Why Rescuing A Dog Is (Often) Better Than Breeding One

Why Rescuing A Dog Is (Often) Better Than Breeding One

If you’re on the market for a new furry best friend, then you might be considering either rescuing your next dog or buying one from a breeder. But have you considered the impact your choice will have on the planet --not to mention your time, energy, and money? 

There are definitely some great advantages to buying a new puppy from a breeder, including the cuteness factor and training a pup to specific criteria that works for your lifestyle. But in our honest opinion, there are disadvantages to this choice that far outweigh the advantages. Here’s why.

We already know that dogs aren’t the most environmentally friendly investment (we talk more about that in this post right here). So when we choose our next furry family member, let’s make sure we make this the most planet and animal-friendly decision we possibly can. 

When you look at rescuing versus breeding, you might wonder which choice is friendlier for society, the environment, the animals, and the planet. We can only help you answer this question by breaking down a few major considerations as you look for your new BFF. From there, you should be able to make a more educated decision on whether you agree with us --or not-- that rescuing a dog is (often) better than breeding one. 

Reasons To Rescue A Dog & Not Buy From A Breeder

  1. Buying From Breeders Can Get Expensive

There are some obvious downsides to buying from a breeder, including the cost, the effort you need to put into puppy training, the health issues with specific breeds, and the temperament background check --or lack thereof. The cost of a pure-bred dog alone can get pricey fast. Once you’ve paid the breeder for your AKC-certified pup, you still need to fork out money for vaccinations, spaying/neutering, microchips, dog supplies, food, and possibly puppy training if you choose to outsource. 

Aside from the sometimes astronomical costs of buying from a breeder, it’s also important to know how your choice can affect the animals and the planet...because it absolutely does.

  1. Puppy Mills Are Bad

Sadly, cruel breeding facilities, otherwise known as puppy mills, are still operating in the US. If your local mall or pet supply store chain sells puppies, there is a good chance puppy mills supply them. Not always, but a lot of times, this is the case.

Unfortunately, puppy mills keep their bred dogs in horrific conditions. It’s essential to stay informed of this situation because as long as the public keeps buying puppies from the puppy mills, those places will continue to remain in business. One Green Planet has an eye-opening article on this exact topic here if you’d like to learn more.

Similar to advocating for more environmentally friendly products, the best way to make a stand is to vote with your dollars. Don’t give your dollars to puppy mills, as it only encourages them to produce more puppies. Unless you know the breeder is responsibly and humanely breeding their dogs, avoid putting money back into the pockets of puppy millers. 

  1. Dog Overpopulation

This is an extremely sad truth, but it needs to be said: there is an overflow of dogs (and cats) in the local animal shelters -- and on the streets. These animals all need homes, and unfortunately, there are not enough humans willing to adopt them. 

There are some incredibly alarming statistics out there on pet homelessness that every potential dog-owner should be aware of. Here are few hard-hitting ones to get your rescue juices flowing:

  • There are about 70 million stray animals in the US
  • Only 6-8 million of that 70 million enter shelters every year
  • Only 3-4 million dogs and cats of that 6-8 million are adopted from shelters each year
  • That means nearly half of all animals (roughly 2.7 million) that arrive in US shelters are euthanized due to lack of space and lack of adopters

Additionally, only 10% of animals entering shelters each year are spayed or neutered, which is very problematic given how fast reproduction can occur in dogs and cats. We mentioned the cost of buying from a breeder earlier. Well, a large portion (we’re talking billions) of US tax dollars go towards the impoundment, shelter, euthanasia, and disposal of homeless animals each year. 

A significant contributor to this problem is continuing to buy dogs from breeders. At the end of the day, it’s unsustainable to breed dogs when so many other dogs are already sitting in shelters, waiting for love and affection from their new owners. 

Every dog that’s bought from breeders is informing the breeders that they need to produce more puppies. It goes back to the simple economic concept of supply and demand. For every dog or puppy bought from a breeder, an equivalent dog is sitting at the shelter, not being adopted.

When you flip that around, for every dog that’s adopted from the shelter, a new spot becomes available for the next rescue dog, which otherwise may have been euthanized. Every adoption gives both your new dog and another dog a second chance. It’s a win-win, in our opinion.

Moving Forward With Your Choice

Now, if you’ve already gotten your dog from a breeder or even your local pet store, don’t fret. Moving forward, you now have information on the impact you can make with your choices surrounding how you acquire your next furry BFF. 

Don’t get us wrong, there are humane breeders that and practice responsible breeding, but there are rescue options for most of your unique dog-buying needs, including breed-specific rescues shelters and even puppy shelters (if you’re set on having a younger dog to grow up with your family0. 

But the fact of the matter is, 2.7 million adoptable dogs and cats are euthanized every year due to lack of space and adoption. If we want to reduce these numbers, buying from dog breeders is not the solution. We’ll leave you with our final thoughts, adopt don’t shop, and rescue your future furry best friend. 

We adopted our dog Dover from a wonderful shelter, and it’s the best decision we ever made! You can read all about his adoption story right here.

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