Looking for new dogs to add to your family is exciting, but it’s not always practical to pay hundreds of dollars to a breeder. Luckily, with a little research you can find dogs offered for free to a good home. Get ready to meet your new four-legged friends today!
EditIn a Hurry?
If you’re looking for dogs to adopt for free, first you should ask your friends and family if they know anyone whose dog has had puppies recently. If you find someone with puppies who is giving them away for free, wait until the puppies are 8-12 weeks old before you bring them home. If you don’t find dogs through the people you know, try checking classified ads online and in your local newspaper for “Free to a Good Home” listings. Keep reading for tips on choosing the right dogs for you!
EditFinding Free Dogs
- Ask your friends and family if they know of anyone giving away dogs. Even if no one in your close circle is currently trying to rehome their dogs, they might know someone who is. Try asking your family, friends, and coworkers if they know of anyone who is moving and needs to find a home for their dogs, or whose dogs may have recently had puppies that will need a home. You can also try reaching out to your social media connections.
- Look in your newspaper for free dogs near you. The classified section in your local newspaper should have a section for pets. You’ll often find ads which say “Free to a Good Home” in which people are trying to find homes for their dogs.
- Use caution when you’re contacting people you don’t know, and never give out your personal information to strangers. If possible, take a friend with you when you go to an unfamiliar place to ensure your safety.
- If a place seems shady or you get the feeling that the dogs have not been treated well, don’t adopt from there. Mistreated animals can have severe behavioral and health problems later in life. Avoid adopting from a place where the animals are dirty, malnourished, or seem nervous.
- Check classified websites for more options. If you don’t have luck finding free dogs through your friends or in your local newspaper, try looking online on classified websites like Craigslist. Check the “Pets” section to see if anyone is rehoming their dogs or trying to place a litter of puppies.
EditAdopting from a Shelter on a Free Weekend
- Watch local ads or social media for adoption events. Although there are some animal shelters and rescue organizations which offer free adoption year-round, most charge an adoption fee which covers the cost of vaccinations and spaying/neutering the dogs. However, when shelters and rescues reach full capacity, they’ll often hold adoption events where this fee is waived.
- Bring your ID. Even though you won’t have to pay a fee, you will likely have to provide the shelter or rescue with a photo ID and your address is order to complete the adoption process.
- Be prepared to wait in line. Free adoption events often draw a large crowd, so you might have to wait a while before you are able to meet the available animals. Try going early to avoid long lines. You might also want to see if the shelter has a listing of its animals online that you can browse before you visit.
- If you see dogs on the website that you’re interested in, try calling the shelter and asking if they’ll hold the dogs for you until you can get there. You might have better luck if you tell them a specific time you expect to arrive.
- For instance, you could try saying something like, “I’m really interested in the 2 Shepherd mixes you have on your website. If they haven’t been adopted yet, could you hold them for me until I get there? I can be there at noon tomorrow.”
- Answer any interview questions. Many shelters and rescues conduct an interview with prospective owners to make sure the dogs will be a good fit in their new homes. Be honest about your answers, and take this time to ask any questions you might have of your own.
EditPicking the Perfect Pups
- Research dog breeds and characteristics before you pick your dogs. You might not have a choice of the exact dog breeds you think would be the perfect fit for you, but researching dog breeds can give you an idea of what you’re looking for. This can help keep you focused in the face of all of those cute puppy-dog eyes.
- For instance, if you are highly active and you want a dog who will enjoy joining you on hikes, you might look for a terrier or retriever mix.
- Meet the dogs before you bring them home. Whether you’re looking for dogs from a private owner or a shelter, make sure you meet the dogs first. Trust your own judgement on whether the dogs’ personalities are a good match for you and any other family members or pets who will be living with you.
- If you already have a dog, ask if it’s okay to bring them along with you while you’re meeting potential new dogs to bring home. This can help you determine whether the dogs will get along.
- Wait until puppies are 8-12 weeks old before you bring them home. Some puppy owners might be anxious to find homes for their little litter, but if you’re getting puppies, they will be healthiest if they are allowed to stay with their mom for at least 8 weeks.
- When dogs are separated from their litter too early, they are significantly more likely to have behavioral problems later in life, including an aversion to strangers and excessive barking.
- Ask lots of questions about your potential new pets. Make a list of questions about the dogs, like their health history, previous vaccinations, anything which might be known about their breed, and information about their parents if it’s known.
- If the parents are kept on site, ask if you can meet them. Pay attention to their temperament, as this is often a determining factor in your new dogs’ personalities.
- Get your supplies before you bring your dog home. Before you leave to bring home your new dogs, you should make sure that you have everything you need at home. Make sure you have food and water bowls, leashes, and a few toys on hand. You should also check to make sure there’s nothing the dogs can chew on that will be destroyed or harm the dogs, especially if you’re bringing home puppies.
- You may want to wait until you meet your new dogs to purchase dog food just in case your dogs have special dietary needs.
- If you get your dogs from a rescue organization or a shelter, you might consider making a donation to support the work that they do. This can be done at the time of the adoption or at a later date.
- Think about fostering dogs if you’ve never had pets before. This can help you get familiar with the process of caring for a pet without the long-term commitment.
- Even if you get your dogs for free, remember that you will still have to pay to take care of them. You’ll need to provide for food, vaccinations, and vet bills, especially if the dogs didn’t have medical care before you adopted them.