Knowledge is power – especially when it comes to choosing a furry family member. Asking the right questions before you adopt a puppy can help you make sure they are the right one for you.

Cute puppies

It’s all too easy to fall head over heels for a pair of puppy-dog eyes and a wagging tail, but it’s important to find out as much as you can about your potential four-legged friend before taking them home. Always talk to the team at the shelter who will be able to answer any questions or concerns you have, and don’t sign on the dotted line until you have asked these crucial questions.

What is known about my puppy’s background?

Knowing about your dog’s past can give you a better understanding of their personality and unique needs. It’s important for you to know about their general history for example where they used to live and the reasons why they were surrendered to the shelter. Though it may not always be possible, try to find out as much as you can about your puppy’s parentage as this can give you a valuable insight into their health and temperament. While every dog is unique, knowing what breed or mixture of breeds they are can often indicate what their disposition will be like, and you can try to match their lifestyle with yours. Remember that some breeds require more upkeep, for example exercise and grooming time, than others so make sure you are prepared to take this on.

Does my puppy like other pets and humans?

If you are adopting a puppy, any reputable rescue organisation will have done a temperament test to see how they feel about people and other animals. Remember that a puppy that’s not well socialised can still grow into a wonderful pet, but it will take more time and effort on your part to help them develop good manners. Don’t take them home unless you’re willing and able to make that commitment. Of course Petbarn is always there to support you with our Puppy School behaviour training program which will teach you and your puppy how to communicate effectively with each other. If you already have a dog or other pet, it’s wise to take them to meet the puppy before finalising the adoption.

Are their health checks up to date?

Most registered shelters and rescue groups, including Petbarn’s adoption partners, ensure puppies have had a full veterinary health check including vaccinations, flea and worm treatments, and are microchipped before they’re made available for adoption. Some also desex animals before they go to their forever homes, which is all covered as part of the adoption fee. If your puppy’s shelter hasn’t done all of these things, we highly recommend that you take them to your local Greencross Vets for a checkup as soon as possible.

What is my puppy currently eating and how often?

It’s fine to change your puppy’s diet as long as you do it gradually because sudden dietary changes can cause serious stomach upsets. Find out what your new pet is already eating and mix increasing amounts of the new food in with it over the course of two weeks until they have made the switch entirely. All puppies at Petbarn adoption centres have been fed super premium food as this is a vet approved diet that has been formulated to provide complete and balanced nutrition for dogs.

Once you have found out as much as you can about your new puppy’s unique personality and circumstances, you can be sure that they’re the perfect furry friend for you! By asking these questions before the adoption, you can set the right expectations and start your journey together on the right paw. If you are ever in need of a helping hand, bring your puppy into your local Petbarn store where our trained team members can offer you advice on how to provide them with the care they need.