There are no shortage of puppies for sale – from Yorkshire terriers to Labradors to cockapoos, there’s a pooch just for you – but how to choose your pet?

Do you want a big dog, small dog, full-breed, mixed breed? Do you want to buy a puppy or adopt a rescue dog? Once you’ve answered all the relevant questions here are some tips for the next step of your doggie search:

Looking for a full breed pup

If you’re looking for a full breed puppy, you should contact the Irish Kennel Club for a list of responsible, registered breeders on www.ikc.ie. You can also get information on the different breeds from them; such as life expectancy, health concerns, temperament, how to care for them – this is all very important when choosing the right pet for your family and lifestyle.
When you get to the breeder, there is a large list of questions you should get answers to. The Dogs Trust has a great facts sheet on questions to ask. You can download it from here http://www.dogstrust.ie/az/b/buyingadog/#.VGX8or1FCUk

How to avoid a puppy farm pup

The last thing you want to do is unwittingly support the puppy farm trade. The Dublin Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (DSPCA) gives some good tips on how to avoid a puppy farm here: http://www.dspca.ie/avoidpuppyfarms.

Some of these tips include:

  • Be wary of classified ads online and in newspapers for puppies for sale, especially from breeders with multiple breeds for sale.
  • Try to avoid buying from pet shops as you’ve no idea of the history of the puppy.
  • Never buy a dog without seeing the premises where the mother and pup are kept.

Is adopting a pet an option?

If you’re not fussy about it being a tiny puppy or a full breed dog then you’re onto a winner. There are thousands of rescue dogs in shelters across the country just waiting to be re-homed. The following websites are a good start, but just google your local shelters and animal welfare groups as well:

http://www.ispca.ie/
http://www.dogstrust.ie/default.aspx#.VGX-vr1FCUk

What about borrowing a dog?

If you’d love to take care of a dog from time to time, but can’t commit to one full-time, then borrowing a dog could be the thing for you. BorrowMyDoggy (https://www.borrowmydoggy.com/) is a fabulous initiative that matches dog owners with borrowers for walks, pet-sitting and holiday care.

So whether you decide to buy, borrow, or adopt, enjoy your new canine friend!