Where is the best place to get a puppy?


Well, it depends on what kind of puppy you are looking for and if you prefer rescues or breeders.
Many places have puppies. From pet stores, to shelters to breeders and markets. Finding a puppy isn't the hard part. Finding a good puppy is the hard part. Hopefully my tips make finding one a little easier.

Tip #1

Get involved.
Breeders like talking about their dogs, if you are interested in a purebred, check out local dog events and chat up some people. Shelters also participate in events and tend to have volunteer opportunities. These personal connections allow for dog networking while checking for red flags and good fits early on.

Tip #2

Research the establishment.
Regardless of where you are getting your dog from, don't let impulse take control. A lot of shady organizations use cute pictures to lure you in and then force a sale on you, oftentimes these places have questionable health standards which impact the dogs.
Start with a Google search, or Bing search, whatever works for you I'm not brand loyal. Look for reviews and try to find other people who got pets from that establishment and their thoughts. Trust your gut.

Tip #3

Visit, call, interact somehow.
If adopting from a shelter, a dog can be either at a shelter or in foster care. In some cases, they operate on a first come first served basis, in other cases they take applications. No matter where the animal is, try to meet them where they currently live. This will tell you a lot about the facility. Look for things like cleanliness, food, water, toys, comfort, and anything that looks suspicious.
In the case of breeders, your future furry friend might not even be born yet. You should still look for red flags, but instead of visually, ask the breeder questions. If their answers or pictures they send raise any eyebrows, leave.

Tip #4

Schedule a meet and greet to test the waters.
When my brother chose his dog, she was a mess. I mean that literally. She was covered in her own excrement and cowering under a cot. The cleanliness had nothing to do with the shelter and everything to do with the dog, even years later she occasionally pees in the house.
Once my brother expressed interest, the shelter had a yard and they took her to so she could interact with us before signing any adoption paperwork, which I liked. I was surprised that she didn't cower in the corner the entire time and while skittish did sniff all of us. If we had brought our other dog, they would have let us have the two of them meet, which I would recommend.
My brother was satisfied with the way she acted, satisfied was an understatement, he was in love with her, so my parents signed the paperwork.
Kazoo's meet and greet was a different situation. Since she was from out of state, I never met her in person before pickup day. I did, however, ask about her and received pictures and videos of her before I agreed to add her to my family.

Tip #5

Read the fine print.
Adopting an animal comes with paperwork. Make sure you read it to fully understand the situation. I have seen some rescue paperwork that basically says you don't even own the dog and that they have a right to visit your house at any time and take them back. Crazy stuff.
In some situations, these documents are public before you fall in love with an animal, or there are disclaimers on the adoption pages. It does not hurt to ask about paperwork beforehand.
Breeders tend to have contracts for their animals, which vary from humane society paperwork. This is due to the fact that they are more attached to the animals than a shelter, which is all the more reason to read the fine print to see what you are actually agreeing to.

Bonus Tip

Look out for scams.
Unfortunately, puppies are ripe with scams and new scams are invented every day. Beforehand research and not putting down payment immediately do help to alleviate these risks. Additional considerations include asking for a price before you meet the dog, that way they don't take advantage of you and jack the prices and doing a reverse image search. If 'your puppy' pops up on other websites there is a huge chance that the 'breeder' or 'rescue' stole the image and therefore does not have the puppy.