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7 Reasons Why You Should Adopt A Rescue Puppy

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Are you thinking about bringing home a new puppy?  If so, you should consider adopting a puppy from your local animal shelter or rescue.  We adopted our little Linus from the animal shelter over 8 years ago and it was perhaps the best decision we ever made!

Every year we try to support our local animal rescues and shelters by visiting, donating, and volunteering our time at the large pet adoption events.  We’ve volunteered as fosters for puppies and dogs for Cuddly Canines Rescue.  And of course we always like to share pictures here on the blog and at our Facebook page of adoptable pups and dogs from the adoption events we attend.

There are a lot of misconceptions about rescuing a dog or puppy.  Here are a few we hear all the time.

A Few Misconceptions About Rescue Puppies

Black Lab Mix Puppy
Looks like a black Labrador Retriever mix rescue puppy!
  • There are only mixed breeds at rescues and shelters: The Humane Society estimates that 25% of dogs in shelters are purebred.  We love our Aussie, Lab, Husky, Chow mix breed (actually that’s just a guess) Linus, but there are plenty of breed specific rescues out there too.  Just go to PetFinder.com and search for your breed of choice.
  • They don’t have puppies – Linus was an adorable 10 week old puppy when we picked him up from the Carson Animal Shelter.  Check him out: Linus the Aussie mix puppy.  Cuddly Canines rescues puppies and has adoptable puppies all the time.  Check out their page: Cuddly Canines
  • They don’t have purebred puppies – While it may be more difficult to find a purebred puppy of your choice we do see them all the time at rescues and shelters.  I’ve seen litters of purebred Labrador Retrievers and German Shepherd puppies recently up for adoption.  I also saw a litter of Labradoodles (technically not a purebred, but a very popular hybrid cross) up for adoption at PetFinder.com a few days ago.

So now that you know that there are puppies even purebred puppies available at animal shelters and rescues what are the 7 reasons why you should adopt a rescue puppy?

7 Reasons Why You Should Adopt A Rescue Puppy!

A rescue puppy will change your life!  Every day I see the popular paw print bumper sticker “Who Rescued Who?”  It’s so true!

#7 – They Will Make You More Social

First of all, a puppy won’t just make you more social it will make you the most popular person amongst your group of friends, family, neighbors, and even strangers.  Trust me, as a puppy foster and guide dog puppy raiser everyone becomes your best friend.

A second benefit is as your puppy gets old enough to go on walks through the neighborhood you’ll notice that you talk to your neighbors a whole heck of a lot more than before you had a puppy.

#6 – They Will Help Reduce Your Stress

Check out this study on stress relief and pets.  Just in case you don’t want to click through to that article recent studies have shown that spending time with your pet may be a better stress reliever than talking your problems out with a friend!

Recent research shows that, when conducting a task that’s stressful, people actually experienced less stress when their pets were with them than when a supportive friend or even their spouse was present! (This may be partially due to the fact that pets don’t judge us; they just love us.)

Linus and Stetson are great listeners!

#5 – Your Future Jogging Partner

A new puppy will help get you more exercise.  When they are puppies they probably won’t make great jogging partners, but as they get older they will make at least a good walking partner.

Of course as puppies you’ll probably be walking them back and forth to their potty spot in the backyard…also great exercise!

#4 – You Are Saving A Life

Some people have told me that this isn’t necessarily true because who wouldn’t have adopted that adorable puppy?  I do agree that an adorable puppy will get adopted, but the longer he stays at the shelter or rescue the more likely other puppies and dogs will not be able to occupy his space in foster care or at the shelter.

That’s right I said other puppies may not have a place at the shelter.  Did you know that some shelters will euthanize puppies if they are too young (under 8 weeks of age).  This is because even though the pups would easily get adopted the shelter does not have the resources to care for a young litter of pups and if a rescue cannot come in and save these little guys the animal shelter is forced to euthanize 🙁

#3 – You Won’t Be Supporting Puppy Mills or Unethical Breeders

Please, please, please do not purchase a puppy from the pet store!  I’ve heard and read that 99% of puppies at pet stores come from puppy mills.  While I’m not sure where this statistic comes from I do know that the percentage is very high.  So please, please, please, do not purchase a puppy from the pet store.

#2 – You Save Money

Adoption fees for a puppy from the animal shelter or rescue are much less than going to a breeder.  Many breeders will charge thousands of dollars for their puppies.  However, rescuing a puppy like Linus from the animal shelter cost us $37 and that included microchip and his first set of vaccinations.  When I fostered for Cuddly Canines the adoption fee was $350 (a bargain in my books), but that included spay/neuter, de-worming, first round of vaccinations, grooming, and microchipping.

#1 – Puppy Breath!

YES!  The Puppy Breath!  It’s kind of a stanky, skunky smell, but if you’re a puppy lover I’m sure you already know and love the PUPPY BREATH!

There you have it!  7 reasons why you should adopt a rescue puppy!  We adopted Linus just over 8 years ago and we haven’t regretted it one bit.  Linus is a unique, one of a kind Australian Shepherd, Chow Chow, Labrador Retriever, Siberian Husky, and who know what else mix.  We wouldn’t give him up for the world!

So how about you?  Are you looking to adopt a rescue puppy or have you adopted a rescue puppy in the past?  If so, tell us your story in the comment section below.

If you are looking to adopt a rescue puppy and you don’t know where to start might I suggest checking out PetFinder.com?  That’s how we found our little Linus 🙂

Top Picks For Our Puppies

    We Like: Beef Collagen Sticks - All of our pups love to bite, nip, and chew. We love using Collagen Sticks to help divert these unwanted behaviors.
    We Like: Calmeroos Puppy Toy w/ Heartbeat and Heat Packs - Perfect for new puppies. Helps ease anxiety in their new home.
    We Like: Crazy Dog Train-Me Treats - We use these as our high-value treats for our guide dog puppies.
    We Like: The Farmer's Dog - A couple months ago we started feeding Raven fresh dog food and she loves it! Get 50% off your first order of The Farmer's Dog.

Check out more of our favorites on our New Puppy Checklist.

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  1. Congratulations on your new puppy! If you have concerns about your puppy’s health it is best to bring him in to your veterinarian for a checkup.

  2. Hey Colby!

    We just recently adopted a 6 week old lab mix pup from the shelter. When we were looking at him/playing with him there he had tons of energy. He was neutered before coming home with us and 3 days later he sleeps all day except to go out to potty, drink and eat. Should I be concerned that something is wrong with him? Or is he just recovering from the surgery still as well as the kennel cough he has?

  3. Nice points 🙂

    I always bring small puppies at home and feed them.. Now, most of the dogs are familiar with me.. But I never adopted those puppies.. I have my cute pug which I have bought few months ago.. 🙂

  4. Well said! Linus is has been my best buddy for the almost 9 years now and it all started when we made the decision to rescue from the Animal Shelter.

  5. Great post Colby! Rescue dogs make great pets! It’s too bad others miss this simple truth. Six years ago we adopted a Chocolate Lab from a local shelter and have had the best four legged friend a family could ask for! I would highly recommend anyone looking for a pet to start at the local animal shelter and save a life.

  6. Hi Jamie,

    Thank you for rescuing! I hope everything is going well with your new puppy. Good luck with your puppy training!

    Take care,

  7. Thank you for this article! My family has been owned by 3 dogs in my lifetime and they have all been rescues. We even adopted a purebred Cocker Spaniel out of our local no-kill shelter. Next weekend we’re bringing home our first ever puppy. She’s a Miniature Australian Shepherd/Beagle mix. So I’m really glad I found this site! TONS of useful information!

  8. Thanks Wendy! We are big fans of puppy adoption. We used to foster litters of pups back before we started raising guide dogs.

  9. What a very nice and detailed article. I agree with you specially on reasons number 2 , 4 and 6. We save money by adopting a rescued puppy, we save a life and the puppies will love us and reduce our stress in return.
    Hope you’ll write more articles like this.

  10. Hi Eric and Tracy,

    Thank you for sharing your story! We adopted Linus from the animal shelter years ago and just like you it was the best decision we ever made as well!

    Take care,

  11. These are some great points about rescues! I wish more people would adopt a pup as opposed to using puppy mills and breeders. We adopted our dog, Labi, from the streets of Congo and it was the best decision we ever made!

  12. Hi Emmber,

    That’s very true that fostering is a great way to have a shorter term if your not able to make that long term commitment. I was lucky to have never failed as a foster (that is adopting my foster), but I did end up adopting one of my career changed (nice way of saying dropped) guide dog puppies.

    Thanks for stopping by!

  13. Nice article about an adorable subject. Thanks for mentioning fostering and volunteering so much too. Both are great ways to be around dogs and cats shorter term if your not able to commit to a life long partner but still want animals in your life.

  14. Yep! Those are just a few of the reasons why we should adopt. There are definitely many other reasons out there.

  15. Hi Adam,

    Thank you for adopting. We adopted Linus over 8 years ago and we love him to death. We wouldn’t have done anything different.

    Thanks for sharing!

  16. Great post. I wish more people felt this way. When you consider how many dogs are put down each year, it really puts it all into perspective. I’ve adopted a few of my dogs from rescues and they’ve been the best dogs I’ve ever had.

  17. The responsibility of bringing in and taking care of a puppy is huge. Everyone who decides to bring a puppy home should be prepared to fully commit themselves to raising, training, and caring of that pup for his/her entire life.

  18. Hi Chrissy and Colby – to tag onto both of your comments, one thing I noticed when my husband and I worked with not one, not two but three dogs is that they do all learn from each other. The “last one” to come into our family took its cues from the other two. The dogs that already understand the fundamentals of “sit,” “stay,” and “down,” are much better teachers than their humans!

  19. I have two dogs i have had since they were puppies. i feel wether you adopt from shelter or get from private owner your still rescuing them if you have full comitment to keep them for there full life.

  20. Hi Chrissy,

    Congratulations on your new puppy! I think it would be a good idea to work with your older puppy during your new puppy’s training sessions. When you’re training your puppies it’s a good idea for them to get used to different handlers/trainers. When we work with our guide dog pups we will sometimes switch handlers through the middle of a training session. It would probably be beneficial for you and your husband to do the same with your two puppies. You should work on being consistent, persistent, and patient with both of your puppies during training.

    Good luck with your training!

  21. Thanks Jessica! There are lots of great adoptable pups out there. Everyone should check out and support their local animal shelters and rescues. Thanks for stopping by!

  22. Hi Colby. We are rescuing our 2nd pup today. Our first, a terrier mix, is about 18 mos. old. We made a few mistakes with our training. We probably could have socialized him more as he is still a bit too attached at times. Will he benefit during our training sessions with the new puppy? Do you recommend my husband and I each be responsible for one of the dogs during common sessions? I am trying to envision how the older puppy can benefit from sessions with the new puppy and keep the new puppy from learning bad habits from our older puppy.
    Any suggestions are much appreciated.

  23. Great post 🙂 Adopting is the way to go! So many great pups out there looking for a furever home 🙂

  24. I feel the same way about Stetson, my career changed guide dog (he’s a purebred black Lab) and Linus my Aussie mix rescue pup. I don’t know what I would do without them.

  25. Oh you hit my weak spot Colby, puppy breath.

    We adopted Delilah from American Lab rescue, they told us she was a lab mix. Our vet says she is a pure chocolate lab. She was about 18 months when we got her. Still a puppy in many ways, but just about full grown. She’s been a tremendous joy in my life and I couldn’t imagine it without her.

    Great post!

  26. One of my friends recently asked me about purchasing from the pet store and luckily I was able to guide him away from making the purchase. He did end up doing more research and going to a breeder even after I made my case for adopting from a rescue or shelter. I was at least happy he did not buy from the pet store.

  27. I didn’t realize that up to 25% of dogs in shelters were pure breeds…
    I too have been an advocate of rescuing dogs over buying dogs for as long as I can remember (much in thanks to my mom and maybe Bob Barker!). I often give my friends a hard time who buy a dog from a pet store or breeder, especially those who pay thousands of dollars!

  28. That’s great that you’ve adopted young dogs and senior dogs! Our family adopted young dogs (not pups) from the shelter when we were growing up. We’ve fostered all different ages over the years. Adopting a puppy can definitely be a lot more work then adopting a more mature dog.

  29. thank you so much for sharing to us some important reason why we should adopt a rescue puppy. i agree with what you say and they are just like human that needs shelter, foods and care.

  30. And #6,4,3 and 1 (okay well, sorta) apply to us kitties too! Same goes with those misconceptions. Thanks for posting!

  31. I know what you mean about shelter pups being oversold and it worries me too. The low adoption prices can be both helpful and harmful as it does make for an easy return policy. I remember writing about shelters adding discounts to the already low adoption fees and pondered whether this was good or bad for adoption.

    I do know a lot of people who are uninformed and never consider adopting from a shelter because they just don’t know (one of the reasons why I started writing this article). 8 years ago before I got my first dog I really didn’t know to much about adopting from shelters, puppy mills, purebred dogs, etc. until I started educating myself.

    Today people are always asking me questions about getting a puppy and one of the first things I always think of is have you considered adoption?

  32. Yeah, I love the puppy breath too! I might have to check out the adoptable puppies at this weekends pet expo!

  33. Very well written. While I do agree with what you say, I am concerned that maybe shelter pups are being oversold to the point that they have become the fad dog of the day.

    My concern is with humans who follow fads and might consider the shelter the Wal-Mart of dogdom, low prices and liberal return policy.

  34. puppy breath is the best!! great article! makes me want to go out and get a puppy!!

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