Mark Vette – Internationally renowned Animal Behaviourist, Educator, Author and TV personality

10 Reasons to Adopt a Dog


I recently lost my beautiful rescue dog, Monty. He was rescued as part of an SPCA / Mini campaign to show that Rescue Dogs are Smart Dogs that are deserving of a chance. Tommy we ‘rescued’ from a difficult breeding situation. And boy, are we the lucky ones that we gave them both a second chance! 

So today, in their honour, I’ve done a quick list of ten great reasons to adopt a beautiful dog!

1. There are more homeless animals than people.

According to volunteer website, there are five homeless animals on the street for every one homeless human (not NZ statistics, but still very interesting and I’m sure we have many many homeless dogs here too). You can be a part of giving one homeless dog a warm, loving home!

2. Rescue dogs are smart dogs.

This needs no explanation. We’ve taught rescue dogs how to drive, run their own social media  account and even fly planes. They are UNDOUBTEDLY smart and certainly trainable, so if they are missing some basics or have a few minor behavioural issues, they can be taught to fit into your life!

Porter the SPCA Driving Dog

3. You can get a puppy or young dog, and there are many different breeds

There’s a perception that you can only get old dogs from rescue organisations (and older dogs can make wonderful pets), but if you’re looking for a younger dog, many rescue centres have young dogs and even very young puppies too. There are also dogs of all different breeds (including pure bred dogs) at rescue organisations, so you can usually find something to fit your lifestyle. notes that a staggering 25 percent of all dogs in animal shelters are actually purebred.

4. You’re likely to get a hybrid / mixed breed dog

But even though there are lots of pure breeds available at rescue centres too, I always do recommend choosing a mixed breed dog anyway, as you’ll benefit from hybrid vigour! You can avoid the undesirable health conditions that are associated with some pure breeds, and you often get the best traits from both breeds and end up with a really robust, healthy, happy and trainable dog. 

5. They’ll truly love you

One study published in the Journal of Veterinary Behavior: Clinical Applications and Research revealed that shelter dogs are “more socially driven to gaze and interact with humans”. Basically, an adopted rescue dog really does truly love you!

6. Owning a dog can help you live longer!

According to one study of 3.4 million individuals published in Scientific Reports, owning a dog was associated with lower mortality and cardiovascular disease risk!

7. You’ll give a dog a forever home & a chance at life

The SPCA cares for over 34,000 animals each year, many of which are dogs. By adopting, you give one of these rescued animals a chance at a happy life in a loving forever home. Sadly, tens of thousands of dogs are euthanised each year in New Zealand – rescuing can help with this!

8. Adopting from a  shelter is cheaper.

The SPCA charges between just $125 – $300 (depending on the age of the dog). This covers ensuring the dog is healthy and prepared for their new home prior to adoption, with essential things such as desexing, microchipping and vaccinations already done for you! Plus the fee helps the SPCA continue to rescue more animals in need. You can spend thousands of dollars buying a dog, which doesn’t usually including vaccinations and desexing etc either.

9. Rescue dogs may already know some commands

Many rescue dogs will already know some basic commands and be house trained.

10. Dogs are good for you!
From a totally selfish  perspective, dogs are great for your physical, mental and emotional health – and that includes kids! Kids benefit greatly from growing up in a household with a dog.

There are so many wonderful rescue organisations around the country searching for loving homes for beautiful puppies and dogs, so if the time is right for you to add to the family – consider rescuing.

Just a note that if you are an inexperienced dog owner, we recommend either adopting a young puppy (7 – 9 weeks old) so you can do your training and socialisation from scratch, or an older dog that is fairly well trained and free from behavioural issues. Dogs with behavioural issues (like my Monty had!) can certainly be rehabilitated, it just takes more experience, time and effort so we don’t recommend it if this is your first time as a dog owner. 

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