Are you thinking of adopting a sweet, lovable cat or dog of your own? Check out ​Petfinder, home of over 300,000 pets from over 13,000 adoption groups!​ 

Thinking about picking out a new puppy or dog together as a family? That’s great, because there are a number of options available! Some families use their network of friends. Others buy from breeders or pet stores. And many choose to adopt a dog from a local animal shelter.

Adopting from Animal Shelters

Many people choose to adopt from animal shelters, as they know they can find great pets there. As an additional benefit, they are helping an animal in need. Shelters can help guide you to either a purebred, or a mixed-breed dog, depending on the needs of your family.

In addition to the hands-on help and dog adoption opportunities they offer, shelters benefit the whole community. They provide for homeless animals, placing them in good homes, and generally improve the quality of life for pets in the area.

Many shelters also have satellite adoption centers in stores like Petsmart and Petco.

Buying from a Breeder

Sometimes people want a specific breed for their home, and need to find a good breeder. Good breeders are committed to improving the breed. They are careful about the process and generally have healthy, well-cared-for dogs. To find a good breeder, ask your veterinarian, or ask other dog owners for referrals. Some breeders also advertise their dogs in magazines and on the internet, but a solid referral is usually the best way to find a good fit for your family. You may also be able to find a good breeder through the American Kennel Club website.

Getting a new dog can be a wonderful, magical experience for the whole family. Whether you find your dog at a shelter, or you decide use a breeder, choosing a dog together is a great bonding opportunity for your whole family. Because once you add a dog to the mix, there’s a whole new level of love to share and enjoy with each other.

Have you had a good experience adopting a new dog? Let us know in the comments!