Rescue Groups / Shelters
If you want a puppy, a purebred dog or possibly even both, you should first look at the shelters or rescue groups, which are volunteer-run organizations that sometimes focus on one breed and usually use foster families to care for dogs until they find a suitable family to pair them with permanently. You will probably be shocked and amazed by the dogs you can find in a dog shelter. The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) have said that around 25% of the dogs in shelters are purebreds. If it is a puppy you are after, you should know that a lot of the dogs in shelters are pregnant when they go there, and so their offspring will also need to be homed. Additionally, when pet stores aren’t able to sell their puppies, they are then often sent to shelters. It is possible to get a young four-month-old puppy for less than one-tenth of the price you would have normally paid for it had you bought the exact same dog in a pet store when it is a month or two younger.
There are many different reasons for why dogs arrive at dog shelters, from being dropped off by their loving masters, to being abandoned in a park. Some people might part with a dog they love because of financial reasons, or maybe their new landlord doesn’t allow dogs. Others simply give up on the dog due to behavioural problems, like potty accidents or barking.
You should note that, due to the background of certain dogs, some shelter or rescue dogs may have trust issues or difficulty with certain people or animals. Dogs with these kinds of issues will need more time to train. If you want to avoid dogs that come with problems, the staff at the shelter should be able to tell you the about different personalities the dogs have and help you make the right choice.
There are a ton of benefits to rescuing a dog. First, you are going to provide a safe, clean environment to an animal who truly needs a new home with a loving family. The cost of getting a dog from a shelter is much cheaper than buying from a breeder or pet store, additionally, in most cases, your pet will come vaccinated, chipped, spayed or neutered and dewormed, saving you time and even more money.
If you have a particular breed in mind, then a breeder may be for you. Some breeders are well educated when It comes to dog breeding, and they have a high standard and know how to breed for temperament and health.
However, while some breeders want to produce the best dogs, and treat them humanely, there are lots of unethical breeders out there. There are those that breed the dogs simply for money, and they have absolutely zero concern about the dog’s welfare. Others can fall somewhere in the middle, maybe they just want some extra cash, but still care for the dogs.
You’re probably wondering, how can you sort through all these hundreds of breeders to find the best. The first step is to ask around. You can check online for breeders around your area, or you could ask a local vet. If you find a breeder online, never commit to buying a dog without first checking the conditions the dog is living in.
Signs that a breeder is reliable:
· They let you see the premises and meet the puppy’s mother.
· Doesn’t have puppies for sale all the time.
· Gives you the puppies vaccination schedule, information on the breed, and proof they screened the puppy’s mother and father for breed-related health issues.
· Asks you a lot of questions (they don’t give the pups away to just anyone).
· Doesn’t allow puppies younger than 8 weeks to go home.
· Treats their breeding dogs humanely, giving the animals plenty of good food, space to exercise, a clean environment and lots of love.
Pet stores usually purchase their dogs from puppy mills, so their business is rather unethical. Commercialised breeding needs to stop, and the quickest way to make that happen is to avoid buying your dog from a pet store. There is an exception however, some pet stores partner with animal shelters to offer dogs for adoption rather than selling.