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Getting a New Pet This Holiday Season

The holidays are a popular time for welcoming a new dog or cat as part of the family. This is a big choice that should not be taken lightly, on average a pet is an eleven year commitment. After deciding to add a dog or cat to your family, the next choice is to figure out where to get the pet from. Typically there are four choices you can make: breeder, pet store, rescue group, or shelter.

A breeder or pet store might seem like the most logical place to your new furry friend from.

  • Downsides to buying from a breeder.

  • Purebred dogs tend to have more health problems due to genetic issues within the breed.

  • Buying a puppy from a breeder can be very costly. (And remember you will be responsible for all of the vet bills.)

  • Downsides to buying from pet store.

  • The pedigree and breeding are questionable, you are paying for a pedigree when you buy a puppy from a pet store, but it’s very likely that it’s not genuine. Also, there is no guarantee you will get a purebred dog which the store claims it is.

  • Most of the time pet store staff members are not experts on a breed and often not on dogs in general, especially during the holiday season. This lack of information can lead you to choose a breed that is not right for you and your family.

  • And the biggest issue with pet store puppies is that they come, more times than not, are from puppy mills. Puppy mills occur when profits are put over the health and well-being of the dogs. These operations can be on large and small scales, but in both cases the conditions are inhumane.

While there are several upside to choosing a puppy from a breeder, like knowing the condition the parents live in and the medical history, there really are none with choosing one from a pet store.

After considering breeder and pet store puppies, you should consider checking out rescue and shelter animals.

For this one we will look at the benefits and downside of each.

  • Here are the benefits of rescue group dogs.

  • If adopting from a rescue group, they will be able to tell you all about the dog’s personality so there are no surprises when you bring the dog home.

  • Private rescue groups will generally take the dog back if the dog is not a good match.

  • It is a good way to get a great dog inexpensively

  • There are rescue groups for the breed you are looking for.

  • The biggest reason is that you are saving an animal’s life in the process.

  • Here are the benefits of shelter animal.

  • Almost all dogs, and cats, will already have all their vetting complete, this typically includes up to date shots, microchipping, and spay or neuter.

  • Most adult dogs and cats are already house broken or litter trained

  • A mixed breed dog does tend to have a lot less health issues.

  • The love and gratitude you will receive from a shelter dog is unlike any other.

  • The cost of adopting from a shelter is much lower than the cost of purchasing from a breeder or pet store.

  • The biggest reason to get a shelter animal is that you are saving two lives! How you ask? You are saving the life of the dog or cat you adopt and the space that opens up for another dog or cat in the shelter.

  • There may not be a greater gift for homeless animals than to open your heart and home to them.


  • Here are the downsides of getting an animal from a rescue group.

  • It is difficult to find and adopt a puppy.

  • Little or no medical history.

  • The animal may not be house trained.

  • Here are the downsides of getting an animal from a shelter.

  • You may not know much about how the animal will act in your home.

  • You may not know exactly what breed you are picking is mixed with, although there are many purebred dogs in shelters

So you still want to get a pet this holiday season?

Again, remember that choosing an animal is a big decision. Consider this, instead of bringing home an animal right away, putting together and wrapping an “adoption kit.” This kit can be filled with toys, a bed, leash, collar, food, treats, and a gift certificate for the adoption fees at your local shelter. Together your family could go and pick out an animal together.

Remember, millions of homeless animals wait for a home each year! Give the gift of life this year and choose to adopt!

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