Adopting a new pup is an exciting time in anyone’s life. Puppies are adorable, full of energy, and can bring a lot of joy (and some little messes) into your home. Actually getting one, though, isn’t always the most straightforward process, especially if you’re adopting out of state. Here are four tips to keep in mind when adopting a furry friend from far away.
1. Shipping Can Be Pet Friendly When Done Right
Traditionally speaking, shipping is not the most animal-conscious way to get a newly adopted pet home. While it can be cost-effective, that cost only factors in monetary value and neglects the cost of your puppy’s health. Ordering a puppy from out of state usually involves them being shipped to you on an aircraft. They’ll have to spend hours upon hours of crate time stored in a cargo hold, which may have poorly pressurized air. All that without any bathroom breaks can be downright traumatic for pups as young as eight weeks old.
If you’re committed to shipping your pup, make sure to at least hire a company that specializes in pet transport services. Such companies do everything in their power to make sure your companion-to-be arrives at your doorstep safe and sound. They hire genuine pet lovers as drivers who can even update you with photos of the journey along the way. Shipping an animal can be difficult no matter what, but making sure they’ll be in good hands can give you peace of mind.
2. Research Breeders Before Buying
Some out-of-state breeders may still insist on traditional shipping methods in order to cut costs. If the breeder you’re talking to is pushing you to close a deal, reconsider who you’re buying from. Unfortunately, not all breeders out there have their animals’ best interests in mind. To some, they see the product they’re trying to sell you is just that — a product. Instead, find a breeder who sees these beautiful animals as the living, breathing creatures that they are.
One of the best ways to get a good feel for a breeder is to meet them face to face. While you might not be able to actually do so in person, schedule an introductory video chat. Ask them any questions you might have and gauge how patient, excited, or irritated they may be about working with you. A good, responsible breeder will be happy to answer most every question you have, without dodging those about medical history or lineage. Try to only work with people who are diligent and clearly demonstrate compassion for the animals they raise.
3. Make Sure All Your Paperwork Is In Order
Now you’ve decided to work with a trustworthy breeder and have picked out a pup you want (congratulations, by the way!). The next step is to make sure all the necessary paperwork is in order before you seal the deal. Transporting an animal over county, state, and even country lines is not like shipping a knickknack. Different areas within the United States have varying requirements when shipping animals across borders. Look at the route connecting your breeder or adoption facility and you, and look into any restrictions there might be.
In general, no matter what borders your new pup is crossing, you’ll likely need to secure a certificate of veterinary inspection. This certificate is essentially a sign of approval that your animal is in good health and safe to transport. It may include details about vaccinations, the animal’s overall health condition, whether it’s spayed or neutered, and other relevant information. There’s no guarantee you’ll have to give this information to anyone, but it’s always better to be prepared if you do.
4. Keep the 3-3-3 Rule In Mind
One of the disadvantages of adopting out of state is that you don’t get to bond with your pet ahead of time. So when your new pup finally does arrive, it’ll be entering a new environment devoid of familiarity. Puppies of different temperaments may react differently to their new home, but there is a general adjustment trend to keep in mind. An animal’s typical adjustment pattern spans its first three days, weeks, and months, and it is called the 3-3-3 Rule. Keeping this rule in mind can help you understand how to tend to your pup’s particular needs.
Your puppy will likely feel a bit overwhelmed over the first few days in its new surroundings. It’s important to make a space for them, like a bed or crate, where they can feel safe. The first few weeks are all about exploring your home and establishing familiarity through a regular routine. As that familiarity increases, so will the bond between you, your puppy, and your family over the next few months. These are some of the best months for training skills and good habits, so use them wisely!
All the diligence and work needed in order to adopt a puppy out of state can be exhausting. Finding the right breeder, getting the paperwork in order, and actually getting your pup to you is an involved process. You may find yourself with a bit of a headache in the middle of everything, but stay the course. All that work will be completely worth it once your cute furry friend is wagging their tail in your house.