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Save a Life. Adopt, Don’t Shop. Pt.2

Darina Šeděnková May 2023

How (not) to buy a dog

My last blog post (part one) was about saving a dog’s life - adopting a dog. It was about many, many dogs waiting in their cage in shelters all over the world for their loving home. It was about telling you that adopting a dog is the best way to get a dog.

But there are also shop options. And unfortunately there are many of them.

It is very, very important NOT TO BUY a dog via newspaper ad, a pet store, a gentleman on the street etc. No! In these cases, it's usually dogs that come from someone who overbreeds them exploitatively. This means that the dogs live with their owners in totally unsuitable conditions, often without food and water in a small cage, abused. These dogs are usually cheaper than dogs from official kennels and it is mainly from this point of view that people often reach for this option. But it's really not worth it, you're just encouraging demand, which means there will always be a supply. With this option you support dog cruelty and abuse.

If you find out there is someone who breeds dogs like this, please tell the police. It's dog abuse and hopefully it is illegal in the country you live in.

If you HAVE TO for any really logical and bulletproof reason buy a dog, then always choose an official kennel. Yes, you'll pay more money but it’s still a negligible amount compared to what you’ll spend throughout their lifetimes. Even in this case, meet the puppy’s mum and the conditions they live in, meet them at home, ask a lot of questions. You can also check how many litters the mum’s already had. The less the better.

Choosing the breed

Ok, imagine you've decided already to buy a dog. Be careful with choosing the breed. For example, if you want a Border Collie or Jack Russell, you need to be a very active person because these dogs really need to move - a lot. Plus Border Collies need to keep their heads busy otherwise they get crazy.

It’s important not to buy a dog just because you like how it looks. You need to check the history of the breed and exactly what that type of dog has been bred for traditionally. But keep in mind that every dog needs to move. There is no such thing as a healthy dog who’d be happy lying on the sofa all day. And if someone says their dog is happy like that, it’s not true - it just means that the dog gave up.

If you’re thinking about buying a dog for your grandparents to keep them company and to remind them to walk, please remember that if you buy a puppy, it needs a lot of attention. Puppies need to play and it takes a lot of work to raise them into well-mannered dogs. This can be very tough for an old person. In these cases (and all others of course), it really is much better to adopt an older shelter dog that is reasonably active.

In summary, buying a dog, when there are so many sad dogs in shelters waiting to be adopted, doesn't make sense to me.

Adopting a dog is a GOOD THING. You will be CHANGING THEIR LIFE FOR THE BETTER. They are waiting for you. Hoping every day in their cage that someone will carry them home and give them the love they deserve.

On the top of all of this, what has been written in both parts of the blog - before you decide to have a dog. Ask yourself important questions. Do you have enough time and money for a dog? Veterinary care is expensive. And what are your plans for the future? Will you always have the space and time to look after the dog over ten, maybe fifteen years?

Because dogs are living, beautiful, pure beings who rely on you and love you more than anything - who deserve only the best life they can have.

What do you think? Are you ready to get a dog? :) If not, but you’d like to be connected to their world or support dogs in need, check our Help Dogs Cause in viaGood and start virtually 🙂

I’m not sure I’ve covered it all but feel free to share your ideas with me via email darina.sedenkova@viaprogram.com.