Adopting a puppy
After long deliberation you are out, you want to adopt a puppy. We are deliberately talking about adoption here, because you have not chosen a puppy from a breeder, but you have adopted a puppy from a shelter or shelter. A puppy waiting for a loving home and waiting for you as a loving owner. That is what this blog is specifically about.
Adopting a puppy: the start of the quest
After you have thought carefully about what you have to offer a puppy and eventually an adult dog and what you would like to see in a dog in terms of character traits, your search for a puppy to adopt generally starts on the internet. In addition to adult dogs, Dutch shelters also regularly have puppies. on I’m looking for boss, the national shelter site of the Animal Protection, or dierenasiels.com, On this site you will find other (private) shelters, you can filter by age to start with. This means that you can search very specifically for a puppy or young dog in the shelter. In general, these are puppies to be adopted that all reside in the Netherlands and can therefore be visited. You must of course make an appointment first.
There are also many foundations on the internet that help puppies abroad and mediate in the adoption of these puppies in the Netherlands. In Spain, Greece, but also Bosnia and Hungary there are many stray dogs and therefore also many stray puppies. There are many foundations that play an important role between these shelters there and interested parties in the Netherlands. These puppies to be adopted do not always reside in the Netherlands, so it may be that making an appointment to meet the puppy in person is not (immediately) possible.
Adopt a puppy from the Netherlands or abroad
Would you like to adopt a puppy that is originally from the Netherlands, or would you like to adopt a puppy from abroad? Maybe it doesn’t matter to you at all. In any case, the choice is entirely up to you. There are, however, several things to take into account.
Every puppy takes time, energy, sleepless nights and needs education! Whether the adopted puppy comes from the Netherlands or abroad. In addition, an adopted puppy often has not had the best start in life. Confiscated, born on the street, or are not wanted as a puppy and therefore end up in the shelter, you wish the beginning of a life for every puppy very differently!
The advantage of adopting a puppy from a shelter in the Netherlands may be that the shelter employees know more about the background, compared to a puppy found on the street abroad. In the Netherlands, practically no puppies are born and found on the street, but they end up in shelters or shelters because, for example, not enough thought has been given to raising a puppy. In such situations, the former owner will renounce the asylum at the shelter. The shelter has often received background information from this first owner. It is also possible that a puppy or mother dog with puppies was not properly cared for. They are then taken away from their owner and eventually end up in a shelter in the Netherlands. So there is a chance that the mother dog of your puppy also resides in the same shelter and you can also get to know her.
When adopting a puppy from abroad, it is often the case that it is adopted remotely through a photo. That means that the puppy that looks so cute and nice in the photo of the website (of the foundation), does not yet reside in the Netherlands. The puppy to be adopted cannot be visited by you in advance. So you will see the puppy for the first time when it arrives in the Netherlands. The adoption of the puppy is often already complete. You cannot judge in advance how the puppy is in the flesh, how your interaction is and whether there is actually a click. Nor can you form your first judgment about his character. The people of the foundation are often able to do this, but it does entail some uncertainty. Always ask the foundation how it is arranged with regard to backstops. If the adopted puppy turns out to be living with you very differently than expected or hoped after a short time, for example extremely anxious, is there a host family in the Netherlands who can take care of the puppy and relocate it to a home where it fits better? A puppy obviously needs time to get used to it and can never be left to its fate even when it is disappointing. Not by you and not by the foundation.
Furthermore, there are diseases in dogs abroad that do not occur in the Netherlands. Read about this and be informed about this by the foundation that takes care of and is therefore responsible for a (successful) adoption. We also recommend that you consult an independent veterinarian. Asking for a health certificate from your puppy from abroad or from the Netherlands is always desirable! When adopting, always ask about the puppy’s vaccinations and chip. You should also find information about the chip and vaccinations in the vaccination booklet or passport that comes with your adopted puppy.
Be critical and investigate
Have you caught your eye on an adopted puppy that really appeals to you? Then do your own research before contacting or making an appointment with the shelter, foundation or shelter where the puppy is staying. How is the place of residence, the asylum or the foundation registered? Are they certified? How long has the shelter or foundation been in existence? Is there any profit motive? Are there any experiences and reviews from other people who have adopted a puppy and if so, are they positive?
When you have a good feeling about a shelter, shelter or foundation after research and you want to make contact about the puppy that interests you, make a list of questions in advance that you want to ask. In your enthusiasm or because of nerves it is easy to forget which questions you have. Here are some general but important questions:
- How did the puppy end up in the shelter?
- How old is the puppy or what is his or her estimated age?
- How do the caretakers describe the character of the puppy?
- How big do you think the puppy will be when he is an adult?
- When the puppy is a crossbreed, what breeds does the crossbreed consist of?
- Is the puppy healthy? Has he had his shots and is he chipped?
- Is the puppy available for adoption immediately?
- Is there a mother dog present and does the puppy have brothers or sisters who also stay in the shelter?
- What are the costs of adopting the puppy?
In general, the shelter or foundation would also like to hear about you and your living situation. So prepare in advance that you too can expect questions about yourself. This is desirable and good, because then an initial assessment can take place whether the puppy suits you and your situation. It also shows commitment and love for the puppy from the side of the shelter or foundation where the puppy lives. And that’s how it should be, of course.
Do you get little information about the puppy, the adoption procedure and is little or nothing asked of you? Do you especially get the idea that they would like to get rid of the puppy quickly? Then consider whether you would like to discuss further with the relevant asylum, reception or foundation.
Beware of bread breeding!
Following the previous paragraph, we would also like to warn you about bread breeding. Bread breeders are everywhere, at home and abroad! It’s a dirty and bad world and bread breeders they only breed to earn money, they are not interested in the well-being, health and character of older dogs and puppies. Sometimes bread breeders also operate under the name of a foundation or shelter, they can be very cunning. When a lot of different puppies are offered for adoption through a shelter or foundation, a lot of money is asked for the puppies, when it is not clear where the puppies come from, how they were found and if you If you see young and sickly impressing puppies, turn around very quickly. If you do not trust this, you can also inquire or report to the National Animal Protection Inspectorate (LID).
After only positivity about shelter, shelter or foundation where the puppy you have fallen in love with is staying, is there nothing standing in the way of an introduction? Then it is high time for a (first) meeting. When your puppy to be adopted is still abroad, it is often the case that a contact person from the foundation will come to your home to see where the puppy will end up. Of course you can also ask any questions you still have and want to ask about the puppy and the further adoption procedure.
If your puppy is staying in the Netherlands, you can and will visit the puppy in the shelter or the shelter. Keep in mind that the meeting for the adoptive puppy is just as exciting and new as it is for you. Please take the time to get to know each other calmly and extensively. Don’t be in a hurry and don’t be too busy, this will also make the puppy restless. Again, bring a list of questions you still have. You can then submit this to the caretakers of the puppy to be adopted. Furthermore, ask for some alone time with the puppy and pay attention to his manner. Is the puppy timid, or very busy, nervous, happy, or tough? Is he going to investigate independently or is it all still too exciting? Of course it doesn’t say everything, but it does say a bit about the character of the puppy. Consider broadly whether the character traits that emerge suit you.
Puppies that are ready for adoption are often allowed to join immediately after a first introduction. These puppies are in any case older than 7 weeks (please note, for a puppy that still has to come from abroad, a higher age limit applies due to vaccinations and their effect), healthy, validly vaccinated and chipped. Keep this in mind and make sure you’re ‘ready’ in that respect too before the arrival of the puppy. If you still have doubts about adoption during or after the introduction to the puppy, ask for a time to think about it. When in doubt, we always advise not to make a decision yet. This is a living being that, if all goes well, will become and be your friend and roommate for many years to come. Being 100% behind this choice is super important, although it is always exciting to make this choice. In most cases it is possible to reserve the puppy for a short time so that you can sleep a night before making a decision. If this is not possible, do not be tempted to take the puppy with you. If he is no longer available when you have finally made the choice to adopt, then it shouldn’t be.
The (sometimes) long search and wait has paid off, your adopted puppy is home! Hello cute little pup and hello sleepless nights, clearing pee, education / training and lots of hugs! Raising a puppy is fun, beautiful and special, but also exhausting and intensive. Yet it is super important to enjoy this phase as much as possible, because before you know it, a small puppy will be big again! We wish you a lot of success and fun in guiding your puppy to adulthood!