Nothing compares to the unconditional loyalty of man’s best friend. Whether it’s a small Chihuahua or 120-pound Bullmastiff, dogs bring brighten the world with their fun-loving personalities and lifelong relationships with their owners. Anyone who’s looking to add a four-legged companion to their family, though, should consider adopting instead of buying from a breeder.

Have you ever heard of “adopt, don’t shop?” This campaign slogan is spreading rapidly to save the lives of our furry companions across the nation. When you adopt from shelters, you’re saving a life!

Shelters Are Overcrowded

According to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), approximately 3.3 million dogs enter animal shelters each year in the United States. Unfortunately, animal shelters lack the resources to care for all these dogs. By adopting, owners can free up space in the otherwise crowded shelters.

It Saves the Lives

The greatest benefit of adopting is the simple fact that it saves lives. The ASPCA notes that roughly 670,000 dogs are euthanized in animal shelters each year. If everyone adopted their dogs from shelters instead of buying them a breeder, virtually all these deaths could be prevented.

Laws

Some places like Toronto actually have laws prohibiting the sale of dogs or cats unless the pet is homeless or came from an animal shelter. In 2017, California passed a law banning the sale of pets from puppy mills. As the nightmarish conditions of puppy mills are being unveiled, laws such as these will become more common throughout the United States and elsewhere.

Easier to Train

While there are always exceptions, adopted dogs are typically easier to potty train than their counterparts purchased from a breeder. When a dog enters a shelter, the staff usually trains him to increase the chance of adoption. In comparison, breeders spend little to no time training their dogs.

More Appreciative

Adopted dogs are more appreciative of their owners than those purchased from a breeder. They’ve seen the hardships of shelters, so they know how lucky they are to have a home and loving family.

Free or Low-Cost Healthcare

Owners can also take advantage of free or low-cost pet healthcare when adopting a dog. Many U.S. animal shelters, for example, provide vaccinations, deworming medicine and spaying or neutering. While owners can always seek these healthcare services from other veterinary professionals, it’s typically cheaper from a shelter.

These are just a few reasons to adopt a dog. Once they’ve added a dog to their family, owners will probably discover other benefits of adoption as well.