A man sits happily with his older Golden Retriever. Image demonstrates how ethical dog shopping turns out positively.

A Guide to Ethical Puppy and Dog Shopping in 2023

The new year brings new changes, and for many people that means adopting a new furry friend. While dog shopping, it’s important to adopt both ethically and wisely. Here is a quick guide to help you with ethical puppy and dog shopping in 2023.

Research Before You Dog Shop

Any breeder or rescue that you are considering should be subjected to a google search. Before you dog shop, research the facility and see what other dog owners and shoppers have to say. You can also visit local Facebook pages and ask if anyone in the area has insight or warnings. 

There are some things to look out for when narrowing down your search. How the dogs are treated and what conditions they live in are important indicators of the facility’s quality. Factors to check are:

  • The dogs live in clean, open spaces. Dogs packed in small, unsanitary spaces are more likely to get sick. Dog shelters or breeders that care about their dog’s living situation are more likely to care about other quality-of-life issues. 
  • Look out for how many puppy litters the mom has had. Puppy mills don’t give the mom dogs a break between litters. This is bad for both her and her puppies.
  • How much of the dog’s history can they provide? Many shelters can’t give a full medical history but will try to provide as much as possible. Good breeders will also provide accounts of each vet visit the puppies have had. 

Questions to Ask Dog Shops

When choosing the location to pick out your puppy, have a list of questions when you first contact them. This will help confirm whether or not this is a reputable place to pick up your dog. Some good questions for dog shops are as followed:

To ask breeders:

  • Can I meet the parent dogs and see where the puppy grew up?
  • Do I need to sign a contract about returning the dog if I can’t care for them?
  • Does the dog have vet records and breeding papers?
  • Can you show me the parent’s medical history?

Questions to ask Shelters:

  • Can I visit with the dogs one on one?
  • Do you require references and a background check before I adopt?
  • Do you have vaccination records for dogs?
  • What kind of post-adoption support do you offer?

Start Your New Pup off Right with Get Joy

Whenever you bring a new pup into your home by fostering or adopting, get them a fresh meal plan from Get Joy. Get Joy provides natural, nutritious foods with no harmful additives. Give them something to chew on to save your shoes and your furniture during the dreaded teething phase. For all of your new puppy parent questions get 24/7 access to free televet services with Get Joy Health.   


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