In late 2019 Kayleigh and I took a whippet puppy home. There were many reasons as to why we didn’t adopt a dog and instead opted for a whippet puppy from a breeder. I completely agree that people should consider adopting a dog however there are circumstances where it isn’t always the right option. Below I have listed all the reasons as to why we didn’t adopt a dog and why adopting a dog may not be right for you either.
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Why adopting a dog may not be right for you
Adopt don’t shop
Many people and organisations now talk about the need to adopt not shop for a pet. I completely agree that people should consider adopting over buying a puppy but I also think there is a misconception that buying a dog from a breeder means the puppy is coming from an unethical puppy farm.
During the peak of the coronavirus when here in Australia lockdowns came into effect, many people lost their jobs or had their hours greatly reduced adoption agencies saw record numbers of people adopting pets, including dogs. While it was great to see so many animals being adopted it was no surprise to hear that those same adoption agencies are now seeing spikes in animals being given up. Many people had extra time on their hands during the lockdowns but since many people have now gone back to work and returned to normal life, they haven’t got the time for the animals anymore or their yards aren’t secure enough so they have escaped. This is really sad and unfortunate. If you have been affected by a job loss due to Coronavirus it is important to consider whether you will have the time to properly care for a pet well into the future when your normal life resumes.
We wanted a breed that suits our lifestyle
Picking a breed that suits you, your personality and your lifestyle are super important. The RSPCA South Australia accepted a whopping 1,440 animals in 2018. Of that number 176, or 12.2%, were surrendered due to behavioural problems. A further 152 animals, or 10.6%, were given up due to a change of mind. They were the third and fifth most common reasons for surrendering pets. More than 20% of animals that were surrendered were because of those two reasons and that was just one state of Australia.
The best way to avoid these things happening is to get a dog that suits you, your personality and your lifestyle.
For many years Kayleigh and I did a lot of research to figure out the type of dog that would be the most suitable for us. From the research, we quickly figured out what dogs would not suit us. Kayleigh and I did not want high energy dogs like Border Collies or Australian shepherds. We also knew we didn’t want a large dog or a dog breed known for excessive barking.
Why didn’t we adopt a Greyhound?
You might be wondering why we didn’t adopt a greyhound because they are a similar breed to a whippet. The reason for that was because of the size of a greyhound. At this point in our lives, a greyhound is just too big for us. Unfortunately, we just don’t have enough space for a greyhound. We will definitely consider adopting a greyhound in the future.
Our living situation
Another reason we didn’t adopt a dog is because of our living situation. We have moved several times since 2016, including relocating interstate twice, and we will probably move again within the next year. We didn’t want to put a dog that might already have anxiety or stress through the process of moving. Moving house can be a stressful experience for people and even more so for an animal that already suffers from anxiety.
We are currently living at home with our parents while we save enough money to buy our own property. While we are living under our parent’s rooves we will not adopt a dog, we are going to wait until we own our own home before we consider it.
There weren’t any whippets when we were looking
You might also be wondering why we didn’t adopt a whippet. We actually did keep our eyes open for any whippets that went up for adoption. Unfortunately, we didn’t see any within a 10-12 hour driving distance in close to a year. A few breeders we spoke to also let us know they sometimes sell older dogs. However, the waiting lists for these older dogs were long, we may have been waiting for many years. There was also the possibility we may have missed out altogether.
Kayleigh is a first-time dog owner
When we were looking for dogs, many adoption agencies actually required potential owners to be experienced dog owners. Kayleigh has had no previous experience, she has never owned a dog. For Kayleigh, getting a whippet puppy was important for her. It was important for her to learn how to train and communicate with a dog from the early stages.
There are responsible breeders
Not all breeders run unethical puppy farms, most breeders actually love and adore the dogs they breed, that’s why they do it. When we were looking for a breeder we placed ourselves on waiting lists for three different breeders. We were very particular about the breeders. The most important things we were looking for in a breeder were how long a dog is bred for, how many times a year they have litters and how many dogs the breeders owned. The three breeders we found only have a few dogs, only mate them once a year and only breed for a few years, not for their entire lifetime.
The great thing about breeders is many will allow you to come and meet them and their dogs. Fortunately, we were able to meet some of these whippet breeders and walk around their properties. We were lucky enough to see how the whippets lived and how they are raised.
You can see their bloodline
One problem that could arise from adopting is serious genetic health issues. If you can’t see a dog’s bloodline and family tree, it might be hard to know what health concerns may pop up in the future. By buying a puppy from a breeder, we could see the grandparent, great grandparents and so on.
Many dogs up for adoption are crossbreeds, often adoption agencies don’t completely know what breeds are mixed. This can be a problem for potential owners. Dog breeds also have personalities and temperaments so the advantage of a purebred dog over a crossbreed is you get a good idea of what they will have. For example, a Pitbull and a Poodle have two very different temperaments, a cross of the two would make it hard to determine the personality type of that dog.
Whippets are a healthy breed
Another reason we liked the whippet so much was because of the breed’s health. Some breeds of dogs are more susceptible to serious health problems. We decided on a purebred whippet because they are known to be very healthy, they don’t have many hereditary issues. Compared to many popular breeds like French bulldogs and pugs, for example, who are susceptible to breathing problems, the whippet is a relatively healthy breed.
There are other ways you can help
Just because you don’t adopt a dog, doesn’t mean you’re a heartless person who doesn’t care about the welfare of animals. There are so many other ways you can help out. Other ways you can help include volunteering at a shelter, donating money to an animal welfare organisation like the RSPCA, start fundraising money, attending events like the Million Paws Walk or buying products that directly support animals. You might also want to consider purchasing products that directly support animals. Brands like Hill’s Science Diet provide food to animal shelters and Savour Life donates 50% of their profits to help save rescue dogs.
In the future
We hope you enjoyed this article about why adopting a dog may not be right for you. In the future, Kayleigh and I would both love to adopt a dog and provide them with a long and happy life. If we adopt a dog it would most likely be another sighthound. However, we only want to adopt when the time is right for us. Adopting a dog that suits our lifestyle is important so we won’t rush into it. We weren’t ready for a rescue dog this time around but we know will be in a few years time.
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