Adopting a Puppy From a Shelter

In Cooperation with Pedigree
Puppy from animal shelter

Many cute shelter puppies are waiting for a forever home.

Adopting a Puppy From a Shelter

So you have decided you would love to welcome a new puppy into your home – but does it have to be a pedigree pup? If not, then a puppy from a shelter can be a great alternative.

Can you find puppies at the shelter?

Millions of dogs worldwide don’t have a home. Whilst the majority of them live as street dogs, some are available from shelters. In the United Kingdom around 40.000 dogs are given up at shelters, most of which are mixed breed dogs.

Sadly, some of the dogs are pregnant when they are given to the shelter. They often come from emergency situations such as overburdened dog owners who struggle to manage this.

Some puppies come from abroad such as Spain or Romania where street dogs are more frequent. Usually, puppies are kept in foster homes. Hence, it’s not uncommon to find a younger dog in a shelter.


6 reasons to adopt a puppy from a shelter

If you would like to welcome a puppy into your home, consulting a shelter can be the ideal starting point. Here’s why:

Young mixed breed dogs from a reliable source

Mixed-breed dogs tend to be healthier and live longer, hence many dog lovers choose them as companions.

If you would like one, then shelters are perfect. You can make sure to not support dodgy backyard breeders. Animal shelters have all sorts of lovable dogs – even hybrid breeds such as Labradoodles and Goldendoodles.

Good guidance

Animal shelters and charities have had years and years of experience with human-animal partnerships. They know their animals, even if they are babies or juniors. Hence, good shelters are well-equipped to match the best dog with you.

Puppies from the shelter: well-socialised

Socialisation – especially of puppies is an important part of shelter life. Whether it’s with humans or other dogs. As many puppies live in foster homes, they are often already experienced with family life. A good foster home should offer their puppy the same experiences as a professional breeder.

Health checks are included

Each shelter dog is thoroughly vaccinated and de-wormed. Shelters tend to rehome healthy dogs, however, if the dog does have health problem you will receive full disclosure and guidance on how to manage this.

Helping animals in need

If you adopt a puppy from a shelter, you are not only changing its life. Your decision will also help animal rescue work and open up space for another puppy in need. Additionally, your adoption fee will be used towards helping other animals.

Valuing animal rescue

Animal shelters are doing an amazing job. If you rescue a puppy from a shelter, you are supporting their crucial work.

Coming together to help animals

Pedigree and Whiskas are supporting animal rescues worldwide. In 2021 both companies donated 3 million meals to over 100 animal shelters. This donation will be made available between July 2021 and July 2022.

cute rescue puppy © Mary Abramkina /
By adopting a rescue puppy, you are offering it a chance at a good life.

Puppy from shelters vs. private breeder

If you adopt from a private breeder, you run the risk that the puppy hasn’t received a proper health check. The risk of these people wanting to capitalise on these poor dogs is also high.

We advice you to not support these people by buying their puppies. Even if they look sick or are kept in bad conditions. Often buying a dog from them means, a new one will quickly replace it. If you have welfare concerns, report this to the RSPCA at 0300 1234 999.

Finding a suitable puppy

Puppies from the animal shelter are as diverse as the dog world itself. Even if there are currently no puppies or young dogs in your local animal shelter,the shelter may know foster homes with young puppies. Or have contact to other organisations in the area that currently have puppies. If you cannot find a puppy locally, you can search the internet. But be especially careful here: many criminal puppy traders are very versed in appearing as animal rights activists. The internet makes this easier. We would advice to check known and official organisations. If you don’t mind driving further, you should have no problem finding a shelter puppy.

Adopting a puppy from a shelter: the adoption process

If you found your dream puppy, the shelter makes sure you are well informed and prepared to adopt before entrusting you with one of their animals. Ultimately, the aim is to prevent the dogs from ending up (again) in the shelter after a few months. Therefore, after an initial conversation, a preliminary check will usually take place at your home. A member of the respective animal welfare association checks whether your living conditions are suitable for keeping dogs. Have your landlord’s written permission to keep a dog ready in a rented apartment. After a positive preliminary check, the adoption can commence.

Adoption requirements

Many shelters will have their own requirements. The following rules are common:

  • Before you can adopt, you need to be at least 21 years old.
  • If you are older than 60, you need to provide a rescue back-up such as a friend or family member younger than 60. You have to sign an adoption contract and pay an adoption donation. In this it is usually stated that you undertake to have the dog neutered in adulthood. If the dog is not neutered, a contractual penalty may be due later. The contract also regulates the keeping conditions and prohibits the passing on of the animal to third parties.
  • Your four-legged friend can move in with you at the earliest from the age of eight weeks. Puppies from the shelter are sometimes a bit more expensive than older animals that have been waiting for a new home for a long time.
  • Nevertheless, the animal welfare associations can only cover part of the costs incurred with the nominal fee. Many animal welfare organizations are also happy to provide follow-up care for you and your dog and give you tips on how to improve cooperation if you have any problems.

Are you ready for your new puppy?

By adopting a puppy from the shelter, you are changing the world for it. If the puppy or young dog comes from animal rescues abroad, you may have even saved its life. However, the decision to adopt should never be made spontaneously or out of pity. Because whoever adopts a puppy or young dog from the animal shelter enters into a longterm companionship – for the entirety of your dog’s life. This carries a lot of responsibility. Therefore, consider the following points before adopting a puppy from animal shelter or charity:

A dog for life

Even if the average life expectancy of dogs varies: Anyone who opts for a puppy from animal welfare is making a long-term commitment. Think about whether the dog will still fit your life plan in a few years. Of course, we can’t foresee everything. But anyone who assumes, for example, that in two years they will start a full-time job in an occupation that does not allow dogs in the workplace, should work out a plan B.

Dogs occupy a lot of time

Playing, training, grooming and long walks: a dog will take a lot of your time – every day. They will want to go outside even in bad weather. Playful puppies and adolescent dogs in particular need a lot of training. Do you have enough time for a dog?

Walks are a must – no matter the weather condition

Exercise for adult dogs includes walks in difficult weather conditions too. Do you only like to be outside when the sun is shining? Then an older dog with little urge to move might be an alternative. For some – a few – four-legged friends, short walks are enough if they otherwise get enough attention. Smaller dogs usually require less long walks, but this also depends on the breed and the dog’s personality.


Owning a dog can be expensive

Not only do buying a dog and basic equipment cost money, but maintenance too. This includes dog food, treats and toys as well. Attending a dog school is advisable for puppies. Veterinary bills must also be paid – at least for the annual vaccination. If you have a dog, you should also have money for unforeseen veterinary costs.

A new dog as a family member

A puppy should live in harmony with everyone in the household – including other pets. Make sure you set aside plenty of time for training and socialisation so it can get used to toddlers and other pets as well.

Making your home dog-safe

Before moving your puppy into its new home, make sure it’s dog-safe. If your pooch isn’t house trained yet, remove any rugs and put down training pads. Think carefully about whether your dog can sit on the sofa or go to bed – and be consistent as soon as it has moved in. Find out all about plants that are poisonous for dogs.

A new dog will change work and leisure

Your shelter shouldn’t be left alone for long, especially in the first few weeks. A large part of your free time will be focusing on your dog. No matter if this means everyday life or holiday planning. 

A tip: Find a dog sitter early on who will look after your four-legged friend on an hourly or daily basis. The puppy will get used to them and you will know that it is in good hands when you are on holiday. Make sure to get to know your dog sitter before employing them.

So you decided to adopt a puppy from a shelter

Contact a recognized animal welfare organisation. Your local animal shelter is the best point of contact if you are looking for a cute mixed-breed. Sometimes you can also find a specific breed. If you wish for a breed dog, then searching for shelters further away is recommended. Do make sure these shelters are reputable, known organisations to avoid any bad breeders or criminals pretending to be animal rescuers. Once you pick your puppy, offer them the best possible start in your home by making it dog-safe and providing training opportunities for socialisation.

You’ll find the suggested products in the video under the following links:

Royal Canin Medium Puppy (Dry Food), Concept for Life X-Large Puppy (Dry Food), Purizon Puppy Large Breed Dog (Dry Food), Little Wolf of Wilderness (Wet Food), Savic Dog Barrier, Kong Puppy Goodie Bone, Kong Knots Carnival Elephant

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