Where to adopt a puppy or dog

picture of four yorkshire terrier puppies in the arms of their owner

You’ve done your homework. You’ve picked the dog breed that matches your lifestyle, or you’ve decided that pedigrees and papers don’t matter and a mixed breed puppy is for you. Now you’re ready to go out and adopt the puppy or dog of your dreams. If you want to make sure your new pooch has the best chance for a long, healthy life with your family, you’ll need to do a little research. There are lots of places that offer pets for adoption, but only some of them are trustworthy.

The best places

Your choices will depend mainly on whether you’re looking to adopt a puppy that’s purebred or are interested in a mixed breed dog.

For purebred puppies and dogs:

A reputable, responsible breeder or a trustworthy purebred rescue should be at the top of your list if you want a purebred dog. In the following articles you’ll learn where to find quality dog breeders, how to choose a breeder that can meet your needs, and whether a purebred rescue group could be your ticket to finding the perfect dog.

For a mixed breed puppy or dog:

Animal shelters and private parties can be great places to adopt a puppy or dog. While mixed breed dogs are the norm, you may happen upon a good purebred dog as well. Not all dogs that are in the shelter or that people want to give up are problem animals. Some of them may be lost or their owners are no longer able to care for them. Some people may want to give up a puppy that they just weren’t ready for. Either way, with a little perseverence you can find that diamond in the rough.

Places you should avoid

While a lot of good people are looking to find homes for puppies and pet dogs, there are some less-scrupulous people out there that see puppies as a way to make quick money. The following should be on your list of places to avoid when adopting a puppy or dog.

Backyard Breeders: These are people that generally care little about the dogs they’re breeding. They may not have the proper registration papers and don’t take the necessary precautions to ensure that the dogs being bred are screened for health problems. Their main purpose is to make money. Backyard breeders also include people who have little or no experience with a particular breed or no knowledge of dog breeding in general.

Puppy Mills and Pet Shops: Puppy mills are places that, as the name suggests, turn out as many puppies as possible. Most of the time, the cute puppies you see in pet shops are from puppy mills. There’s no health screening and no regard for the well-being of the dogs. Puppy mill owners are looking to make a profit.

If you’ve researched the particular breed or dog you’re interested in and you steer clear of the bad guys in the puppy business, you’re sure to adopt a puppy or dog that’s perfect for you.

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