Published: January 24, 2018  

Last updated: February 24, 2022  

If you are looking for a reason why you should adopt a dog, I have 17 of them listed here. But honestly, I think there are hundreds of reasons adopting a rescue dog is the right thing to do. And there are probably a hundred more reasons NOT to adopt a dog. So make sure you adopt for the right reasons, read 18 Things to Know Before Adopting a Dog.

1. Adopting a dog will save a dog’s life.

The number one reason to adopt a dog is that you will be saving his life. Many shelters are overflowing with dogs and cats, they sometimes have to turn away animals simply because they do not have enough room. So when you adopt your dog, another one can take his place.

Top 15 Reasons You Should Adopt a Dog - Keeping Your Feet Warm

Check out these pet adoption statistics from the ASPCA

2. You will never have cold feet in bed on cold winter nights.

Some people don’t want their dogs on the bed with them, and that’s totally fine. But I love that when I go to bed my feet are always warm tucked under my 85 pound yellow lab!

3. Dog adoption is less expensive than buying a dog from a breeder or pet store.

We were at the pet store this weekend picking up some new toys for our pups, and I was shocked to see puppies selling for $600 and $999! Seriously! The $999 dogs were pure breed yorkies, but the $600 dog was a mutt.

First off, I am not discounting the benefits of a pure breed dog, but if that is what you prefer, then you need to find the breeder and do some heavy research before deciding on that dog. You should always meet the puppy’s parents, ALWAYS!!! This is entirely another topic that I may go into another time.

The benefits of adopting a dog from a shelter are numerous, cost being a big one. Most humane societies and rescue organizations will charge $100-$400 for a dog. With that, you will get a dog that is completely up-to-date on vaccinations, spayed/neutered, and sometimes even micro-chipped.

[Do you know What the Difference Between a Dog Rescue and Humane Society or Shelter?]

4. You will encourage other people to adopt a dog by telling your story.

When friends and family hear your wonderful success story of adopting the dog of your dreams, they may think about adopting their next dog too! Spread the doggy love!

Top 15 Reasons You Should Adopt a Dog - Stop Puppy Mills

5. Fight against puppy mills.

You should adopt a dog from a reputable shelter and not buy a puppy from a pet store or on Craigslist, because you may end up with a puppy mill dog.

I think the United States is starting to finally crack down more on the puppy mill issue, but they are still out there. Puppy mill dogs can have a host of health and behavior issues. You may be one of those unique people that want to save these dogs, but it can take a lot of money and patience to truly rehabilitate a puppy mill dog. Some states are actually passing laws to ban pet stores from selling dogs, they can only showcase dogs adoptable from local shelters and rescues.

Are you getting ready to adopt a new dog? Make sure to read 53 Questions You MUST Ask a Rescue BEFORE Adopting a Dog

6. Adopting a mutt will always be unique.

Okay, I really love the yellow lab that we adopted, he is a big handsome guy with his own funny personality. But he looks like many other yellow labs, in fact, we’ve seen his mirror image more than I can count. Now our mutt Ginger, well she is one of a kind. We get compliments on her beautiful markings every single time we are out.

Although you can find some pure breed dogs in the shelter, most of them will be mutts. A mix of this or that, and never really knowing exactly what breed she is. These shelter dogs are unique in looks and personality, making it that much more exciting and fun.

Mutts are also proven to have less genetically inherited health problems. I explain more in the 9 Reasons to Adopt a Mutt vs. a Pure Breed Dog.

7. Adopting a dog not only changes his life, but it will change your life too.

Dogs have a way of stealing our hearts with one look of those big brown eyes! Kidding aside, dogs have a way of keeping us healthy and active. If you have had a bad day, a dog can make you smile. Dogs are even proven to reduce stress in humans. And when you don’t want to get that exercise in today, your dog will remind you how much you both need to go outside for that walk. Plus, a dog can help you meet new people, a dog is a great conversation starter!

Top 15 Reasons You Should Adopt a Dog - Greeting When You Get Home

8. You will always have someone to greet you with happiness when you come home from work.

A dog will not care if you’ve had a bad day, he just wants to give you a big welcoming tail wag when you walk in the door. Our dogs are sitting waiting for us at the door every single time we leave the house.

9. A rescue dog will offer you unconditional love for his entire life.

I personally feel dogs know when we’ve saved them from terrible situations. They can sense things are bad, and you can pull him from that loud scary place called the shelter. Your dog will be forever grateful, he will offer you love even when you have a bad day, even if you cheat on him and pet another dog, and even if you accidentally yell at him for getting in the way. He doesn’t care if you have a bad hair day, what clothes you wear, or if you stutter.  Your dog will not care if you leave the toothpaste cap off or load the dishwasher wrong. Your rescue dog will always love you, no matter what.

10. You will never need to pick up food off the floor again.

Our dog Nala was literally a vacuum. She would eat every last crumb on the floor, which was very convenient when I had two small boys that would drop more food on the floor than in their mouths! Just be careful with what you allow your dog to actually eat. Do you know what foods are safe for your dog?

Top 15 Reasons You Should Adopt a Dog - Running Partner

11. A rescue dog can help you stay healthy.

Do you know the health benefits of adopting a pet? A rescue dog can be a great exercise companion. If you’ve been meaning to get on an exercise plan, then adopting a rescue dog can help you keep the plan. Dogs, at the very least, need daily walks. If you enjoy running, find a higher energy dog that can be your jogging partner. He will promise to keep up with you and keep the chatter down to a bark or two.

My dogs have inspired me to take longer and longer walks. The past few years, our insurance company offers bonuses for people to keep track of their steps. My goal is always to take a minimum of 7,000 steps a day, and when your job is to sit in front of a computer all day, it’s hard to get those steps in. But my dog’s look to me to take our walk every night, they don’t let me forget!

Dogs have also shown to lower blood pressure, reduce stress, reduce anxiety, and reduce depression in humans, need I say more?

12. You don’t have to adopt a puppy, adult dogs can be much easier.

Puppies are full of cuteness; but they are also full of sleepless nights, potty accidents, chewing your shoes and furniture, sharp little teeth that like to bite on your hands, along with a lot of training. Shelters are full of adult dogs that need a good home. Most dogs end up there through no fault of their own, they have done nothing wrong other than be a dog. Some adult dogs may even be fully trained already!

Adopting an adult dog also takes the guesswork on how big he will get, his energy level and personality. Adopting a puppy that is a mutt, the breed and size is always just a guess. You may want a dog that is only 40 pounds but he could very well grow into a 70-pound big lap dog!

[If you ever wondered why anyone would adopt an old dog, read: Top 11 Reasons Why Adopting a Senior Dog is the Perfect Choice]

Top 17 Reasons You Should Adopt a Dog - Kids and Dogs

13. Huge benefits of having a dog when you have kids.

I can be a proven result of growing up with pets my entire life, I have a true compassion not only for animals but for people too. Having a dog to take care of and love can help children become more responsible and learn compassion for others.

Your children can really bond with a rescue dog. I really believe that our dog Ginger is my daughter’s best friend, and I think she feels the same. My daughter has shown how she can be responsible for taking care of her dog.

I also feel it is important to note that you should never get a dog and assume your 10-year-old will take care of that dog 100%. As a parent, assume you will need to pick up the responsibility of feeding, picking up the dog poop, making sure the dog gets his daily walk and goes to the vet.

Read Best Dog Breeds for Kids.

14. You will find dog hair on your clothes, in your bed and sometimes even your food.

Okay benefit or downfall, dog hair is a fact of owning a dog. Yes, we find dog hair in our food every so often. I always joke it adds extra nutrients, ha ha!

15. You may have the next Instagram star!

Until I started using Instagram for Rescue Dogs 101, I had no idea that this is a thing. People all around the world have Instagram pages for their dogs, and guess what you can actually get paid by brands to promote their products on social media! Check out the Rescue Dogs 101 Instagram page and make sure to follow us!

16. A dog is a great reading buddy.

Dogs love to listen to us read to them. In fact, many libraries have programs for kids to read to a therapy dog. Another great way dogs are great for kids.

17. Dogs are awesome, need I say any more?

Please share by leaving a comment below, how did you decide to adopt a dog? Was it the unconditional love? Or maybe the health benefits, or maybe you just wanted someone to keep your feet warm at night?

P.S. Bonus Reason Why You Should Adopt a Dog…

You get to buy fun toys, treats and bones! Okay seriously, who doesn’t like to take a trip to PetSmart with your dog and let him choose out his new favorite toy? Here are a few of my favorites:

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About the Author

Debi McKee

Debi McKee is the expert behind Rescue Dogs 101 where she guides you in your journey of adopting and raising a rescue dog every step of the way. She is a mom of 3 human kids and 4 dogs and volunteers for a local dog rescue and Humane Society. Click here for more about Debi and her passion for helping you and your dog.

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  1. I want to get a dog for my family, but I'm not sure where to get it from. It makes sense that adopting a dog would be beneficial. That seems like a good way to save some money.

  2. Thanks for letting me know that it will only cost us around $100 up to $400 if we were to adopt a dog from an organization. My daughter had begged us for weeks to let her have a pet and I guess it wouldn’t hurt to let her have a puppy on her birthday. I’ll try to check nearby organizations first and see if they’ll require anything from us before adopting.

  3. Great article. I completely support dog adoption. But the most important thing is how you treat your pets as a pet parent. No pet parent should ever ignore their fur babies even for a single second.

  4. The reasons stated in this article of why a dog should be adopted are reasons that I find myself agreeing with quite a bit. In particular, the eighth point in the article that mentions having someone to greet you when coming home from work is something that I believe is incredibly beneficial to those like myself who work quite a bit to pay the bills. Knowing immediately what you are helping take care of when you get home will likely increase productivity at work. I think that I will consider adopting a dog in order to improve my disposition at home and at work.

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