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Impulsive Buying of Dogs versus Adoption: What’s Your Pick?

Author: Prakarsha Pilla

If there is a movie or advertisement showing a cute dog and highlighting the unparalleled bond between humans and dogs, I'd love it. But if people want to buy the same dog after watching it, there is a problem.

A dog generally lives for 10 odd years. In these 10 years, there is a lot of learning for the dog as well as the human. Nothing comes easy. It may seem rude and discouraging but the fact stays that having a pet is not that simple.

golden retriever puppy

How often do we see people deciding to get a dog, within 2 days, just because their kid asked for it? I'm so glad their kid has a best friend to grow up with. But I'll also be scared if they'll actually keep the dog till the end of its life. As kids, almost all of us pestered our parents to get us a pet. Remember the reasons that our parents gave us then? Guess what, they all are absolutely right.

If we don't have enough space for the animal to run, we can't get a pet.

If we ourselves are so irresponsible that our room looks like from the dinosaur age, we can't get a pet.

If we don't have time to take the pet on walks or for vet visits, we cannot get a pet.

You may ask, "Iit is my decision! I wanted a pet yesterday and I'm getting it today. What will you do?"

Well, I can only tell you the dark and terrible side of impulsive buying.

Because that movie featured a dog of a particular breed, everyone wants a dog of that breed. Breeders make the most of this ephemeral demand. The adult dogs of that breed literally go through hell, producing more and more puppies, so that the breeders gain every penny from that short-lived period.

Few weeks (or days) after getting a pet, people realise that there's more to it than cuddling and taking videos. Nobody has the patience to teach him basic commands or to toilet-train him. They are annoyed when he makes their houses dirty. But they don't have the patience to work on it. What I took is a minuscule example. Dogs end up having serious behavioural issues because nobody had the time to teach them anything. Remember, hitting them, shouting on them, denying them food and water, keeping them locked do NOT count as teaching).


After getting a dog, people realise that they have a problem with EVERYTHING the animal does. They say they don't want fur on their lush sofa. They don't want muddy paw prints on their glittering marble floor. They don't want him to bark. Do they even want a dog?

Okay. Puppy stage over. Now the dog grew up. People begin to realise that this wasn't shown in the movie. They can't handle a big dog. They don't have time for walks. He is destroying things at their house. Moreover, he is not even "cute" now. So, they abandon him.

dog looking outside

It is also very important for you to know which dog you should get. Plot twist, it's not just about getting the cutest dog. Before you get some dog, TALK to the one you are getting it from. If he is an active dog, ponder if you can take him to the park at least thrice a week. If he is a senior dog, take his medical reports till date. If he is a rescued dog, you should be willing to work emotionally as these poor dogs have terrible pasts. You should know how to win their trust. If you have hardly an hour a day to spend with the dog, or you have senior citizens at home, it is better to get a lazy dog. If a dog has special needs and needs to go to the vet frequently, think if you can manage those regular vet visits. Kindness alone doesn't pay vet bills.

Abandonment of dogs is deeply interlinked with impulsive buying. Anybody who took a commitment or made a planned decision would not abandon a dog. Abandonment comes only because they have committed for a cute, cuddly teddy bear and got a full living being with needs and responsibilities. Else, who would abandon their dog because he fell sick? In his sickness, weakness and old age, a dog needs you the most. If anybody dares lay a finger on you, he'll risk his life and save you. We can't really reciprocate the selfless love of a dog, but can at least try.

The recent incidents of abandoning dogs in fear of the spread of Covid-19 left animal lovers and NGOs quite stunned. Anybody who completed grade 7 would know there is a giant difference between the anatomy of a human and a dog. Abandonment is precisely because they never actually loved a dog.

If you want a dog, think about it. Think about the days he will make a fuss to eat food. Think about the nights he will keep barking. Think about the afternoons you will spend at the vet's. Think about the evenings you will have to walk him, come what may.

pet and human walking

If you can promise at least 10 years of love, care and responsibility, it would be great to see you have a pet. If you can't, please consider other myriad options of being close to animals such as feeding strays, volunteering at a shelter, donating or sponsoring for animals or creating awareness about animal welfare.

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