Are you thinking about buying a dog? There are many options to find your new furry best friend. Here’s where to find the perfect puppy. We all want to come home at the end of the day to a family we love. Who said that family can’t be four-legged and furry? Whether you’re living the single life, blissfully married, or raising a family, a pup can be the perfect addition to your family. At the same time, choosing the wrong dog can be a stressful experience that ends in heartbreak. Where do you start your search for the perfect pup? Here are the key options to consider while buying a dog.
Your Best Options for Buying a Dog
Pets come from plenty of sources, so it’s important to know where to start looking. Here are your options and some tips for each one.
Animal shelters are the pet resources of choice for countless people across the countries. Shelters are usually non-profit charities that serve their communities by taking in homeless pets. As you explore the shelters in your area, there are two primary types you’ll find: open admission and no-kill shelters. An open admission shelter never turns away new pets that come in needing homes. The problem, though, is that if they are admitting new pets faster than those pets are being adopted, they run out of space. They often solve this problem by either sending pets to other shelters or euthanizing the pets that have been there for the longest time. No-kill shelters, on the other hand, never euthanize healthy and safe pets for the sake of space. They run out of space just like open admission shelters do, but they solve the problem by turning away new admissions.
Many people think of pet rescues and animal shelters as the same because both are likely to be not-for-profit. They’re operated in different ways, though. Animal shelters have physical locations where they house their dogs and new puppies until they get adopted. Pet rescues take in the same types of pets but they don’t usually have physical locations. Instead, pet rescues use a network of volunteers who will foster dogs. These volunteers care for the dogs in their own homes until the dogs are adopted. They often use social media and other websites to advertise dogs that are up for adoption. The downside of a pet rescue instead of a shelter is that you don’t get to peruse a variety of dogs in person to see the one whose personality fits you best. At the same time, rescues present a unique opportunity. You can volunteer to foster a dog that needs a home. This lets you do a “trial run” to see if you want to adopt your foster dog.
In some cases, families are looking for a specific breed of dog. Perhaps you have kids and you need a dog breed that tends to be kid-friendly. The same could be true if you have a cat, another dog, or other types of pets. Some breeds get along better with other animals than others. In these cases, a breeder could be your best option. You don’t know much if anything about a dog’s background when you find them at a shelter or a rescue. A breeder can give you detailed information about a puppy’s family genetic medical history. You might ask, “How do I find the right breeder for my next puppy?” For one, breeders specialize in specific breeds so search based on the breed you want. It’s a good idea to visit the breeder’s facility before you make a commitment. You want to make sure they’re caring for their dogs well and raising them in a healthy environment. A responsible breeder should also be able to show you the necessary health checks for a puppy’s father and mother. That includes hip and elbow evaluations in the OFA database.
Independent People Re-homing Their Pets
Sometimes a pet owner’s circumstances change and the can no longer provide a home for their dog. Perhaps the dog isn’t getting along well with a new family member. Maybe the person is moving to a new home that isn’t pet-friendly. Today people often try to rehome their pets by placing an ad online. They may also reach out to friends and family members to see if anyone wants to adopt their dog. If you’re getting the dog from someone who you know is a responsible pet owner, this can be safe. If you don’t know the person, it’s a bit riskier. As with anything online, you never know if the former pet owner is telling you the whole story. The dog may be aggressive or ill, or they may have neglected the pet for years. If you go this route, it’s important to take precautions. Take your time to meet the dog a few times to make sure it’s a good fit. It’s also a good idea to have the pet owner meet you at your vet for an exam to make sure the dog is healthy. Keep in mind that there are risks for your own safety anytime you meet up with someone you met online. As with any other “purchase,” take safety measures when you meet up with the pet owner. For instance, meet them in a public place and bring a friend.
Finding Your Furry New Family Member
Adopting or buying a dog is like getting a new roommate. If the dog is the right fit, they can provide companionship, warmth, and joy that you’re happy to come home to. If they aren’t, they can make your home stressful and uncomfortable. The first step to finding the perfect dog is knowing where and how to look. All of the options above can lead to a great human-dog relationship if you follow our tips and take your time to make your decision. For more tips for every stage in your journey with your pup, check out more articles on our blog for dog owners.