Do you know what to look for when buying a new puppy?
When making a decision to bring a new puppy home you may have done a lot of research on breeds and pet care… if not I highly recommend that you do! You are full of knowledge and ready to bring home to new member to your family.
I mentioned research and choosing a breed, I want to touch on that a bit further before I continue. Every breed comes with its own natural traits and animal instincts along with some common health care needs. It’s really important to analyze your home life and know what kind of time and energy you are willing to put into your dog, do you have kids and consider their age. A lot of these things are major parts of your decision making process when considering getting a dog. For example, you won’t want a golden retriever if you are never home to walk him and you are allergic to dog hair. You won’t want a toy breed dog if your very active and want a dog to do hikes with. For some people this may been like common sense, but believe me it isn’t, if it was there wouldn’t be so many pets in shelters in need of a good home.
So after you have done all your research and you have decided on a breed it’s time to get your puppy…
There are many places you can go to get a puppy, let’s take a closer look at them.
Your local shelter: almost every city has a local shelter, or contacts for one close to where you live. The shelter is full of rescues of all sorts of breeds and ages. Most if not all of these dogs will need some very special care and extra love. Some of them have been abused or abandoned, some are new born puppies thrown away or rescued from a puppy mill. There are all sorts of circumstances that take place that resulted in these poor animals ending up in a shelter. Most shelter dogs do require owners with some experience, some of them will have some behavioural issues to work through and others may have some medical issues that will need to be taken care of. I have had many rescues in my home while growing up and have had nothing but great experiences. If you don’t feel confident about raising a rescue that is ok, the animals there have already been through a lot and it’s important that they only go to a forever home. If your a first time pet owner a rescue may not be for you, but it is something your should consider later if you decide to get a second dog as a companion for your first.
Many shelters offer great programs for training and vet checks, your dog will often come to your spayed or neutered and the cost for adopting is to help support the shelter so they can continue to care for other animals that come through their doors. Be prepared to get asked lots and lots of questions. Some shelters have a large questionnaire for you to fill out before adopting. Depending on the answers you give, some shelters won’t adopt to you. This process is built to make sure the homes these animals are going to are well aware of what they are adopting and are prepared for any medical and behavioural issues that can come with them. If you get denied it’s not to say that you won’t be a good pet parent, it just means that these types of pets aren’t suited for you right now. Although don’t just discard any feed back you get from the shelter, they may shed some light on some training practices and lifestyle choices that you didn’t consider when wanting to adopt a dog.
Buying from the internet: there are many many breeders and shelters that use the internet and kijiji for advertising and for reaching people interested in buying or adopting pets. You also need to be aware when searching online for pets. You want to follow up and ask lots of questions to make sure you aren’t getting pets from a puppy mill or a person who just breeds from home for extra cash but doesn’t take care of the animals or doesn’t fallow up with the vet for puppy care before you get your pups. These places also don’t offer any health guarantee incase you’re puppy gets sick and may or may not test their dogs for certain conditions before breeding. All things that are very important when breeding and buying a puppy. I’m not saying all home bread puppies are bad, just make sure you ask extra questions.
Some things to look for when dealing with someone online is to ask if both parents are on scene and if you can meet them. The temperament and health of the parents are a good indication of the health and wellbeing of your new puppy. Doesn’t the person have a care package and vet information for when they got their first and possibly their second set of shots. Is the home clean and the dogs well kept. These are all important indicators when you go to pick up your pup or choose the one you want from the litter.
Buyers be ware! If the owner won’t let you into their home to see the puppies, if the parents of the dogs aren’t on scene, if the residence is unclean and the dogs not groomed, no vet records for the puppies and if the puppies are released before 6-8 weeks old beware! You may be getting a puppy from a puppy mill or an unsafe environment. It is very important consumers use caution and not support improper breeding of dogs.
Breeder: for many people, breeders are a go to when buying a puppy. I have had dogs from breeders and from shelters and with certain breeds I prefer to use a breeder. When I say certain breeds I’m talking about ones with a history of different medical issues like hip and eye problems etc. Breeds like Shepard’s, mastiffs, and retrievers are of those I would personally look for a registered breeder that does extensive testing before they breed and are very careful of the well being and maintenance of their dogs.
Breeders usually offer health guarantees where if any of their puppies have any medical conditions that came from the breeding they will pay for the medical bills or cover the loss of a pup by replacing it. This is absence of security that your pup will be given in good health and was taken care of. Breeders also give a welcome package with vet information like vaccines and when they were done, they are a wealth of knowledge of the breed if you have any questions of concerns and many of them keep active relationships with the families that buy their puppies.
When you choose a breeder there is almost always a higher price tag attached to it, but again, with many breeds you get what you pay for. When I got my mastiff, it was a piece of mind that my dog came from a registered breeder that is held to a certain standard by the Kennel Club, the parents were on scene to meet, the breeder had all the documentation and vet information, and I took home a very happy and healthy puppy.
Bringing a puppy home is a commitment. Do it right, do your research, no what breed best suits yours and your families needs for today and for 10-15 years from now. Make sure you can be a forever home for your dog, they will give you nothing but love if you do.
I love hearing about new puppy stories, if you are looking for a new puppy or have any stories of your experinaces to share please leave a comment below and tell us about it…