Hello, an almost-puppy-owner! Now that you have made your mind up about having a cute, adorable puppy, and of course you considered all the other aspects of it, which we summed up in our previous blog article, there is another big decision to make: adoption or buying!
This is a debate that has been long discussed and we are not here to tell you which one is better. Our aim is to help you see some rather important factors when it comes to either adoption or buying a pup. In our opinion as long as you have come to a well-thought conclusion, it’s the best you can do.
By this time you probably know what kind of breed you’d like to take home, or at least you are familiar with the differences between looking after a smaller or bigger, quieter or more energetic dog. This is going to narrow your search down significantly because you’ll need to look for kennels or shelters. (Kennel is an establishment used for breeding and training dogs whilst shelter is a place where stray, lost, abandoned or surrendered animals, mostly dogs and cats, and sometimes sick or wounded wildlife are kept and rehabilitated. - wikipedia)
Why are these all important? You need to make sure that you are in contact with a responsible breeder and not with a puppy mill. (Puppy mills are interested in making a profit, neglecting the basic needs for the dogs resulting that the dogs are over bred which sadly causing them health issues. See more here.)
Get in touch with more than 2 kennels, make a phone call, or if possible arrange a visit and try to find out more about:
- is the kennel recognized by the national breeding association?
- can you find out more about the dogs’ history and family tree?
- do the dogs have awards? (this is not really about the AWARD itself is more about how important for the breeder to maintain the given breed standards)
- how often do the bitches have puppies? It should be not more than twice a year, the best is once a year really, regardless of their heat cycle.
- how many litters does the breeder have per year? Litters mean the number of the pregnancies which usually have 5-8 pups each. This is a great indicator if you are facing a mill or a responsible breeder. It is quite hard work to look after litters, so without much help, more than 2 litters/year could be a sign of that!
- also important to ask about any allergies or health issues that could or occur with the given breed
- the breeder should give you information about the early vaccinations, deworming that the pup should receive and also what vaccination the pup already has at the pickup. You might want to check with the vet what to expect beforehand!
- when you pick up the pup it should be chipped and come with a booklet that lists the vaccination she/he has had, the name of the vet who administered those, the breeder etc. This booklet is printed according to the guidelines of the given country’s veterinary chamber.
Breeders usually have a lot of information to tell you and they should give it to you without much asking as their job is to make sure the pup will have a safe and loved home. Don’t be surprised if the breeder asks about you and how you are going to look after the dog that just reflects that they take their job seriously.
You won't have problem finding shelters around as there are too many, unfortunately!
- It is good to choose a shelter where they know the dogs. Not necessarily their history (as it could be difficult to know) but how they behave on a daily basis. This will provide you vital insight on what to expect from the dog when she/he will be with you.
- Of course, if they know why and how the dog ended up at their shelter it is even better!
- Usually, you need to visit the chosen dog/pup several times before taking her/him home so you can bond before and the transition is going to be easier for her/him.
- It is also common that the dog you choose is already spayed or neutered.
- Some shelters will ask you a lot of questions, perhaps you need to write about yourself and your motivation about wanting to have a dog. Again, don't take this wrong, it is crucial for these dogs to have a final home for their mental well-being.
- It is a good idea to have a dog trainer in your mind, even if you have had dogs before. Not all the dogs from a shelter will have behavioral issues of course, but for sure you’ll have to correct some unwanted behavior, reactions and the best to do it with a professional help that focuses on you and your new family member. Having a good communication between you and your pup is worth millions!
- When you take a dog home from a shelter, they should be also chipped and have a vaccination booklet, but it’s always good to double check. Some circumstances may differ.
- Last but not least, shelters are always happy to receive donations as they are usually not supported by governments. Anything useful will be much appreciated.
We hope you found this article useful. Have we forgotten about something? Comment below!
In our next article, we are going to talk about things to consider when picking up your new pup! Stay with us!
Have a beautiful day! Woof