Adding a new furry friend to the family can be an exciting time. There’s something special about raising a dog from a puppy into your best friend. Unfortunately, many people see dog breeding as an easy way to make money and don’t treat their dogs or the puppies they sell responsibly. That puts the burden on you as the buyer to make sure you purchase your puppy from a reputable breeder. So how do you find them?

Meet the Breeder and the Parents

It’s important to meet both the breeder and the parents of your new puppy before making the purchase. Reputable breeders want to make sure that you and their puppy are a good fit for one another before you buy it. According to Chewy, meeting the breeder gives you a chance to ask them important questions, to see what environment the puppy is born and raised in for the first eight weeks of life, and for them to make sure you are a good owner for their puppy. Meeting the parents can give you insight into what you can expect behaviorally from your new dog.

Do Some Research

It’s also a good idea to do your due diligence as a puppy-owner-to-be and do some research of your own. Take a look at things like pedigrees and health screenings to get an understanding of how much care the breeder puts into their puppies. It’s a good idea to look at any reviews the breeder has as well. According to Trustpilot, open, honest, uncensored reviews are one of the best ways to get to know what a business is like. Make no mistake—puppy breeding is a business.

Ask for References

Maybe you aren’t sure where to start. Do you have any friends whose dogs you like? Ask them who they got their dog from and what their experience with the breeder was like. You can also talk to local vets. According to 7×7, vets know the signs of good and bad breeders. Reputable breeders will take care of their dogs and have them in for routine checkups and make sure everything is progressing properly through the pregnancy. As such, they will likely be pretty familiar with reputable breeders in the area and can provide you with some good recommendations.

Finding a reputable breeder is important for both the sake of supporting upstanding breeders and taking home a puppy who is likely to be healthy and happy. Take the time to meet the breeder and the parents of the puppy you intend to purchase. Do some research and ask for references. That will help you find good, reputable breeders who will be better able to send you home with a puppy that is a good match for you.