Options for Finding Your New Puppy

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There are many places to look for your new puppy, including shelters, rescue organizations, breeders and your local newspaper.

From a shelter or rescue organization

If you are not set on one particular breed, or if a crossbreed is what you are looking for, then local shelters and rescue organizations are good places to begin your search. Millions of dogs and cats are waiting for adoption at Hill's partner shelters across the U.S. These homeless animals are being fed high quality Hill's™ pet food to help keep them in good health while they wait. The cost of adopting a pet from a shelter is minimal. People who have adopted shelter pets will tell you they are wonderful animals that show a special love for their owners.

Check the Hill's Facebook page to find out about adoption events in your area. Our Facebook page also features a shelter directory tool to help you find a Hill's partner shelter close to home. If you're interested in contacting a rescue organization, ask your veterinarian for a referral. Since reputable rescues will want to make sure their dogs are going to good homes, be prepared for a home inspection request.

From a breeder

Try to get as many referrals as possible before contacting any specific breeder. Many breeders also have websites where you can read about the breeder's philosophy, view the breeding environment, see pictures of the puppies that are ready for adoption, etc.

You can find a reputable breeder by getting recommendations from your vet or people who have the breed you are looking to get. Once you locate a breeder, it is important that you visit the breeder's home to ask questions, view the environment and observe the puppy with his mother and litter mates.

What to do at the breeder's

  • See the mother (the dam) with the whole litter.
  • Meet the father (the sire) if on site.
  • See the results of screening tests recommended for your breed.
  • Find out what the puppies in the litter are being fed.
  • Find out if and when they were vaccinated and specific information about the vaccine(s) used.
  • Find out when they were last dewormed and if they've been examined by a vet.

What to look for at the breeder's

Pay attention to the temperament of the mother of the litter, and avoid choosing a nervous puppy; this could indicate poor early socialization. And don't be tempted by the smallest, weakest puppy just because you feel sorry for it.

You should be aware of how and where the litter is being reared, as it can be a good indicator of how the puppies will turn out later. For instance, if you're taken to a shed away from the house, be very wary as the puppies might not have had any human contact. The first 16 weeks of a puppy's life are critical in his behavioral and social development. A puppy deprived of the sights, sounds and smells of everyday life could lead to problems in the future.

After choosing your perfect puppy, make sure you choose the right puppy food to meet your puppy's essential needs.

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