Adopting a rescue dog is often the preferred way to bring a dog into your home. However, it’s not an option that works for everyone. Some people may be looking for a dog with certain characteristics or might have trouble finding somewhere to adopt that doesn’t have prohibitively strict rules. Getting a puppy means you can train them from the beginning, which can be especially helpful if you’re looking for a working dog or want to train your own service dog. It also means you can avoid the possibility of adopting a dog with existing problems that you might not be prepared to take on. But if you do decide to buy a puppy, you can take steps to do it as responsibly as possible.
Research the Breed
Buying a puppy usually means getting a pedigree dog. There can be advantages and disadvantages to choosing a pedigree, but one thing’s for sure. It’s important to research the breed before you buy. Not all dogs of a certain breed will fit all of its characteristics, but there are certain things that are always going to be more likely. That includes not just the breed’s physical characteristics and personality, but also things like their lifespan and common health problems. Many breeds have health issues that you can expect to deal with at some point.
If you’ve identified the right breed for you, the next step is to research breeders. This is arguably the most important step. There are plenty of unethical breeders out there, including puppy mills. You want to make sure that if you’re looking at German Shepherd puppies, the breeders are experts in the breed who really care about their welfare. You can assess this by looking at things like how often they have litters for sale, whether they ensure all the puppies are vaccinated, and the conditions of their home.
Check the Paperwork
You’ll want your breeder to give you some important paperwork for your puppy before you go home. This can include things like a vaccination record, microchipping documentation, and insurance information. There might also be a contract for you to sign, and you’ll want to have a copy of it. A health history and certificate for both of the puppy’s parents is also a smart idea. It should give you the information you need to know about their health and check that there hasn’t been any irresponsible breeding.
Start on the Right Foot
Starting as you mean to go on will help you ensure you’re a responsible puppy owner. When you bring your puppy home, there are multiple steps you might need to take to prepare. Registering with a vet, making an appointment for a checkup and vaccinations, and insuring your new puppy are just some of the things that you might do. Find out what food you should be giving your puppy and what essential items you’re going to need to create a safe and comfortable space.
If you decide that buying a puppy is right for you, take your time. It’s important not to rush if you want to get it right.