"There are pros and cons to all options," said Wendy Royle, veterinarian and owner of Park Gate Animal and Bird Hospital.
"I would prefer to see a shelter dog adopted," said Royle
.But it is important to "be realistic about what you can take on," she
added."You can get fantastic dogs there but they might have a bit of a history, just be aware of what you will have to work on."
As with shelters, there are some great breeders and some really bad ones, said Royle
"A good breeder should ask you lots of questions to find out if their breed is a match for you," said Royle
As for looks, that should be a priority farther down your list.
Health and temperament are much more important, she
Reputable breeders breed few litters, require spay or neuter contracts, introduce the puppy's parents and check for genetic diseases.
So make sure to ask what kind of screening they do, she
Most pet stores will sell a puppy without asking questions because they have to make a profit.
"Most pets in pet stores are quite stressed and some get sick easily by picking up things like kennel cough through aerosol transmission," said Royle
Usually pet store owners are hoping for the impulse buy, but as always make sure to do research on the dog you are about to buy, she
What prospective buyers need to beware of is puppy mills, which have, unfortunately, always been around, said Royle
Due to "poor genetic choices these puppies can suffer from very serious health issues," and that is why the industry requires more regulation, said Royle
."As a buyer you are reliant on the knowledge and integrity of the sellers."
No matter where a puppy is from take your time to do research.
Think about your lifestyle.Choose a dog that suits your needs and their needs, said Royle
If you're taking home a rescue dog, "do so with your eyes open," she
Plus, there are always lots of adult dogs available for adoption and you will have a better idea of their temperament, she