Knowing the facts will help you make a better choice

Winter is coming, my love life isn’t exactly rosy, my bachelor’s fortress feels way too empty, and I increasingly find myself wishing for a company of a dog. It’s not a whim, and I am ready for the commitment: I had a dog pretty much my whole life until I moved out of my parents’ house. It’s also not much of a burden: my job allows me to take a pet out for walks and spend ample time with them during the day… So, pet-readiness test is passed.

But I have a dilemma. Should I buy one (always loved Dachshunds!) or should I adopt one (my heart breaks when I see them in pounds)?

This is more than a financial issue. From ethics to health, there are a few things that I wanted to know more about, so I did some research…


Buying a purebred

Until a year ago, there was only one registered dog breeder in Malta. A look at Yellow returns 22 results today, and the Eurobreeder directory has 13 entries for Malta. It’s good to know that, by law, only those breeding more than four litters every year are required to register with the government.

When buying from a breeder – registered or otherwise – always ask tons of questions about how the animals are treated, whether they have had genetic tests conducted (to ensure they are not carrying any diseases), how many litters a year the particular dog has, etc. The more questions you ask, the more likely you are to stay away from breeders who don’t take good care of their animals. Good breeders love talking about what they do, and they will be happy to explain about any special needs of the breed you’re interested in.

Word of mouth is the most reliable guarantee when it comes to buying dogs. Ask around, search forums, and go to someone who comes recommended. There are actually a lot of great breeders out there, the trick is to find out who they are.

With this option you’ll most likely get a puppy or a kitten, so you’ll have the joy of seeing them grow, and of forming that special bond. But be aware that purebreds come with special character traits and care needs – are you ready for those?

Adopting from a shelter

By getting yourself a companion, you’re also doing good. True, you may not find a dog or cat of the particular breed you’re after, but most pounds and sanctuaries offer a huge variety of dogs and cats up for adoption.

Having spent time in a sanctuary, animals may be hesitant at first to offer all their love to a new human – give them time. Still, because you are probably choosing among grown animals, the character of the dog or cat will already be formed, so you’ll know exactly what you’re getting yourself into.

When adopting – at least from MSPCA – the dogs come already neutered, microchipped and vaccinated, meaning you’ll actually save money.

Every dog or cat that gets adopted makes space for other dogs and cats who need to get adopted. So you can count that as your good deed for the year!

So, what’s my verdict now? I’m going to adopt, simply because I’m happy to trade not having a Dachshund for knowing that other animals will get the chance to find a loving home. Yet there are options for those whose priority is finding a specific breed.


Do you have any questions?

Have you bought or adopted a pet?

Let us know in the comments section below.