Are you at that exciting point in life where you’ve finally decided to bring home a pet dog? Maybe you think it’ll be a good friend for the growing kids, or you need some cheerful company to get through the tiring Work-From-Home routine.
Whatever the case, we’re glad you’re making the big decision. The next step is obviously choosing your furever animal. For many of us, the first inclination would be to choose a popular exotic breed, like Labradors, Golden Retrievers, and Huskies, or smaller ones like Poms & Chihuahuas.
There’s a public perception of these breeds being “cleaner” or more superior than your usual local Indian mutts. Or maybe you had one of these breeds as a child long ago, so it’s natural to want to relive that experience.
Alternatively, a lot of us might be completely fine with strays on the street but may have health & hygiene concerns about bringing them home.
But if we all support the “Go Vocal For Local” campaign, why not follow the same principle when it comes to choosing our companions? In fact, Indian dogs actually beat other breeds hands down in many aspects, and we’ll walk you through each of those reasons quickly.
If you or any of your friends are on the fence on this matter, we’re sure these reasons will be more than enough to sway you to the desi style. After all, there ain’t nobody like my desi
Once you’re convinced, we’ve linked a global directory of registered trust-worthy NGOs in every major city on the planet. You can connect with them to plan a legal & safe adoption procedure for the dog of your choice. So make sure you stick with us until the end for that resource!
1. Strays are more suited for India’s climate
It’s no secret that all parts of India are bearing the brunt of rapid climate change. This will only get worse & hotter over the years.
Indian Pariahs & Mongrels (among other local breeds) have coats that are well-suited for regulating their body’s internal temperature in extreme conditions.
On the other hand, other breeds get immediately uncomfortable if the weather shifts unexpectedly, and will often fall sick & need medical attention.
St. Bernards, Great Danes, Huskies, and Goldies have thick coats that can’t tolerate warmth (whether its humid near the cost or dry in Delhi NCR). And Dobermans, Dalmatians, or poms shiver easily in the mildest of Indian winters as they have no means to endure the cold.
But our Indie bois (and girls) will be cozy all year long. After all, they were naturally selected to inhabit this continent. So you won’t have to buy ’em any fancy boots, sweaters, or tank tops – except for quick photoshoots.
Moreoever, the poor strays on the street have battled the harshest of conditions, so they’ll transition into any home easily, and be really grateful to you for putting a roof over their heads!
2. Strays are healthier & live longer
So-called pure breeds are often born with internal genetic defects that become quite messy in later stages of their lives. This is true regardless of where you buy them from; even premium breeders can’t guarantee 100% fitness.
So you might find the German Shepherd or Great Dane puppy extremely cute, but when it grows older & contracts hip dysplasia, you’ll have to shell out a lot of time & money for the treatment/therapy.
This happens because the pet breeding industry has never followed any ethical code, nor does it have fixed standards. Most of us are also unaware of the awful manner in which farming & exporting of animals takes place, especially in Asia.
The mothers are kept caged in filthy bags & made to breed forcefully using rape stands. Artificial painful insemination is rampant. Most shockingly, the litter are immediately separated, only to be locked in dirty, inhumane conditions.
Of course, all this is done behind the scenes, so we only see the pretty pictures on the storefronts pup by self-proclaimed breeding experts, who spend a lot to keep the public oblivious about the abuse & malpractice that powers their business.
On that note, if you’re getting a breed dog, even if that’s from a relative or a good quality breeder, you’re supporting the industry indirectly by conveying that it’s okay to have exotic dogs in India.
On the other hand, when you adopt strays, you’re showing the public that they’re capable of both loving humans and being loved back. This puts an end to a cycle of abuse and leaves one less homeless starving animal on the street.
Even if you somehow manage to ignore all the ethics, you can’t deny that the pups resulting from breeding have a high chance of developing diseases long after you’ve brought them home.
Even if they manage to beat the health issues, pure breeds only live for 7-10 years, and anything beyond that is a “not-so-pleasant” bonus. Of course, no breeder will take responsibility for this!
On the other hand, vets agree that strays have a much longer lifespan of 10-12 years, with some even going on to live healthily for up to 15 years! Their in-built immunity makes them resistant to many diseases. Also, since they’ve learned to eat whatever’s available, their guts are strong & rarely contract digestion issues/diarrhea.
3. Strays need lesser grooming & maintenance
Several exotic breeds have to be regularly taken to dog parlors for trimming their hair or cleaning their coats, and these visits really add up. You might end up spending ₹15,000 or more on a yearly basis just for the maintenance!
We know you might be willing to spend your entire fortune on your pooch, but keep in mind we haven’t factored in other expenses like medical care, food, travel, etc.
Our Indie pups, however, don’t need this kind of pampering. All they’ll need is one good bath with natural soap & shampoo once you bring them home – to clean off any dirt/dust or ticks from the street. Once that’s done, even a simple bath every 15 days should keep them sparkling! On all other occasions, they’ll mostly lick themselves clean like it’s an Olympic sport.
Moreover, they don’t need to be put on special diets like other breeds. Just feed them homemade chicken rice, take them on two daily walks, and spend a bit of quality time in their company – they’ll be content with the bare minimum!
4. Indies are safer for kids
The media has demonized some animals like sharks & snakes, and Indies are now in this category as well. Several news reports put the spotlight on strays biting children or running after them, which has led the public to believe that these animals are dangerous for our kids.
But what’s often ignored in these reports is how the strays are badly treated by the colony’s residents, causing them to react more out of fear than anger. Often, when strays latch on to kids, they’re reacting either because they spotted a threat, or recollected a negative incident by an adult with a similar smell.
But when left alone (or approached with care, strays make excellent friends for your toddlers. They’re very protective & will do everything they can to love your human pup like their own.
The reason behind this is that stray dogs have to be alert to survive on the streets, so they’ve learned to scan the mood & feelings of everyone around them, causing them to have a heightened sense of empathy. Don’t be surprised if your doggo immediately starts licking & cuddling up to the kid if they notice their hooman is sad, hurt, or angry!
5. Strays are more reliable guard dogs
We often think that only Pitbulls or GSDs are capable of protecting the house. But they’re no match for our good old desi soldiers with paws.
As we discussed in the last point, strays have had to develop robust survival mechanisms on the street, which makes them the most natural territorial protectors. They’ll immediately notify you if they smell intruders, robbers, or other shady folks lurking near the family.
In fact, this is why many condos/colonies don’t mind having a couple of strays on the ground, because they’re often more alert than the security guards, and will instantly bark upon seeing any suspicious vehicle or person.
Going one step further, strays also have a good sixth sense, and there have been many incidents of dog telling their owners that something is wrong just moments before a heart attack or stroke. No kidding, I’ve also seen many videos of strays intimating pregnant mothers that it’ll soon be time for the little hooman to come home!
So all said & done, when it comes to the safety of your family, strays are the most reliable breed!
Conclusion: Strays are a Surprise in Disguise
Most people form their perception of stray dogs on the basis of some random news reports they hear, or isolated incidents of aggression, which are most definitely reactionary in nature.
We often overlook the fact that these innocent creatures are simply trying to survive on the street. They have to battle homelessness, hunger, starvation, stone pelting, constant abuse & neglect by passersby, and above all, reckless car accidents that kill hundreds of animals on the road every single day.
So all this might’ve led them to have a rough & tough exterior, but beneath all that is just another lovely animal waiting for you to hold them with love.
Strays are definitely as caring, loyal, and adorable as any other breed – in fact, this article also proves they’re the better option. To sum up the key points:
- More suited for the Indian climate
- Live longer & defect-free lives
- Have lesser maintenance & grooming costs
- Safer companions for your kids
- Reliable guard dogs
So we hope this info helps you take the right step, and do your little part in reducing the global cycle of suffering for dogs of all breeds, shapes, and sizes!
That concludes today’s article on why adopting a stray is a much better choice than buying a breed animal. Above all, remember it’s not how much the dog costs, but how deeply you love them, that will make that tail wag!
BONUS: How to Adopt a Stray Dog
Now that you’re on the good side, here’s a quick rundown of how you can go about bringing a stray animal home.
Usually, you can just pick your favorite buddy from your condo, or anywhere else you met them. But if you like, you can also approach registered NGOs in your city to connect you with dogs looking for their furever homes.
Going through NGOs helps if you’re a first-time pet owner who needs some guidance on how to feed & care for the animal in a responsible manner. You may also have questions on the financial or maintenance aspects, which they’ll be able to answer in detail.
Plus, if you face any issues or emergencies, you can rely on the NGO staff anytime, as they’ll be happy to assist you, unlike breeders who may not accept any further liability after the payment is done.
Not to mention, successful adoptions also reduce the burden on the NGO as shelters are often overloaded with cases – this ultimately enables them to attend to other animals in need, so you’re actually making a huge positive impact!
Access our global directory of animal shelters & charities that will help you through the entire process.
You can expect the following steps in your initial journey:
- Visiting the shelter to finalize your partner
- Documents for verification (Aadhar Card, Address Proof, NOC from society, etc.)
- House Inspection visit (to ensure you have a clean & spacious apartment/villa)
- Interview (questions on where you plan to keep the pup & how you’ll take care of it)
- Training & guidance (provided upon request)
- Planning nutritional meals & walk times – and promising to follow the schedule
- Completing all basic Vaccinations & Neutering (if the pup is old enough)
- Legal registration for your pet (see guidelines & procedure for each city)
- Bringing the pup home + first bath + making them comfortable with a bed & toys
- Monthly follow-up vet visits & checks from NGO until the pup has settled down
We’ll try to write a follow-up article to help you make this journey smooth for both you & the animal, but your NGO will probably help you do that anyway, so trust them to do their job, and follow their advice. All the best with your adoption journey!
Do share pics of your new pup with us on Instagram @heysnugo, and we’ll feature you on our wall for being a true hero for animals!