20 Reasons To Adopt A Shelter Dog Right Now

Even if you aren’t a dog lover, you probably have a very specific idea of what a shelter dog looks like. Battered, covered in fleas, patchy hair and horrible smell. Due to bad press, shelter dogs have gained quite a bad image. However, if you read the following facts about shelter dogs, you’d find out that the reality is significantly different than what publicity makes them out to be. In fact, we bet that some of you will start looking into how to adopt shelter dogs after reading this article, and we certainly hope you do!

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#20. Homeless Dogs > Homeless People

Didn’t we make the promise to take care of dogs as our own family members when we decided to domesticate them? Well, clearly many people aren’t keeping that promise and it shows. As of right now, there are more homeless dogs out there than humans.

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And this doesn’t apply to just dogs alone. For every homeless human out there, there are five homeless animals. Now, I’m not saying that we need to prioritize dogs before humans, but the fact that there are more of them out there without homes (most likely because a human threw them out), should make us rethink adopting a shelter dog.

#19. It’s Cheaper!

This one might be very obvious, but if you are getting a purebred, you’ll be paying hundreds or thousands of dollars. Golden Retriever? They can cost as much as $3000. A German Shepard puppy? $900. And prices may rocket to $7000 if you are looking for an adult dog that has been trained.

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On the other hand, going to a shelter to get your new furry friend is a lot more financially friendly for your wallet than if you went to a pet shop or went to a breeder. Some shelters will charge $250 for the adoption fee and for the most part, this is to cover medical bills.

#18. They Are OK!

I would not be surprised if you thought that shelter dogs were full of fleas and rabies. Either that or maybe you thought they were extremely aggressive and with a bunch of behavioral issues. Well, while it is true that some dogs have had a rough time, many were just given up.

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Believe it or not, more than a few people are very impatient when it comes to training a dog. It’s not uncommon for owners to just give up their dogs if they aren’t learning as fast as they thought they would or if they have trouble peeing where they should. Other owners just give their dogs up due to allergies. What everyone should know is that people may experience these problems with purebred dogs too!

#17. Many Are Young

A huge misconception that people have when it comes to adopting a dog in a shelter is that these animals are about to take their last breath. That they cannot move, that they are on their deathbed and that there is no point in adopting a dying animal.


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This could not be farther from the truth, especially given some research by the Macedonian Veterinary Review where they showed that the average dog in a shelter was less than 2 years old. So clearly, many young canines are waiting to be adopted by you!

 #16. Not Necessarily Mutts

While there is nothing wrong with mutts (these can be super smart, talented and playful), I understand if some people dream of having a dog breed that they are familiar with. The idea that all shelter dogs have no breed thus naturally drives them away from opting for one.

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You’d be shocked to know that about 25 percent of dogs that live in animal shelters aren’t mutts but are actually purebred. So if you thought that you had to pay more than $1000 to a breeder for a purebred, head to your nearest dog shelter and think again!

#15. It’s Millions

Maybe you don’t see that many dogs in the streets so your first thought is, “well somebody else can adopt a shelter dog, I’m gonna get myself a purebred”. But just because your streets aren’t brimming with stray dogs doesn’t mean that shelters only have a few of them.

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6.5 million animals enter shelters every year nationwide, and out of those 6.5 million, a whopping 3.3 million are dogs. So if you thought that just because your neighbor got a shelter dog then you would probably be okay with getting a purebred, go check out that shelter because there are millions of dogs hoping to find a new welcoming home.

#14. There Is Progress

Some people are discouraged by the fact that 6.5 million animals live in animal shelters. The way they see it is that if there are so many stray animals out there, then what is even the point of trying to get a shelter dog? Well, the good news is that while 6.5 million was last year, that’s way better than years before!

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Back in 2011, there were 7.2 million animals in shelters. This means that there’s definitely been a good decrease since then. While we have 6.5 million homeless animals in the present day, the numbers have been declining so don’t be discouraged, further progress is possible!

#13. The Word Needs To Spread

While I believe that anybody that is a true dog lover will always opt for adopting a pet over buying one from a breeder, it’s a sad reality that most people want dogs mostly for their looks. There’s plenty of us out there that are aware of shelters, yet adoption rates aren’t as high as buying rates.

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So many of us know that many dogs are sleeping in shelters right now, but we still rather get an expensive dog from a breeder. Reports are showing that 34 percent of dogs are actually obtained through breeder while only 23 percent are adopted. Something to think about!

#12. They Are Evaluated

You probably thought that every dog that is set up for adoption at a shelter is full of behavioral issues. If not behavioral, then at least some health issues that would make you have to spend hundreds of dollars. However, you’d be surprised to know that most dogs are actually evaluated.

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Yes, believe it or not, most shelters make sure that their dogs receive basic medical aid and the greater majority of them are properly analyzed in terms of behavior and health. In fact, some shelters are more thorough that pet shops when it comes to analyzing their animals.

#11. Misunderstood Pit Bulls

If you had to think of the most dangerous dog you could possibly come across, I bet that pit bulls would be, if not the first choice, at least the second. After all, pit bulls have been banned in certain places and many people are terrified by them. It doesn’t help their case that they are a very common breed to be seen in a shelter.

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The truth is that pit bulls are not the vicious animals most people make them out to be. Yes, they might have less tolerance than other breeds but that doesn’t mean that they attack whatever they see and that they are bothered by the smallest thing. Some studies rank them as one of the 35 least aggressive breeds.

#10. They Are Unique!

While they might not be the most exclusive breed you could think of, if you give it further thought you might get to the conclusion that shelter dogs have a special kind of uniqueness. While we’ve already gone over how not all of them are mutts, we’re now going to go over how special mutts are.

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Think about it, a dog that is simultaneously three breeds? It probably has skills from three breeds and looks a bit like three breeds too! I don’t know about you but that definitely makes a mutt from a shelter one of a kind. We could say that each mutt is a breed of its own!

#9. Do It For The Children

I bet that I was not the only child that begged and begged for a pooch. At least 5 of my friends pleaded for their parents to get them a dog. Well, this does make a lot of sense since dogs give children a better home environment.

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When you get a shelter dog, you aren’t just saving them. It’s actually a give and get back type of experience. You save them from cold and lonely nights and they save you from stress. Dogs are proven to provide comfort and having a pet dog actually helps children cope with stress.

#8. Do It Before They Are Euthanized

I don’t know how this doesn’t affect more people, but when I found out that most dogs were euthanized my heart broke a bit. As much as 60 percent of the dogs in shelters are put to death. It’s mercy killing because people cannot find homes for these dogs.

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With so many dogs in shelters, it gets to the point where people working there have no other choice than to resort to animal euthanasia. So if you ever think about getting a dog next time, think about the life you could save by visiting a shelter and finding your life companion there.

#7. Overpopulation

This one comes as no surprise given how quickly dogs can reproduce. While humans are aware of the issues of overpopulation and we can control how many children we have, dogs aren’t aware of these types of things. Their natural instinct is to reproduce.

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On average, a fertile dog produces one litter a year. This litter can have between 4-6 puppies or more. Yes, these are the cutest little animals ever but if you multiply these by the years a dog lives… that’s way more puppies that what the demand for dogs are.

#6. Don’t Worry About Neuterization

Maybe the point above scared you into thinking that if you get a shelter dog then that means you have to take care of having tens of puppies around your house. While the cost to get your dog neutered is not low, for almost all shelter dogs, this isn’t a worry.

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The expense of neutering a dog is covered in most shelters. The removal of their reproductive organs is a procedure that many dogs undergo while they are under the care of the shelter. This is part of the fee you would be paying if you adopted a dog.

#5. Many Are Trained!

I’m sure that never in a million years would you have thought that a shelter dog was actually trained. After all, aren’t they all supposed to have bad tempers? Well, as I’ve pointed out already, many of the dogs that you find in shelters come from home environments.

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As sad as it may be, the reality is that many of the dogs in shelters used to have owners that willingly put them on the streets. But since this is the case, it is actually quite likely that you’ll find trained dogs ready to be adopted in animal shelters.

#4. Be That Person

I think that a very obvious reason to adopt a dog from a shelter is simply that it’s the right thing to do. Adopting a dog fights back against puppy mills, which are essentially large-scale dog breeding factories that have the worst conditions for the dogs.

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Getting a dog at a shelter means that you are fighting for a good cause! So be that person that takes what might look like small actions, but are actually a lot bigger. So if you don’t want to have puppies in overcrowded cages and with no freedom to socialize, adopt!

#3. They Are Human Loving

Yes, it is true that probably all dogs love humans. But shelter dogs take this to the next level. While you might have thought that shelter dogs would be ferocious and hard to tame, it so happens that they are actually very loving towards humans.

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Studies show that shelter dogs are more driven to spend time with humans and form a bond compared to dogs that come from breeders or pet stores. So if we are all on the same page, this just means that if you get a shelter dog, you’ll get the most amount of cuddles possible.

#2. Longevity

Another pro of adopting a stray dog is longevity! And I’m not talking about your dog’s, but I’m actually talking about yours! While this doesn’t apply to just shelter dogs, this is something that will definitely encourage you to go to your nearest dog shelter and bring home a new furry friend.

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Getting a dog at a shelter is a win in every sense. Not only do you give a dog that is craving your love a home, but also, you are increasing your chances of living a longer life! Studies show that single people that own dogs have a 33% more chance of living a longer life.

#1. Be Their Forever

If you still aren’t convinced about getting yourself a shelter dog, this fact might break your heart just a little bit. But the harsh truth is that most dogs in shelters don’t really find their forever home. Like I said before, there are too many dogs out there that are in desperate need of your help.

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The Mosby Foundation that focuses on helping dogs in need, says that only 1 in every 10 dogs that are born find a loving home that will care for them forever. So if you can do it and are convinced after reading this article, please go give a shelter dog some proper well-deserved love!

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