Buying or Adopting A Dog? Questions You Should Ask!

There are more dogs in dog rescue centers than there are people and families who are willing to adopt them. Many people who want a dog and have the time, space and energy to devote to caring for one choose to buy a dog rather than adopt one from a dog rescue charity like the RSPCA.
Many people prefer to buy a dog rather than adopt, because they feel that if they can meet the parents of their new puppy they will be able to tell that it will have a good temperament. It is true that temperament is usually inherited, and a calm, friendly mother is likely to have calm, friendly pups. But how the puppies are treated and how well they are socialized in those early weeks also has a massive impact in how they will behave later in life.

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In short, you can never be 100% certain of how a dog will behave, but if you care for it well and choose the right dog for you then you have a very good chance of having a happy dog and a happy family.
If you are going to adopt or if you are going to buy a dog then there are some questions you should ask of the buyer or staff at the shelter before you commit to your adoption or purchase.

1. Is my dog healthy?

Adoption: Dogs adopted from a rescue center are usually neutered or spayed and will have been vaccinated and treated for parasites before they are adopted. They may also be fitted with a microchip. An adopted dog’s family history of disease may not be known, but you will know whether your dog is in good health when you take him home.
Buying: Purebred dogs often suffer hereditary conditions. Ask the breeder whether there is any family history of illness or disease.

2. Is my dog good with children?

Adoption: All dogs received into dog rescue centers are assessed by expert staff who check for temperament and known skills. They will know whether it is house trained or not, and whether it has been trained not to bark; whether it is nervous or secure.
Buying: A good breeder will know whether the parents were good with children, and will know whether the puppies are from good, early socialization sessions. A bad breeder will tell you whatever you want to hear.

3. What care does my dog need?

Adoption: Your dog might need extra care, attention and training because of its difficult background. It will certainly need a lot of security and love. You can discuss which breed would suit you best in terms of the time you have available for grooming and exercise etc.
Buying: The breeder will be able to tell you how much grooming, exercise and feeding your dog will need. But by then you will have met and fallen in love with the puppy, so this information is something you should really read up on before making up your mind about the breed and visiting the breeder.
Do your research, ask plenty of questions and then decide whether the dog you have chosen is the right one for you.

Buying or Adopting A Dog? Questions You Should Ask!: There are more dogs in dog rescue…
— Heather (@mommyonlyhs2hds) August 15, 2013

Author: Guest Contributor and fellow mother Kira Browdy.

About Heather Jones

I'm a coffee addict wife, "work at home mom", mother to two boys, blogging about the latest life hacks, recipes, DIY Projects and crazy "momisodes". I've recently moved domains, I used to blog at, but our new home is right here on

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Heather Jones

I'm a coffee addict wife, "work at home mom", mother to two boys, blogging about the latest life hacks, recipes, DIY Projects and crazy "momisodes". I've recently moved domains, I used to blog at, but our new home is right here on

7 thoughts on “Buying or Adopting A Dog? Questions You Should Ask!

  1. Great tips! I’d also like to add that a ‘good’ breeder will always be willing to take the dog back if there is any problem down the line; most shelters and almost any rescue will do the same. 🙂

  2. I want a puppy in the worst way. I had my dog growing up (she lived to be 17) and my grandparents had their dogs forever too, and I was always over there. Hubby’s a mailman though, who gets lots of encounters w/dogs that are not so pleasant, and he says nuh uh. phooey That’s a cutie you have featured. Thanks for linking up to Super Sunday Sync and sharing this list.

  3. I can totally see as a mailman how you’d not want one. I do remember how my dog as a kid was my best friend though. I however would have to make some sort of kennel, as dog poop in the yard is totally not good for the grass. A dog I think would be great for the boys though.

  4. These are great tips, although I work with a rescue so I am pretty much against people purchasing dogs since there are countless in the shelter look for loving homes and a second chance.

  5. there are definitely some great tips here!! My dog is a rescue…we have had her for about 7 years and she is definitely part of our family

What do you think?