Free Wal-Mart Puppies
My family has not adopted puppies or kittens from shelters. Normally, when we have wanted a puppy, we just need to go to our local Wal-Mart and check out the selection of free puppies on a Saturday morning. It seems that everyone stops to see the puppies. There are usually a few people with kittens but since we live in the country, we take in any stray cat that comes along.
When we have gotten a puppy from Wal-Mart, it is usually a big dog mix. If this is the route you take, you will be responsible for getting the pup spayed or neutered. Most of the time, it seems like it is a farmer with one of his farm dogs that has had pups.
Puppy Mill Sales on Wal-Mart Parking Lot
Every once in a while there will be someone trying to sell small, pure-breeds. I am leery of these people because most respectable breeders will want you to come see the purebreds at their kennels to make sure they get a good home. I always wonder if these little pups came from a puppy mill. I would love to rescue them, but I do not want those types of people to make a dime from me if they are running a puppy mill.
I have asked these people for their cards and an address so I can go check out their facilities. Most of them decline. In my opinion, that is a red flag. If they have nothing to hide and want people to see their pups, they would want others to spread the word about their facilities. Their puppies are cute, but with purebreds all one need to do is run an add to see them if they are, in fact, a legitimate business.
Bringing Home the New Puppy
When we have brought our pups home, we have a dog house with straw and a blanket for them. We buy plenty of food. Even though they are large breed pups that are meant to be outside, we pamper them as puppies and bring them inside to play, eat, sleep, and I usually rock them while watching TV. They are just babies, and you must remember they have been taken away from their mother and litter of brothers and sisters. They need to feel comforted.
Treating them like the babies they are, will help you bond with them. They will become loyal family members with many years of love and companionship.
Have a Checklist
If you know ahead of time you are going to get a puppy, be sure you do some simple things.
- Prepare to have lots of love and patience
- Puppy food
- Dog bowls for food and water - you may even want to buy a storage bin to keep the food fresh longer
- Chew toys - you can even create your own with old socks or pieces of rope - remember they are going to be teething and will want to chew on things
- Bitter spray to spray on things you do not want the pup to chew on
- Puppy shampoo to rid the pup of fleas and ticks
- Tick and flea protection, like Frontline, to place between their shoulders after their first bath
- Get an appropriate collar and leash
- A book on training your pup is always helpful
- Be prepared financially to take care of a new pup
- If you have other dogs, make sure you do not leave them out or they will get jealous.
- Get a veterinarian appointment as soon as possible to spay or neuter your pup
- Make sure you have an appropriate place for the pup - whether you are planning on keeping it indoors or outdoors
- If you are keeping the pup outdoors, make sure it is a safe environment. A fenced yard is best if you live near a busy road.
- Remember, you are bringing home a baby and there will be an adjustment period. The pup will probably cry and whine at night.
- Be sure you have the capacity to love the pup. If you have a busy life and will not be able to give the pup attention, you may want to reconsider until you can take the time for it.
Your New Family Member
Your puppy is home, and you have taken all steps to ensure it is comfortable. You will find great joy in having a new loyal companion. Dogs are amazing and most are very intelligent if they are taught from an early age. The time you spend training them with positive reinforcement will create a bond and friendship for years to come.
© 2012 Susan Holland