Ask Mr. Manners

To dog, or not to dog — that is the question

Pets. Where to start? If you are like me, then you are a dog person who has an appreciation for cats, but would never let one in your home. No offense, but for some reason, I never found the bond with a cat that I did with a dog. Perhaps my southern upbringing instilled a sense of canine nostalgia which to this day has never escaped me. To this day, the story of a good dog can make me tear up. But I digress. For those dog lovers out there, I want to tackle the age ole question: “should you adopt or purchase your new pooch?”

Adding a new companion to your life is both exciting and extremely challenging. It’s not something you should take lightly. Your new friend will be with you for a while, so there are a lot of decisions to make before choosing a new dog. To make this decision, you need to consider your current lifestyle. Being impulsive with this is irresponsible and will lead to unhappiness for you and the dog. Adopting and buying a dog are two completely different things. There are benefits to both, so the best choice for you ultimately depends on what you’re looking for. To help you make an informed decision, let’s break down each option.

When you choose to adopt, you’re doing a great thing. Many dogs end up in shelters or get rescued from harsh conditions. But this doesn’t mean they don’t deserve a second chance. However, the first consideration is price. Adopting a dog is significantly cheaper than purchasing one. The prices range depending on where you are adopting from and if money has been spent on vet services or grooming — but the cost is a definite consideration. When adopting, you have the option of choosing a dog of any age. This is a chance to consider your lifestyle and find an age that suits your day-to-day routine. When adopting, you can find a dog that’s already trained. This way, other than your new buddy learning your name, they’re already keen on simple commands, and housebroken.

Now let’s move to some of the ins and outs of buying. You should never buy from pet stores. You need to find a respected breeder that cares about their dogs and the owners they sell to. If you’re only interested in particular breeds, buying is probably your best bet. Breeders supply purebred dogs, so you know exactly what you’re getting. An advantage here is that you’ll have a good idea of how big the dog will be as an adult. They’ll be no surprises. When buying a dog, you’re starting from scratch. If you want to have total control over the way your dog is trained from the beginning, buying a puppy is the way to go. You’ll be the most familiar person to them, and likely your most loyal companion.

When you adopt a dog, things can be a bit unpredictable. You have some control, but you’re still taking charge of a dog with a past. This isn’t the case with buying. You know exactly what to expect if you do your research and work with a good breeder. The health of the puppy will have been checked, so you know you’re getting a strong dog.

Now that you know the difference between buying and adopting, you probably have an idea of which is right for you. The most important thing is to take your time. Then, enjoy years of companionship. And if you have a good story about man’s best friend, feel free to send it along my way.

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