With the holidays just around the corner, you may be looking for the perfect pup or kitty to surprise your family with this year. Homescape Pets understands the benefits of going to a breeder to find your next best friend and that adoption may not be for everyone. However, there’s a lot to know about working with a breeder. Where do you start? With so many breeders to choose from, how can you make sure your breeder is not only reputable but responsible?
Homescape Pets strives to make sure our clients are as well-informed as we are. With your pets’ health and happiness in mind, we’ve put together this guide to help you find the right breeder to expand your family. We’re going to tell you what to look for and how to find it, and of course, give you the best questions to ask!
Here we go...The 5 most important things to do when finding the right breeder:
- Visit in Person
We get it—if you’re working by process of elimination, a phone call seems like the easiest way to narrow down the options of breeders. But visiting in person will give you a better sense of who the breeder is and what he or she stands for. Better yet, it’s incredibly important to meet the puppy or kitty’s parents and/or other relatives. This will give you the best idea of what to expect when it comes to things like size and temperament. When it comes to the breeder, you’ll want to check the premises: is it clean? Do you get a sense that the breeder is passionate about dogs or cats, or are they just looking for a quick sale? Don’t be afraid to investigate! After all, this is one of the most important decisions you’ll make for your family.
- Ask for Referrals
When going to a breeder, don’t just think of yourself as a customer. Think of yourself as a potential employer! A responsible breeder will work for you, and develop a relationship with your family so that you’ll be receiving expert care and guidance for your new pet. Ask your breeder for at least two references (That’s right, just like an employer would!). And then...actually call those references. Ask his or her former clients about their experiences with your breeder. You’ll be able to get honest reviews—after all, no one is perfect—and understand what it will be like to actually work with that breeder.
- Check Their Certifications
You will be more comfortable with choosing a dog breeder if they have certifications through the American Kennel Club. Check out their Breeder of Merit and Bred with H.E.A.R.T programs. For cats, ask your breeder if he or she has registered with TICA (The International Cat Association) and has signed the TICA Code of Ethics. Programs like these allow breeders to continue their own education and meet specific standards to breed healthy pups with good temperaments.
You should also ask for documentation of pedigrees. Ask for his or her’s “papers,” and look for “American Kennel Club” and their logo on the documentation. A good and responsible breeder will never hesitate to give you evidence of pedigree, nor will he or she ask for additional payment to give them.
- Ask the Right Questions
Going to a breeder is super exciting, especially if you’re going with family! So exciting, in fact, you might forget to ask the most important questions:
- Have any of the litter been sick? Make sure you know any and all possible genetic diseases common to the breed. Go ahead and ask for proof of screenings like OFA and CERF certificates.
- Does the breeder spay or neuter? Or, do you have to spay or neuter within a certain time frame after adoption?
- What services does the breeder guarantee? A good breeder wants their pets to be in happy, loving homes, and they want more than anything for their pets to remain healthy. Ask what the breeder will do if, god forbid, your dog gets a life-threatening illness after the fact. Good breeders will even take a dog back if the alternative is ending up in a shelter. A good breeder cares.
- How has the dog or cat been socialized? This question is extremely important, as your pet’s temperament will inform the relationship your family can make with him. Observe how the cats or dogs there interact with both the breeder and with each other. You don’t want to work with a breeder with shy or frightened pets. Think about what that says about the breeder! Has the dog or cat been around children before?
- Ask Yourself Questions
Consider why you want to go through a breeder, and not a shelter or rescue in the first place. We at Homescape Pets know the pros and cons of both, but do you? Going to a shelter or rescue has its own noble motivations, ones that we strongly believe in, but that doesn’t mean it’s wrong to consider a breeder for your own family’s needs. Going through a breeder to find the right pet is a significant commitment that is easier to make when you know why this is the right option for your family. Also, a breeder whose heart is in the right place will be easier to find when you understand your own values!
If you’ve found the right breeder and the perfect pooch or feline to make your holidays even more joyous, congratulations! Regardless of the well-socialized temperament of your perfect purebred, a major change is never easy for animals. To ease the stress of transition, try Companion’s Best Day (CBD)! Our full spectrum hemp extract (yummy and healthy!) is the perfect supplement to your purebred’s best day: coming home for the first time to meet his new and loving fur-ever family.