What You Should Pay Attention to When Shopping for a Dog

Shopping for a dog is an exciting process! In order to make sure you have a good experience, don’t forget to pay attention to these important factors.

Adopt v. Shop

After you’ve made the decision to add a new dog to your home and family, it’s time to decide where to find your new pet. There are generally two routes you could follow when shopping for a new dog: 1) adopting, or 2) shopping through a breeder. Each route has its pros and cons.

Buying a puppy from a breeder will give you the chance to see your puppy’s parents and get an idea of what it will look like as an adult. Your breeder will give you detailed information about your dog’s breeding and lineage, so you can avoid any surprises. Many breeders even offer genetic testing to confirm your puppy will be free of inherited diseases. Additionally, if you buy a puppy through a breeder, it will likely be comfortable with household noises, know some basic training commands, and have a better chance of a good temperament. However, buying a puppy from a breeder also means that you will be responsible for its training, and it will likely be much more expensive than getting a dog from a shelter.

While buying a puppy from a breeder can be a good option, many people believe that adopting a dog is the best way to go. Many people are under the false impression that all shelter dogs are mutts. But the Humane Society estimates that 25% of their shelter populations are purebred dogs. Also keep in mind that not all shelter dogs are there because something is wrong with them. Adopting a dog from a shelter is less expensive than buying from a breeder, and you will likely fall in love with many of these pets who need a loving home.



While it’s not the most fun factor to consider, it is essential to pay attention to price when shopping for a new dog. There are a number of expenses that come with owning a dog. In addition to the initial purchase cost, you will have to pay for numerous vaccinations and check-ups to keep your dog healthy. Of course, you will also need to buy food and a place for your dog to sleep, as well as paying for grooming, toys, and any unexpected health issues. It’s important to be aware of the financial commitment of buying a dog. Adding a pet to your family without being prepared can lead to disaster.  



If you or someone in your family deals with allergies, you’ll want to pick a hypoallergenic breed. Failing to take this factor into consideration can possibly cause you intense physical discomfort. Unfortunately, there is no such thing as a 100% hypoallergenic dog, but there are still some dog breeds that are better than others for certain allergic owners. Some of the most popular hypoallergenic breeds include the American Hairless Terrier, Schnauzer, Poodle, and Goldendoodle.



If you have children in your household, or interact with children often, it is a good idea to find a child-friendly breed. A child-friendly dog must have a loving, calm temperament. The ideal energy level of your dog will likely depend on your family and preferences.

Cavachon puppies are great with children because of their small size and cheerful nature. Beagles are another breed that works well with children because of their high energy levels and need for regular exercise. Collies are also a great option for kids because they are loyal, sensitive, and friendly by nature.



You should pay attention to the size of your living space when buying a dog. There are certain breeds that might be a good choice for someone living in an apartment and others that need a lot of physical activity and a large outdoor space.

Not all small dogs make the best companions in small spaces. For example, Chihuahuas tend to be excessive barkers, especially in small spaces. Similarly, not all large dogs require a large space. Great Danes, for example, are happy to relax all day even though they are relatively large.



Before you buy a dog, it’s important to be aware of the time commitment it will require. Take a good look at your current lifestyle, and evaluate whether you will be able to give your dog all the care and attention it deserves.

Do you have to often be away from home for long periods of time? Do you have the time and energy to train your dog, take it for regular walks, and keep it groomed and bathed? What types of activities do you hope to do with your dog? Do you want one who can accompany you on your daily run, or one who can sit in your lap and ride with you on the train? Answering questions such as these can help you find a dog that will be compatible with your lifestyle.



If you are currently renting your living space, you should first check with your landlord about their requirements for pets. Some landlords require pet owners to have dog liability insurance, and some only allow specific breeds of dogs on the property. For example, dogs with an aggressive temperament such as Dobermans and rottweilers have often been banned from certain apartment complexes, or have only been allowed with additional liability insurance. Don’t forget to consider all the possible liabilities to your home and family before choosing your next dog.



There are many methods which you can use to effectively train your dog. Before buying a dog, you should take some time to research the various training methods and evaluate which ones might work best for your lifestyle, schedule, and training preferences. You can train your dog yourself, or you can hire a trainer. There are pros and cons to both methods. If you do decide to hire a trainer, you need to find one who has the same philosophy and ethics about dog training as you do. You will need to be actively involved in the training process, regardless of the method which you choose.


If you pay attention to these ideas while shopping for a dog, you will be able to make an intelligent, well-informed choice about the next furry member of your family.

Read this next: Driving with Your Dog— Keeping Your Pup Calm and Your Eyes on the Road

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