The pros and canines of buying or adopting a dog

Clara Caslin

Adopting a dog through rescue centres has many benefits.

A dog is one of the greatest gifts in life. They bring an abundance of love and joy. When deciding to get a dog, the question is really whether to adopt from a dog shelter or buy one through the likes of the Irish Kennel Club?

I have had four dogs in my lifetime and all of them have bought through the Irish Kennel Club, who hold a register of purebred dogs in Ireland, issue export licences, pedigree certificates and transfer of ownership certification where required.

Buying a dog comes with pros such as getting to meet the parents of that dog, knowing that the dog is vaccinated and micro-chipped, knowing the exact breed and getting official papers for the dog. All of that is great, but after the recent death of my childhood dog of nearly 15 years, it got me thinking about how important it is to adopt a dog instead.

Dogs Trust recently announced that they had received 370 requests from people looking to surrender their dog between St Stephen’s Day and the end of January.

Dogs Trust Executive Director Suzie Carely said in a statement: “It is extremely worrying to see an increase in the number of dogs and puppies being surrendered or abandoned after Christmas.

Unfortunately, many rescues in Ireland put dogs down due to space issues. They need the support of the public to find new homes for these dogs. By adopting a dog from a rescue, you are saving a life.

When you adopt a rescue dog you can choose the dog that suits your household. Most rescues will spay/neuter the dog before you take them from the rescue to prevent them from having puppies. When you buy a dog, it is up to you to do this. It can also be very expensive to buy a dog, costing over €1,000 for certain breeds.

When you adopt a dog, you give a donation to the rescue, which helps to fund the work they do for other dogs. This is vital to rescues that mostly depend on this money to carry out the work that they do. Dogs Trust’s fee for rehoming a dog is €160, but the dog is vet checked, micro chipped, vaccinated and neutered.

By adopting, you aren’t supporting puppy farms, you can get almost any breed and you’re helping to keep the unwanted pet population down. You open up a space in the shelter that can be filled by another future pet.

There’s something very special about raising your dog from a puppy, and this is still possible from a rescue, but older dogs should not be disregarded. They settle in quite quickly, they’re easier to train, they enjoy easy living and can be trusted in the house. The love they will give will undoubtedly be unconditional.

Before you make the decision of getting a dog, you need to remember that they require a lot of care and responsibility. Don’t be impulsive and take a dog home at the wrong time. Get well educated on how to properly raise a dog. You need to have a lot of time, they can’t be left alone for long periods and need plenty of exercise.

Clara Caslin

Image credit: Alison Clair