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Dog rescue centres – The only place to get a dog from

The good the bad and the ugly

So you want to get a dog

You might want one for companionship or you have a family and you want one for your children. The choices for getting a dog are quite large, but really there is only one good answer, which is getting one from dog rescue centres. Here we will discuss the options and what the pros and cons are, and then explain the best way to get a dog.

And to help choose the right sort of dog for you, check out our articles on Your first dog, Popular UK dog breeds, First time dog breeds and Dogs with children.

Pet shops

Pet shop are everywhere. They look like nice high street shops and can be fun to have a quick look inside to see what they have. But that is about it. There is a dark side to pet shops and not a lot of people know about this.

At first glance, they might seem ideal and just the place you need to check out. You can get all your desired pets and accessories all in the same shop. This makes it very easy to get everything at the same time and go home the same day with your new pet.

When you think about it, the pets in a pet shop are basically just stock that needs to be sold. A pet shop will only really want to sell puppies as this is what a lot of people will be after. All stock in a pet shop has to come from somewhere at the best price possible to maximise profits. This can often mean that they come from dog breeders who can be of questionable quality.

If a pet shop needs a lot of new stock, then they will have dogs and other animals shipped to them in bulk. A lot of animals do not travel very well. They can be in cramped conditions without food or water. Quite often dogs and other animals can die in transit before they reach the shop.

As I previously mentioned, the dogs and other animals in a pet shop are just stock to sell. A pet shop is in the business of making money and nothing else. If they could not make money, then they would shut down. It is as simple as that. So not all pet shops look after their stock very well. The more they have to spend reduces their profit.

A pet shop will sell a dog to just about anyone who can walk in with the money. There will often be no checks done on the person or where they live. So who knows what the dog will face when it gets home.

Not all pet shops are like this and I am sure there are ones that are better than others, and source their stock from known places and care about the animals welfare and do not treat them as just merchandise to sell for money. I would still advise not to buy a dog from a pet shop and instead get one from dog rescue centres.

Dog breeders

There are many dog breeders in the UK. We are not saying that all of them are bad, but a lot are. For someone to be dealing with dogs, they should love and care about them explicitly. The problem is that a lot of dog breeders are just in it for the money and nothing else.

Different breeds of dogs can warrant different amounts of money when being sold. So if you can breed lots of dogs that can sell for £500 or more, then you can make a lot of money.

Dog breeders will often have lots of dogs breeding at the same time to maximise their profit. This is where the love of dogs has gone and it is all about the money. The conditions that the dogs are in, can often be substandard and often cruel for the dogs. The female dogs being worked far too hard breeding and the puppies are kept in tiny dirty kennels without any freedom.

A combination of the above problems and other issues will often result in puppies that are born with issues and are often in very poor health when they are sold. A lot of breeders will hide the fact they are breeders and will pretend they have just had a new litter of puppies and it is a one off and not a business.

The fact that there is an excess of dogs that already need re-homing makes it insane to breed more dogs. Breeding more dogs is just adding to the problem of there being more dogs than people who want them.

I am sure there are good dog breeders, but I would still advise to not use them. Just like the pet shop, it is far better to get one from dog rescue centres instead of breeding more dogs that can potentially become unloved and abandoned.

Dog rescue centres

So after the unpleasantness above, now we come to the best way to get a dog.

It is a sad fact that a lot of dogs and other animals sold to the public will end up being unloved and unwanted. There are many reasons for this and some are genuine and most are not. A dog might get unwell and would cost a lot of money to get back to good health, or it is simply just too old for the owner to want to keep anymore, or in some cases the owner has died. For these reasons and many more, dogs become donated, or worse, just abandoned.

This is where dog rescue centres come in. They will take on just about any dog and look after them. With health issues attended to, and cared for as best as they can. Unfortunately there will be dogs with untreatable health problems and as a last possible resort, they could be put down. But this is always as a last resort.

Mistreated dogs can have some issues, and you need to understand this if you are going to take one on. It may take time from six to twelve months for a dog to become adjusted to its new owners, home and surroundings. So patience is the key and eventually the dog will adjust and become confident with its new owners.

There are dog rescue centres all over the UK and there should be one fairly nearby. Different areas will have more than others, so if you live somewhere quite remote, you may have to travel further to get to one.

Before you can take your dog home there are several stages. Dog rescue centres will vary, but most will follow these steps. Some can be more strict than others.

  • Checks on the new owners. Some basic checks on the new owners, like if they have had dogs before, if they have small children, etc. This is to ensure that the correct dog and owners are compatible. Some breeds are best for certain types of people and age groups.
  • Checks on the new owners home. The new home for the dog has to be suitable and checks done to ensure this, like the house interior, garden, fences, etc.
  • Selecting a dog. Each rescue centre will have different amounts of dogs. Obviously the smaller ones will have less dogs and the larger ones will have more dogs. Depending on how picky you are, you may not be able to get the exact type of dog you are after. You will rarely get puppies or dogs that are only a year or two old. You normally have to settle for a dog that is about five years old or more. Older dogs are more common.
  • When you find the right dog. When you have selected a suitable dog, you will not be taking it home there and then. You will be able to spend some time with it on the first day to see how you get on with it. They can have a private room for you, or you can even walk it around the grounds. This will all ensure that initially you and the dog seem compatible.
  • Becoming acquainted with the dog. Over the course of a few weeks, you would visit the rescue centre and get to know the dog several times. To ensure that you are both getting along and that the dog is compatible and suitable for you.
  • Dog visit to your house. This is not always done, but some dog rescue centres will insist on the dog visiting your house for a short time to see that it likes its new environment.
  • Payment. The dogs do not really have individual prices, but you pay more of a donation to the dog rescue centre. This can vary a lot at different places, but it can be around £100. A lot of these centres have no funding and rely on charities, etc for their money. So giving a donation like this is a very worthy cause.
  • The dog is yours. If everything above works out okay, then you should be suitable to take on the ownership of the dog.


So after reading this article it should be obvious to any dog lover, what the best choice is if you want to get a dog. With the less desirable choices avoided, one day they might start to disappear. Pet shops already seem to be evolving and are more of a place to buy accessories, food, etc and not the actual pets themselves. But there are still many that do sell pets.

The breeders are a law unto themselves, and they will carry on regardless as long as they can. Even after being prosecuted, they will pop up again and go back to their old ways. Unfortunately people will go to breeders as they will always have puppies, which dog rescue centres generally do not have.

Also people who are after certain breeds or rare breeds will also favour breeders as they will focus on this sort of thing as there is more money in it.

If you go to a rescue centre for a dog, you will probably just see the more common breeds to choose from, and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that.