46 Reasons Why You Should Adopt (Not Buy!) A Pet

Last year I made a short list advocating adopting an adult dog. Adoption is a great way to bring a new best friend into your life. Whether it be a young cat or an older hamster, the affection, attention, and love that animals bring to us can, well, make us more human.

Is it time to open your heart and home to a new pet? Not sure if adoption is right for you?

Here are 46 reasons to adopt a pet:

  1. You save a life.
  2. The cost of adoption is less than buying a pet.
  3. Most shelter animals have had medical treatment and are spayed/neutered, microchipped, and up to date with vaccines.
  4. There are more unique pets to choose from in shelters. Age, breeds, mixed breeds, and personality choices are greater.
  5. Many are already trained.
  6. You will always have a buddy to watch bad movies with that your friends won’t see.
  7. A pet can keep away unwanted critters, including your allergic “friend.”
  8. They are ok with being the reason you can’t go to that party, without offending anyone. “No, dude, I can’t stay out that late. The dog needs to be walked and is on a schedule.”
  9. Your bed is pre-warmed on cold winter nights.
  10. Animals are just ready to love you, no matter what.
  11. You get to discover new quirks about your pet and yourself.
  12. Every pet adopted improves the pet overpopulation problem.
  13. Adopting from a shelter opens a cage for another pet who needs a new forever home.
  14. An adult pet takes the guess work out of determining size, thickness of coat, and energy level.
  15. Mixed breeds are unique compared to purebreeds and may have less genetically inherited health problems.
  16. Many shelters offer a training session or some form of support for the initial adjustment period.
  17. Your children can have that one buddy who ALWAYS listens to their problems.
  18. Pets reduce stress and accept you and your weird habits.
  19. They ease loneliness and depression.
  20. You’ll have a good jogging partner.
  21. They don’t care if your socks don’t match or that you eat popcorn for dinner.
  22. Shelters are more concerned about finding the right home for each pet compared to pet stores who sell animals for profit.
  23. Pets won’t make fun of the fact that you like to sing into your hairbrush when Blondie comes on the radio.
  24. They will drink the leftover milk in the cereal bowl for you.
  25. Many shelter animals are from homes and know basic commands and are housetrained.
  26. Adopting is a great lesson in compassion.
  27. Adopting cuts down on the number of animals that are euthanized each year.
  28. Playing with a dog can lower blood pressure.
  29. Have problems public speaking? Your pet will listen and not judge. Read to her/him.
  30. Cuddling a pet reduces anxiety.
  31. They are grateful for the second chance they have been given and offer a lot of love.
  32. Adult pets are used to a human schedule and will often sleep through the night and don’t have demands in the middle of the night.
  33. You’ll never need to sweep the crumbs off the kitchen floor again.
  34. Too much cheese on that pizza? A cat or dog will gladly offer a helping hand.
  35. You won’t be supporting puppy mills or pet stores.
  36. You’ll get more exercise.
  37. A pet can distract us from the petty things in life and remind us what is important.
  38. They help heal a broken heart.
  39. They are ok with the silly names we give them.
  40. They help us stay balanced.
  41. They love you unconditionally.
  42. Cats and small dogs make for great lap warmers on cold nights.
  43. They are a great alarm system.
  44. They make you laugh.
  45. Allergic to cats and dogs? Try a rabbit and they make great apartment pets.
  46. Instant Best Friend!

What reasons would YOU add to this list?

Images from Marin Humane Society, Buffalo News, Luv-A-Bull, Terribly Cute

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2 thoughts on “46 Reasons Why You Should Adopt (Not Buy!) A Pet

  1. The vast majority of these apply to purebreed dogs or mutts. What you omit is that with a purebreed you have an excellent chance of getting the characteristics you look for, unadulterated or bent by other breed characteristics.

    You want a happy, trusting, gentle Shih-tzu? No problem. But get a mutt that’s half miniature poodle and look out! Those characteristics can be overridden with a snappy dog who is NOT that gentle lapdog you were looking for.

    Mutts is mutts. Can be wonderful, sure, even fantastic individual animals. But as a class are they “preferred” to purebreeds? No way dude!

    And explain to me how they “save a life.” Unscrupulous breeders will continue to churn them out, and one could argue that a healthy adoption structure encourages them!

  2. Just to let you know, my daughter got a “mutt”, from the shelter, 8 years ago, and she is a wonderful dog, always present when we need her by our side, has the most kind eyes, always trying to help out our “purebreed” weimaraner, she acts like a sister to her, and she doesn’t talk because dogs can’t do that, but she can tell us so much with her paws, and sounds. We are very happy to have her, and another thing, she never gets sick, compared to our weimaraner that we have spent thousands of dollars in medical bills. So, open your eyes, when you see a cute and inteligent mutt in the shelter, think twice, and adopt her/him.