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Pet Adoption vs Buying: Pros and Cons

If you're considering adoption vs. buying, we're here to give you the best option so you can decide which is the right path for you!

According to the World Population Review, there are roughly 74 million domesticated cats and 70 million domestic dogs in the United States alone.

adoption vs buying

This astounding number of animals isn't surprising at all because the country has an unabashed affection for its canine and feline companions. 

Americans will even hire a professional photographer, celebrate their birthdays with them, and create separate areas in their homes for pets to live in privacy.

More than half of families own at least one dog or cat in the US alone.

Therefore, if you're also considering adding a pet to your family, you might have already wondered which is better, pet adoption vs buying? 

For this blog post, we'll look at the pros and cons of each so you can make an informed choice!

Adoption vs Buying: What's the Difference?

Adopting and purchasing a soon-to-be family pet may mean a lot of things.

There are several pet adoption options, and there are almost as many different types of pet breeders. 

However, the most noticeable distinction between adopting vs buying a dog or cat is that pets that are up for adoption from your local shelter are often mixed breeds, while those for sale in pet stores are typically pure breeds.

adoption vs buying

Still, pure-breed pets may occasionally be offered for adoption through a rescue centre, shelter, or directly from previous owners.

On the other hand, adoptable companion animals are frequently found on the streets as kittens, puppies, or full-grown adults without a family to care for them. 

Most of the time, the rescue groups that locate dogs, cats, and other animals use their own cash to pay for the animals' medical care, shots, spaying/neutering, and other expenses.

If rescue dogs are healthy and friendly, they are offered for adoption to a decent household.

The adoption fee usually amounts to the veterinary care incurred for any medical attention given to the rescue.

Expect adoption costs to range between $50 to $250.

When purchasing from a good breeder, a contract is typically involved.

The cost of pure breeds will vary depending on their lineage.

The process normally involves a kennel club verifying that the parents and litter are purebred. 

Additionally, there would be documentation on the purebred pup's or kitten's genetic history.

Related: Spaying and Neutering: We Help You Decide

Pros and Cons of Adopting


adoption vs buying
  • The adoption process saves two lives: the animal you're adopting and the next rescue pets the shelter can accommodate.

  • Most animals have undergone the necessary vetting, such as microchipping, shots, and spaying/neutering.

  • When a pet is adopted from a rescue organisation, information on the animal's personality is available, so you won't be too surprised! 

  • Shelter dogs and cats are typically potty-trained.

  • You can have the opportunity to bond with a shelter animal before you decide to adopt them.

  • In most cases, private rescue organisations will take back shelter pets if they're not a good fit to the new owners.

  • Pets of mixed breeds usually have fewer inherited genetic health issues.

  • Compared to buying pets from a breeder, adoption is cheaper. 

  • Every year, millions of animals are euthanized because there are too many of them, and shelters can no longer find a home for them.
    Thus, adopting a pet means giving them a new life in a loving home.

  • You can feel good about yourself knowing that you're helping and supporting rescue shelters that promote the management and well-being of stray animals.

  • Adopting a pet has been proven to provide both mental and physical benefits.
    Also, these are backed by studies.

  • Adoption aids in ending the problem of homeless pets. 

  • The best thing about adopted pets is that they're eternally grateful to you, and you'll feel the unconditional love that these rescues can give.


adoption vs buying
  • There's always uncertainty about the animal's potential behaviour at home.
    They might behave differently at home than at the shelter.
    Still, any animal will need enough time to acclimate to their new home. 

  • A change in environment can be stressful for both humans and pets, so it helps if you can prepare an anxiety-reducing dog bed for your new Fluffy Friend.

  • Check with the shelter staff about temperament evaluations before taking your pet home.

  • Shelters have a small selection of breeds.
    You might have to wait if you want to adopt a specific breed or type of pet.
    If you're looking for quick adoption, you might be unable to find the precise animal you want.

  • You may need to answer personal questions during interviews with the shelter staff.
    You'll also need to complete some paperwork.

  • Some animals require specific care.
    You should think about whether you can cope with these needs. 
    Older animals may already be experiencing orthopaedic problems, so you might need an 
    orthopaedic pillow to make them more comfortable.

  • Last but not least, there's always a chance that local animal shelters might reject your adoption application. 

    Related: What You Should Know Before Getting a Second Dog

    Pros and Cons of Buying


    • Reputable breeders offer genetic health testing to ensure the pet has no inherited genetic conditions.

    • Before bringing the new family member back to their forever home, you can visit and play with them first.

    • Further information is available about the breed to ensure they are the ideal fit for family and home.
      You can also check online sources before deciding what breed you want to purchase.

    • Pedigree information from a dog breeder includes guarantees and health checks.
      This information helps predict what health problems your pet might inherit, develop later in life, or pass on to their offspring.

    • You can select a breed depending on your preferences because the pet's characteristics (such as temperament, behaviour, and health concerns) are pretty predictable.


    adoption vs buying
    • Caring for a pedigree puppy or kitten takes a lot of work and extra care.
      You would need to train them and clean up their accidents.
      You should have a lot of patience as it would take them some time to get used to your rules.
      Puppies are more challenging to train than kittens.

    • It's expensive to buy from a breeder.
      You need to prepare for vetting costs for additional checks on top of the price of the breed that you want. 
      Purebred pups cost between $1,000 to $5,000, while purebred cats will set you back about $300 to $2,000.
      These ranges are conservative prices too. Show-quality canines and felines are much more expensive.

    • You might be at risk of buying from "puppy mills" or factory-style breeding facilities. 
      In theory, anyone can purchase two purebred dogs and begin producing puppies for sale.
      The issues arise when inexperienced people, or backyard breeders, decide to profit from breeding purebred, but they lack the necessary skills, resources, and even compassion to do it well.
      A family of dogs quickly becomes untidy, creating health hazards and sanitation problems.
      In this case, asking around first if the breeder is legitimate is crucial.

    • Due to years of selective breeding and decreased genetic variation, many breeds have inherited disorders typically linked to desired physical features.
      To illustrate, French bulldogs and other particular breeds have been known to have respiratory issues.
      So, you must research the breed you plan to buy to know what to prepare for.

    • Finally, medical bills are also more expensive because of the related hereditary disorders of pedigrees.
    Related: How to Prepare When Adopting a Senior Cat



      adoption vs buying


      The choice of whether to adopt from shelters or rescue centres or purchase from a responsible breeder is life-changing and very important.

      To choose which type is most suited to your lifestyle, you must consider the advantages and disadvantages of each. 

      Whatever option you decide on, keep in mind that you are about to enter an extraordinary period of your life where you will have a companion with whom you will make many beautiful memories.

      Before taking your new baby home, make sure that they already have all the things that they would need, like toys, feeding bowls, litter boxes, food and treats, and of course, a handy travel bag to keep your new puppy or kitty safe.

      For other necessities, check out our shop! 

      Looking for some products that could help you out?

      Check out our Online Shop

      Here are some useful products in relation to this blog post:

      MrFluffyFriend - Anxiety Relieving Pet Bed

      MrFluffyFriend - Orthopaedic Pillow

      MrFluffyFriend - Travel Bag


      • Dogs were not part of my life growing up or even most of my working life. However I started looking after dogs for a friend if she needed someone – happy to dog-sit. Then he came into my life and took over. Now my friend dog-sits for me. It is harder and harder to leave him though. I now understand the pain of separation. I now understand what looking after a dog really means.

        Kath Newby
      • I have three rescues. Two dogs and one cat. The cat was thirteen and a half when we adopted him and will be fourteen tomorrow! He is known as Obi Wan and has sorted the two dogs out beautifully! They all swap Mr Fluffy beds. The two girls now share the sofa with him. I will always rescue dogs now as they are even more loving than getting them from breeders. The two dogs share my bed and Obi has his bed in front of the Aga and is very happy.

        Valerie Rose
      • We have two rescue dogs. I think we got them about six months apart. They both have separation anxiety issues. The two my fluffy friend pillows have been a Godsend and they both love them and spend a lot of time in them.

        Randy Baines
      • I have rescued all my dogs except for one. So many need homes.I will always be a rescued Mom. Loves to all my animals.

        Brenda LookingBill
      • Adopt or buy from a breeder?? It’s a personal choice. When looking for a specific breed we found it easier and quicker to buy from a breeder.
        We looked at local rescue centres who had terriers and mixed breeds in every shape, size and colour and contacted the East Anglian Whippet rescue who had two dogs, but no bitches.
        We have always had sight hounds. Over the last 45 years 2 Afghan hounds 4 Salukis and now in our retirement we have downsized to 2 Whippets. But taking on an 8 week old sight hound puppy in not for the faint hearted
        So: adopt or buy from a dealer?? There is no right or wrong, it’s what is right for you at the time.
        But remember buying a dog is a long term comittment

        Bill Witham

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