The Pros and Cons of Adopting a Dog

Updated on June 28, 2019
carolinamejia profile image

Since I adopted Zeus, a mixed breed puppy from a local shelter, I took an interest in the lives of stray dogs and the adoption process.


Bringing a new pet into your family will always impact your life in huge and unexpected ways. Taking care of an animal is a full-time job, as fun as it may seem. If you are ready to open your heart and home to a dog, you want to make sure you know all the facts.

Adopting is a very personal decision. Many people have common prejudices about shelter dogs. Other simply decide to go to a breeder because they have a specific breed in mind or they prefer puppies over older dogs.

If you do decide to go for a rescued dog, you should keep certain things in mind. It can be a bumpy ride, but it will be easier if you are mentally prepared to meet the challenge. I will present three pros and three cons of adopting a dog.

Should You Adopt a Dog?

Many Options
Unknown Breeds

The Cons of Adopting a Dog


Shelter dogs usually live in close quarters. In some shelters, they even sleep together in the same cage or next to each other. If you don't have another dog and you are not planning on getting one, you might as well prepare for some anxiety from your new BFF when he finds out he is on his own.

If he gets along with other dogs, walks are a great way to make new friends. You can kill two birds with one stone and sign up for some group training, which will strengthen your bond and give you a chance to mingle with other pet owners.


Going from living with a pack to being on his own can be hard for any dog. To make things worse, shelter dogs were sometimes abandoned by their previous families. Make sure your dog knows you will always come back using consistent routines and rewards.

When you leave, make sure you offer your dog a tasty treat or some interactive toys for your dog to take his mind off the loneliness. Kong toys are a great option—they are both durable and entertaining. You can fill them with treats or Kong paste, and your dog will love to scoop everything out.

You might also notice that for the first days your dog might be introverted or behave in a fearful manner. Be patient and make sure the animal has a place to retreat in case he feels overwhelmed. You have to understand most shelter dogs have a rough past, but this doesn't keep them from having a great future ahead!

Zeus after only a month of training
Zeus after only a month of training | Source

Possessive Behavior

When you share your food and living resources with a dozen other dogs, it is easy to develop some possessive habits, either with food or toys. For the first week or so after he got home from the shelter, Zeus, our adopted dog, ate his food and any scraps left on the floor like his life depended on it.

Luckily, habits wear off if they are not reinforced. Your best option is waiting out until your dog realizes he will always have enough food and toys for himself. If he shows any aggressive behavior, take the issue to a trained professional and do not use punishment methods (at least until you talk with a professional) because you have no idea if they are a trigger for your dog.

No idea what he was thinking
No idea what he was thinking | Source

Unclear Breed

Pure breed dogs rarely end up in shelters and if they do, they have better chances of finding a family than other pups.

Most of the adoptable dogs are mixes and even if the volunteers at the shelter swear they know the combination of genes behind a particular dog, it is almost impossible to tell the breeds that originated it.

Be warned that if looks are an important thing to you, adopting might not be the best solution. Nobody likes a person who comes into the shelter and asks to see the pure breeds only.


Reasons to Adopt a Dog

So after all those arguments against adopting, why do it anyway? Here are three simple reasons:

More Affordable

Getting a dog is expensive. Getting a pure breed is even pricier. Certain dogs, like Huskies, have a high demand on the market (one trainer told me he thinks is because of Game of Thrones' popularity).

These dogs can be expensive and sometimes come out of puppy mills, where puppies with certain characteristics are massively produced in cruel environments

Getting a dog from your local shelter is not only an act of kindness, but also could save you a lot of bucks.


Lots of Options

As much fun as it is to get a younger puppy, it is a fact that they require lots of attention and energy. If you want and older dog, the shelter is a great way to obtain one. They are rarely adopted because they are not “as cute” as younger dogs, but they are the best choice if you want a calmer dog or have no time to train a puppy from zero.

Even if you do decide to get a puppy, the shelter will provide with awesome mixes that accommodate your personality best. As the volunteers have already spent lots of time with the dogs and already have an idea of their background, they can suggest the best fit for your family.


Saving a Life

Getting a rescued dog will also open your eyes to the severe problem of animal neglect and abandonment. I guarantee you there is no way you will ever feel indifferent towards a stray dog again. Additionally, you have no idea of the satisfaction you will feel when you realize you have changed a life by simply opening your heart and home to a rescued animal.

Questions & Answers


      0 of 8192 characters used
      Post Comment
      • profile image


        12 months ago

        Were are the pros?????


      This website uses cookies

      As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

      For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

      Show Details
      HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
      LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
      Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
      AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
      HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
      HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
      Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
      CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
      Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
      Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
      Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
      Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
      Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
      Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
      Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
      Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
      ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
      Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
      ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)