Deciding to bring a new dog into your life is super exciting.
You've probably already spent hours scrolling through online posts, Instagram, or YouTube and getting all goo-goo over the cuteness of little puppies.
But this is one of the biggest mistakes new dog owners make.
They get so carried away in the excitement that they don't make a fully informed decision.
When looking to find a new puppy, you need to think with your head and heart combined!
Getting swept up in their cuteness is fine, but are they the right dog for you?
Here's a guide to choosing a new puppy that's right for you.
Where to buy a new puppy or dog?
One of the first things you'll need to decide is where to buy a new puppy or dog.
Firstly, are you open to rescuing a dog from a shelter?
Many beautiful dogs (and puppies) are surrendered to shelters each year, so if you're not fussed about a breed, visiting a shelter could be a great first step.
Shelters can give you an insight into the dog's nature and help you decide if the dog will fit in with your lifestyle.
You can find out more about adopting a dog from a shelter here.
If you've already decided on a breed (from experience or research), it's best to take your time and find a reputable breeder.
Let's explore the world of dog breeders!
A quick warning about spotting a dodgy pet breeder or scammers
Dodgy pet breeders and scammers are rife on the internet. They prey on the emotions of people excitedly trying to buy their dream puppy.
And unfortunately, many of them have become 'experts' at scamming people! Their ads are set up meticulously, often replicating genuine breeders, except using their phone number or email address.
One of the best ways to spot a scammer is if they ask you for up-front payment via a money transfer before they transport the pet to you. Next, they'll return and ask for more money as transport costs are higher.
Once they have your money – they disappear.
You can read more information about staying safe from pet scammers here.
The top questions to ask a dog breeder to judge they're authentic
The last thing you want is to get scammed when your heart's set on buying a new puppy or dog.
Here are the top questions I recommend you ask your chosen dog breeder:
Can you visit their premises, meet the parents and pick up your puppy? While you're there, look at how the animals are cared for too – are they happy and healthy with clean living spaces?
Are the puppies given lots of human attention or caged up with little interaction? Puppy-farmed breeds often have various psychological and health issues you want to avoid.
Can you see the parent's pedigree papers (if you're buying a legit purebred) and check these with the relevant authorities in your State?
Will your puppy come with a microchip certificate, a record of worming, flea and tick treatments, and a vaccination record?
Can you talk to others who have previously bought a puppy from them?
Are there any known genetic diseases from the parents of your puppy?
What diet are they used to (so you know if/how you can gradually adjust their diet to suit you)?
Can you take your current dog to meet the puppy to see if they tolerate each other? You don't want your dog to be aggressive or overly jealous of a new puppy.
Reputable breeders will happily answer your questions and have no hesitation in meeting you and introducing you to their puppies and parent dogs.
And trust your gut instinct. If an online ad doesn't feel right, it may not be.
Need help caring for your new puppy?
New puppies need a lot of attention and training. And so do older dogs as they adjust to their new life with you.
If you need someone to pop over during the day for playtime, feeding or dog walking, I'm here to help you.
Here's a list of all my services.
You can book a pet minding service online, including dog walking and pet sitting, using my online booking form.
Getting a new puppy or dog is a really exciting time, and if you're in this boat, I wish you all the best. Feel free to drop a photo of your new addition in the comments below.
Until next time, pat your fur babies for me!