Volunteers at a rescue shelter take time to play with the puppies to ensure they get enough exercise and attention. Read how to choose the right puppy for your lifestyle.
Picking a dog is a huge decision. Since you’ll be spending the next decade or more together, you need as close to a perfect fit as you can get. So much has been written about the energy and temperament aspects of this decision, but the question I’m most often asked is, “What is the healthiest breed?” And my answer to that question is always the same: It isn’t a breed but simply a 30-pound brown mutt.

Do Your Research

When you’re thinking about bringing a new puppy into your home, it’s essential to do your research and learn about the different dogs available. Each breed has its unique characteristics, and some may be a better fit for your lifestyle than others. For example, certain dogs require more exercise than others, and some breeds are more prone to specific health conditions. It’s also important to consider the level of care you can provide. Some pups need daily grooming, while others only need to be brushed once or twice a week. By learning about the different dog breeds, you can find the perfect match for you and your family.

Expensive Designer Breeds

Attempts to bridge the gap between purebred looks, predictability, and mutt health—and come up with something completely new—have resulted in “designer breeds.” These are the Puggles, Labradoodles, Maltipoos, and the like. They’ve intentionally created mixes that, while not purebred, can still maintain some of the expected traits we look for and have some of the advantages of hybrid vigor. These dogs, as a rule, do seem to me to be healthier than some of the pure breeds, but they can be expensive, especially when compared with a mixed breed from a rescue or a shelter.

Mixed Breeds

Because of what’s known as “hybrid vigor,” the midsize mixed pup is, on average, the healthiest dog. Hybrid vigor derives from the idea that the more breeds in a dog’s genetic mix, the less likely it is that the genetic problems of purebreds will manifest themselves. Of course, there are healthy purebreds and very unhealthy mixes, but if you want to go with the odds, pick the mix every time.

Characteristics of a Healthy Puppy

When the time comes to add a new furry family member, many people turn to puppies. However, before you run out and buy the first one you see, there are a few things to keep in mind. Here are some aspects to look for when buying a puppy.

Places to Purchase a Healthy Puppy

Purchasing a puppy is a big decision, and there are several factors to consider before bringing a new furry friend into your home. One of the most critical decisions is choosing where to purchase your puppy. There are three main options: breeders, shelters, and online retailers. Each option has its advantages and disadvantages, so it’s essential to visit multiple places before deciding.


Adopting a rescue puppy is one of the best things you’ll ever do. Your local animal shelter or rescue organization can help match your family with the perfect pet in no time! You have options for every type and breed, too – there are even designer dogs like Labradoodles. However, shelter pups may come with behavioral issues from their previous homes, so be prepared to do some extra training.

Responsible Breeder

Breeders are an excellent option if you have your heart set on a specific breed of dog, and they can help you find a puppy that matches your lifestyle and personality. However, breeders can be expensive, and it’s essential to visit several different ones to find one that is reputable and produces healthy puppies.
Puppies from a reputable breeder enjoy some playtime on a nice spring day. Avoid puppy mills and retail stores, and choose to adopt or purchase from a trusted breeder.

Places NOT to Purchase a Puppy

Pets can provide companionship, love, and security in our lives. However, before you head out to your local pet store or breeder to pick up your new best friend, it’s vital to do your research and find a trustworthy source for your pet. Contrary to popular belief, not all pet stores and breeders are created equal – some are responsible and humane while others prioritize profits over the welfare of their animals. So, where should you NOT purchase a puppy? Keep reading for a few places you should avoid!
You might think buying an animal from these places will help and that you are “rescuing a puppy,” but all the money goes back into their owner’s pocket- they won’t stop breeding! If you see someone keeping dogs in conditions akin to cages or kennels with little space for movement (or even just outdoors), alerting local authorities is better than purchasing one outright.

Pet Store

When someone purchases a pup from the pet store, the establishment receives revenue (which, in turn, goes right to a puppy mill). This patronage encourages them to continue selling puppies because every time someone buys one, it ensures there’ll be demand for yet MORE.

Online Retailers

The internet is a vast, expansive place with many hidden dangers. People looking to buy pets online should be aware that there’s no way to know what kind or where their purchase will come from – and some websites can even scam you out of money!

Ask Questions

Before you decide to purchase a puppy, it’s essential to ensure that it’s the right fit for you and your family. Dogs are a big commitment, and you need to be prepared to care for them for the next 10-15 years. That means providing them with food, shelter, exercise, and love. It’s also important to ask questions about the dog’s health background. By asking these questions, you can ensure that you’re prepared to provide the best possible care for your new puppy.

Questions To Ask the Breeder or Shelter

  • What is the Dog’s Health Status?

    You should know what veterinary care your new pup has received from the shelter or rescue. For example, are their vaccinations up-to-date, and have they been spayed (or neutered)? Ask for copies of records; think long-term, too–ask about known health conditions that may affect cost and compatibility, then consider whether it is worth adopting.

  • Where Did the Dog Come From?

    There are many reasons why dogs end up in shelters and rescues. For instance, some may have been picked up as strays while others can be found through surrendering or buying from shady breeders! The more knowledge you have on the pup’s background will help give insight into whether or not the dog will work for you and your family.

  • What Breed or Mix of Breeds is the Dog?

    Many rescues specialize in purebred dogs if you’re looking for a specific breed. However, mixed breeds can be wonderful companions too! Either way, knowing the type of dog will help predict their personality and meet needs better- so take this into account when picking out your new best friend.

Commonly Asked Questions About Picking a Healthy Puppy

A responsible breeder will have the puppies vaccinated before you are scheduled to bring them home.
Yes, please keep all paperwork given to you the day you buy your puppy. This is confirmation that you own your furry friend.
It can be hard to know what breeder you can trust. Going by word of mouth is usually recommended. They might ask for an initial deposit before they’ll even let you on their list, but this isn’t always the case. Before giving over your money, make sure that the details of any agreement are precise and check whether or not these pups have been born yet.
  • They will only communicate by email, and are likely outside of the US and are trying to hide their phone number. A reputable breeder will talk on the phone or even video chat.
  • The photos used in their ad are stock photos. You can search the text listed to see if the image has been used somewhere else.
  • If the price sounds too good to be true, they are likely looking to scam you. Do your research and find the average price you should expect to pay, especially for purebreds.
  • If the seller asks you to pay in a strange way, such as through wire transfers or gift cards. Credit cards and Paypal are the safest options. We do not suggest paying with Venmo, as getting your money back if necessary can be more complicated.

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