So you’ve decided to get a new puppy. It is an exciting time and with careful planning, can lead to years of enjoyment and companionship. Once you’ve decided on the type of breed is the best fit for your family and lifestyle, the next major decision is where to find your puppy. With all of the options available, finding puppy can be confusing.
One of the most popular online resources to finding puppy is petfinder.com. It allows you to search by pet type, breed, age, and location. Not only is it convenient, but most of the humane societies and rescue organizations post their available dogs online.
According to the National Council on Pet Population, over 2 million dogs are turned into shelters each year. Fifty-six percent of those are euthanized. When choosing a dog from a shelter or rescue group, you not only gain a furry friend but save a life as well. Most shelters include spaying or neutering, initial vaccinations, and microchipping in the low cost adoption fee, all of which would cost significantly more going to the vet on your own.
Dealer or Pet Shop
While it is hard to resist those puppy dog eyes staring out at you in the pet store window, a pet store is one of the worst places to buy a new puppy. Puppies in pet stores are typically bred in puppy mills where litter after litter is churned out. There is no attention to testing and responsible breeding
If you purchase a dog from a breeder, there are several factors to consider. Many people who advertise puppies for sale are nothing more than backyard breeders. They are those who have a couple of dogs and let them breed so that they can enjoy the new puppies before selling them for a little extra money. They do not have extensive knowledge about the breed or issues that need to be considered for the future health of the litter.
If purchasing a dog from a breeder, it is important to find one who is responsible, a true breed enthusiast and shows concern for the placement of the puppies. A few questions to ask a breeder are:
- What kind of health guarantee do they offer
- Are the puppies registered with the American Kennel Club (AKC) http://akc.org
- Have the parents won any championships
- Have the parents been tested and cleared for genetic defects such as hip and elbow dysplasia, genetic heart defects, eye defects, and thyroid disease.
- The strengths, weaknesses and temperament of the parents.
With a little bit of forethought and research, your journey in finding puppy will be a rewarding experience.