Whether a new puppy makes your dreams of the perfect family dog come true or turns into a total nightmare could well depend on how well you’ve prepared for those first critical days, weeks and months.
Once you have decided on the kind of dog and size that is best for your lifestyle (Breed Recommender will help you match your lifestyle with the right breed and size) you need to decide where to get the puppy.
From a shelter or reputable breeder? Take the time to research this thoroughly. The shelter of course presents the most affordable choice.
Where not to get a puppy
The absolute worst place to get a puppy is a pet store. Sadly, virtually all pet store puppies are raised in puppy mills in horrible conditions, and the puppies are sickly with parasites and other serious issues. Not sure where to find a reputable breeder? Get a referral from a local veterinarian. Then check the conditions of the breeding facility yourself.