The thought of a free dog has an almost irresistible allure, especially if you do not already have a pet. But then you remember someone wise in your life said, “There is no such thing as a free dog.” The adage is true, but you can acquire dogs for free. You can even sometimes get a purebred dog with no upfront costs. Of course, all dogs then require food, toys, bedding, veterinary care, and other items to keep them happy and healthy. Moreover, you must research free dogs just as you would a litter of the most expensive French Bulldogs. Unethical breeders or careless adoption agencies can unload a dog on you that is fraught with costly behavioral and health problems.
There are several sources where you may find dogs for free. On numerous occasions, you will find people who must rehome their pets because they can no longer take care of them. Pet owners can become desperate to get rid of a dog if they move, become ill, or can no longer handle the physical or financial challenges. However, you do not always have to rely on a chance encounter to get a free dog.
You looked through the classifieds and struck gold. You excitedly tell your friend, “I found a couple of people who have free dogs near me! They are puppies.” What comes next? Just because a seller advertises free dogs does not mean they expect nothing from you, the next potential owner. Most dog owners care about where their pets end up. They love their dog and want it to go to a home as loving as the one they provided for however long. Others who have litters of puppies usually want them to grow up in happy and safe families. Prepare to answer some forthright questions and prove yourself worthy to take a special dog into your care. Also, shelters, adoption agencies, and rescues may screen you for your ability to properly care for a pet.
Most questions a seller will have will likely center around the type of environment you can provide.
An adoption agency may select a specific dog based on your answers. An individual seller of a Rottweiler may not give you the dog if he or she thinks you will run into problems with your landlord or neighbors.
You can be the kindest and most generous person in the world. All a seller cares about is whether you can and will provide a loving and welcoming home for a dog.
Some individuals or associations will ask you to neuter your dog if they have not performed the procedure themselves. They can ask that you show proof and see your failure to do so as a breach of contract. Activities you enjoy should fit what your dog can do. Facilities that can select a dog for you will not give you a French Bulldog if you want to do dock diving. Answering all questions honestly, no matter how invasive they seem, ensures the most ideal fit for you and the dog.
Be prepared that some people may ask about your finances. Again, intrusive questions are for the good of the dog and ultimately you.
Even though you stand to gain a free dog, never jump headfirst into a deal. Find out as much information as you can, especially in those cases where you will not be able to see the dog first. A dog’s background and history reports may be extremely limited when coming from a rescue, adoption facility, or shelter. You likely will have close to no information on a stray. You can still arm yourself with questions.
You should be able to get an idea if a dog can adapt to your habits and family if dealing with an adult. In puppy litters with unclear parents, it can be more difficult. You may be able to guess a little if the mother is still around.
Try to get as much information about free dogs as you can although some facts may not be available. Ask about a dog’s temperament as well as its physical health. If you can visit the dog, look for alertness, activity, and a glossy coat. Ask questions about any signs of illness such as dullness in attitude, the eyes, or coat, weakness, disorientation, signs of sedation, nasal or ocular discharge, or skin lesions. Young puppies should be lively and feel strong as you lift them. Note any indication of aggression or fearfulness. Some rescue dogs may cower in the corner from a less-than-fortunate background. Undertake any potential training challenge with caution, especially if you have children. You can ask how many times a dog has visited a veterinarian, whether it is neutered, and if it is up to date on vaccinations.
You do not have to own the largest house or even have the biggest yard to give most dogs a fantastic living environment. Educate yourself on specific requirements of different breeds and types. For example, does the dog you are considering tend to become overweight? Does it need more exercise than other breeds? Is it vulnerable to heatstroke? All domestic dogs have several basic needs. The list below emphasizes why no dog is ever free in a monetary sense.
If you can provide exercise appropriate for the breed and activity level of a dog, most can live with you in an apartment. A yard is ideal as an option for your dog to stretch its legs without you having to take it out each time. However, you can provide a good canine home without a designated yard.
The other challenge potential dog owners face is time. You must designate quality time for your dog, regardless of whether it was designed as a companion pet, working animal, herder, or guard dog. An inventive approach such as impromptu training games or adventure tracking sessions can make up for a small yard or occasional days where you had to cut a walk short. Always consider breed-specific legislation in your town or residential complex before adopting any free dogs. Guard dogs, bully breeds, and animals over a certain weight may be forbidden by your rental or blacklisted by an insurance company.