Puppies in a cage waiting to be adopted or rescued - Knose

Adopt vs buy a pet: Which is better for you?

Klarisse Galido - Editor in chief of Knose Pet Insurance

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Klarisse Galido

As the content curator of Knose, Klarisse is all about blending vet advice, practical pet tips, and stories from the pet-loving community. Her passion for pets brings to life the everyday joys and challenges of pet ownership.

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Becoming a pet owner either through pet adoption or buying a pet is a happy and big decision. Some people have an exact pet breed in mind, carefully researching pet behaviours and tendencies. Others want to rescue a cat or dog from a pet shelter through pet adoption. Whichever you prefer, adopt vs buying a pet both have their unique benefits and challenges.

When it comes to adopting a pet, you’ll be giving a loving home to a deserving animal, which may be a rescue. You may not know the pet’s exact breed, age, or background, but that’s all part of the adventure! On the other hand, buying a pet from a reputable breeder or pet store can provide peace of mind when it comes to the pet’s background and health.

  1. Benefits of adopting a pet in Australia
  2. Benefits of buying a pet in Australia
  3. Adopt vs buy a pet: Which is better?

It’s a tough decision, especially for first-time pet owners. By considering these factors and weighing the pros and cons of each option, you’ll be well on your way to finding the perfect furry companion.

Dogs smiling at the camera outside the house - Knose
Pet adoption is a meaningful way to bring a furry friend back home.

The benefits of adopting a pet in Australia

Welcoming a new dog or cat can be a life-changing experience, and adopting a pet is a rewarding way to do so. Pet adoption is one of the most selfless acts you can do for another living being, and it’s also an incredibly rewarding experience for yourself. Here’s a list of benefits and things to note about adopting a pet:

1. Saving a life

Adopting a pet from a shelter or rescue organisation often means saving a life. Many shelters operate at capacity, and adopting a pet can free up space and resources for another dog or cat in need. This act of kindness not only gives a deserving animal a second chance but also helps combat the issue of pet overpopulation.

However, adopted pets may take time to adjust to their new home and family, which can lead to behavioural issues or accidents in the house. With some patience and proper training, you can ease the adjustment, resulting in a loving bond between you and your new pet.

2. Unique and loving companions

Shelters are filled with pets of all ages, breeds, and personalities. Whether you’re looking for a playful puppy, a calm older dog, or a quirky kitten, you’ll likely find a pet that matches your lifestyle. Many shelter animals have had some level of socialisation and training, making the transition into your home smoother.

It’s important to visit your local shelter a few times to understand your pet’s behaviour better, before bringing it home. Adopting a pet can be emotionally challenging for both the pet and the owner, especially if the pet has experienced trauma or neglect in its past. Have an honest discussion with the pet’s handler to get the full picture before making a decision. They can give you valuable insights on how to help calm your pet down during the move and what aspects you would need to focus on.

3. Health and vet care

Shelters do their best to provide comprehensive medical care for their animals, including vaccinations, spaying/neutering, and health checks. If your local shelter is able to offer this, you can adopt with confidence, knowing your new pet has been thoroughly vetted and is ready for a healthy life. Just ask for the vaccination and immunisation record book to check if there are any missing shots your pet needs.

One thing to consider is that some shelter pets may have pre-existing symptoms and conditions that may need attention in the future. These issues can either be due to the pet breed or a result of your pet’s possibly difficult past. Many shelters and rescue organisations work hard to provide as much information as possible about their pets, so proper communication and pet care is key!

4. Cost-effective

Adoption fees are significantly much lower than the cost of purchasing a pet from a breeder. These fees often cover vaccinations, spaying/neutering, and other initial medical costs, providing excellent value and financial savings.

If your goal is to love and care for a pet in need of a home, regardless of the breed, pet adoption is the best option for you.

Girl with a cat and dog - Knose
Buying a pet that you’ve always wanted from a reputable breeder can enrich your family’s life

The benefits of buying a pet in Australia

While adopting a pet can be a wonderful way to give an animal a second chance, buying a pet can also offer its own unique set of benefits. It’s important to find the right match for your lifestyle, and buying a pet from a reputable breeder or pet store is the most effective way to do just that. Not only will it make your life easier, but it would also make your pet happier to be with the right owner and household. Here’s what you need to know about buying a pet:

1. Predictable traits

When you buy a pet from a responsible breeder, you have a clear understanding of the animal’s background, including its lineage, health history, and potential temperament. This can be particularly important if you’re looking for specific traits in a pet, such as hypoallergenic fur or a particular size and energy level. After all, responsible pet ownership begins with choosing a pet that is compatible with your daily routine, living space, and ability to provide the necessary care and attention.

Depending on how specific your preferences are, it’s important to know the popular breeds of cats and dogs in the market. Chances are, they have limited availability. Make sure to contact different reputable breeders and pet stores to find out when you can do a site visit and if there’s a wait list for the breed you prefer.

2. Early socialisation and training

Reputable breeders invest significant time in the early socialisation and training of their animals. Puppies and kittens from responsible breeders are often well-adjusted, confident, and better prepared to integrate into new homes. This can be beneficial for first-time pet owners who might be less experienced in training.

3. Breeder support

Purchasing from a reputable breeder usually comes with ongoing support, puppies or kitten insurance, and guidance. Breeders can offer advice on care, training, and health issues, and many provide guarantees or contracts that offer additional peace of mind.

Adopt vs buy a pet: Which is better for you?

Puppies in a cage waiting to be adopted or rescued - Knose
Here are important things to consider to ensure that your home is ready for a new member!

Like most partnerships, the best pet-ownership experiences come from finding the right match. We’ve covered the important points of pet adoption and buying a pet. Now let’s move on to factors you should consider about yourself as a pet-owner.

1. Your lifestyle

Your lifestyle plays a significant role in determining whether pet adoption or buying is the best option. Consider your activity level, work schedule, and living situation.

Adopting an older pet is ideal for someone with a calmer, more sedentary lifestyle. Knose also has a useful guide to engaging your dogs at home. On the other hand, cats are also convenient because they don’t need walks or poo breaks outside. Meanwhile, a high-energy pet from a breeder is perfect for adventurers and others with an active routine.

Another question to ask yourself is if your work schedule aligns with the attention required to care for a pet. Different pets need different levels of care and attention, both of which still require time. If you’re going to raise a puppy or kitten, you’d need to be home most of the day. Mature cats, however, are known to be good companions for busy workers – just don’t forget to hide your breakables before heading to the office.

Last but not least is your living situation. Is your home spacious enough for a pet to thrive in? Is your household agreeable to the risks of having a pet? Does anyone at home have a pet allergy? If you’re renting, does your landlord allow pets? Do you live in an area where you can take your pet dog for a walk? Do you have valuable furniture that could be at risk when you bring home a pet? These questions will help you decide if your home is suitable for your pet of choice – adopted or bought.

2. Long-term commitment

Both adoption and buying require a long-term commitment. Think about the future and how a pet will fit into your life as circumstances change. Whether you adopt or buy, ensure you’re prepared for the responsibilities of pet ownership, including training, healthcare, and emotional support. 

Insuring your pet is a good way to ensure that you’re able to manage long-term pet finances, including pet emergencies and even palliative pet care.

3. Ethical considerations

Reflect on the ethical implications of your choice. Adopting from a shelter supports the rescue and rehoming of pets in need, while buying from a responsible breeder supports ethical breeding practices. Avoid supporting puppy mills and unethical breeders by thoroughly researching and choosing reputable sources.

There’s no place like a home with pets

There may be no difference when you adopt vs buy a pet if at the end of the day, you get to care for a furry friend. Adoption offers the chance to save a life and welcome a loving, unique companion into your home, often at a lower cost. Buying from a reputable breeder provides predictability, early socialisation, and ongoing support. Any choice in owning a pet makes it a happy and fulfilling decision.

Post by Sofia Francheska Insua in collaboration with Knose Pet Insurance

Sofia is a fulltime mom to her rescue senior dog, Baebae, a 16-year old Japanese Spitz. She learned a lot about pet care through her volunteer work with PETA, assisting in medical missions for pets, stray cats, and stray dogs. While her passion leads her to strongly advocate for volunteering as a way to help animals, she also contributes insights and tips for pet owners seeking to provide proper pet care.

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