Are you thinking about adding another member to the family and not sure if you should adopt or buy a dog? Regardless of where you get your new pup, try to find a good place or breeder that you like prior to falling in love with an individual dog. Falling in love with your heart is the easy part, but let your brain do the thinking prior to falling in love.

Buying from a reputable breeder and adopting from a reputable rescue are both great ways of acquiring a new family member. It comes down to choosing the right dog.

Reputable Breeder
When considering a Reputable Breeder, here are some questions to ask:

  • How long has the breeder been doing this? The longer they have been around, the better.
  • How many breeds of dogs does this breeder focus on? It’s best to focus on one breed.
  • Does this breeder do health checks? Do they have a health guarantee that comes with the puppy? Do they have a relationship with their vet? Is their puppy’s health checked prior to going to their home?
  • How many litters do they have at one time? It’s a red flag if there are more than one or two litters at once.
  • When do they start breeding their females and how often do they breed them? When do they retire their females? It’s a red flag if every 6 months they have a new litter from that mom.
  • Can you visit the home and puppies to see the parents and understand the environment they are raised in? You should be able to visit the home where they were born.
  • Has the breeder had any puppies returned and can they disclose the reasons why and what actions they took for that pet and the buyers?
  • Do you get to choose the dog, or will the breeder choose the puppy for you? Meaning, will the breeder match the dog to owner or will you get to pick out your dog based on a first-come first serve basis. Will the breeder have recommendations as to which puppy might be a good fit for your family?

Reputable Rescue
When considering a Reputable Rescue, here are some questions to ask:

  • Where do the dogs in your care come from? Supporting local is always a good sign (good mantra for life in general).
  • Where are they housed and cared for prior to being adopted? In a shelter or foster? How long has the pets been in the rescue? Is this rescue well known? It’s a good idea to get opinions from other adopters about their experience with the group.
  • Is the rescue screening the owners adopting their pets? If they are asking about your lifestyle, they are just trying to be sure that they get the pets into a forever home.
  • Are there medical records open to them prior to adoption? Are they spayed/neutered/vaccinated fully prior to you taking them? Are there any dental issues that are present that you will need to address in the future?
  • What does the rescue do if you find the new pet is not fitting into your home and do they have any involvement?
  • Is there any behavioural assessment prior to adoption to help understand their needs as individuals? Are there any classes that they offer or recommend that will help your new dog?

Be wary of pets advertised on buy and sell groups. It is very rare for a reputable breeder to need to advertise on in these groups as they often have plenty of people waiting for a puppy from them. And be cautious when any potential source holds back information from you, such as rescues that do not provide medical records for your review prior to adoption and breeders that do not let you see their house or offer to meet you to meet the puppies.

In the end, ultimately trust your gut on the source. If things do not feel right, do not pursue that pet. There are lots of great pets out there that are waiting for you and you want to set yourself up for success. Adding a new member to the family is very exciting and researching where they come from and the best breed for your family is important! If you want any more advice or information, don’t hesitate to ask us here at Happy Paws!