed veterinary attention, what kind of food to feed her, and other nifty life hacks. It’s also a good opportunity to meet up with the community and allow your dog to socialize. Dogs are also extremely social creatures, and would benefit from group outings where they can make other dog friends.
6. Pedigrees vs Mixed-Breeds
Did you know that mixed-breed dogs are generally healthier than purebred ones? While there is still no concrete evidence to come to a scientifically-backed conclusion, mixed-breeds often hardier, and are at lower risk of genetic diseases. Also consider that some purebreds come from puppy mills, where living conditions are hardly ideal.
Adopting a dog costs significantly less than buying one. While buying a dog could cost anything between SGD 2,000 - 5,000, adopting a dog from SOSD costs only SGD 515. This includes the dog’s first 2 vaccinations, sterilization, trainer fees, and AVA licensing fees. ASD adoption fees range from SGD 230 - 250, excluding trainer fees. Many trainers and vets also give significant discounts for adopters, and AWGs often have a wide network of contacts for you to tap on.
Wondering if you're ready to adopt a dog? Download this free checklist and assess yourself!
8. Registration and licensing
Most rescue dogs would have been vaccinated, sterilized, and microchipped before being put up for adoption, so that saves you a lot of time and hassle in getting these done. Volunteers can also give you advice on how to register your dog, or you can read this helpful guide on licensing your dog with AVA.
9. Bad fit
No one wishes this to happen, but sometimes your new dog might not adapt well to its new environment if it can’t get along with an existing pet, or if it displays aggressiveness towards young children. This is why AWGs insist on a trial home stay, and conducting house visits to ascertain that the dog is adapting well. If you find that there really isn’t any other option but to bring the dog back to the shelter, the AWGs will definitely take it back in and help you search for a more suitable one.
10. Eternal love and gratitude
Dogs know things. It’s sweet and bizarre at the same time, how they know when they’re being abandoned or rescued and they’ll be the most loving, loyal son/daughter/friend you’ll ever have in your life. I’ve heard many people say this and I agree 100%: “You think you’re rescuing them, but in fact, they are rescuing you.”
Hope these 10 reasons has convinced you that adopting a dog is better than buying one! Adopt don't shop.
Think you’re ready to adopt? Get this FREE offer first!