Tips for Buying a Dog in Canada

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We all think highly of the furry friends that we see around us everyday. We might have even considered what it would be like if we were pet owners. However, how serious are those thoughts, really? If the answer to the last questions was a VERY SERIOUS, then this post is just for you. Buying a dog in Canada can be a strenuous process with a lot of variables to consider. To get the most out of your pet and make sure you are making the right decisions for you, your environment, and your bank account it is important to do a lot of pre-doggy research.

This article highlights the essential elements of going from thought to reality in pet ownership. It hopes to highlight the challenge areas in buying a pet and help to keep the process as light and easy as possible.

The First Step to Buying a Dog in Canada

The first thing to do when thinking about buying a dog in Canada is deciding that you are serious about the process. This dog is going to be a big time commitment and it is important to understand that. You must ask yourself if you are really ready to give a dog the life that it deserves. If so, then it is time to decide what type of budget you have for your future dog. Depending on how much you are willing to spend on your pooch you have a variety of different options.

Am I ready to Buy a Dog?

The following is a quick check list to see if you are really ready to take the leap into puppy ownership. If you have thought about all of these factors, then it is potentially the right decision for you and you should move forward with the exciting adoption process.

  1. How much time do you have for your pet?

    Taking care of a dog, like a baby, is very time consuming. It is something that you have to be sure you are ready for and can manage!

  2. How often are you home? 

    If you are going to be away from home or working every day, you will need to invest in a dog sitter or dog walker. Dogs get very anxious if they are alone for long periods of time. To prevent other issues it is best to try and keep this anxiety to a minimum.

  3. How big is your home? 

    When considering dog breeds, it is critical to think logically about what type of dog would fit into your life. It is great to want a Bernese Mountain dog but if you only have enough space for a Yorkie then your pup is going to feel claustrophobic it its home. Making sure your dog fits into your life allows for a seamless integration process for your and your new best friend.

  4. What is the climate/area like? 

    Living downtown in a city or living in the country gives your dog completely different lifestyles. Some dog breeds are better at adapting to different living situations than others. Make sure that the dog that you chose fits what type of life you can give him/her. For example, if you buy a Portuguese Water Dog and you live in the city and have no access to a body of water, your dog could be sad! These are all things to consider when buying a dog in Canada.

  5. What type of dog personalities suit yours? 

    Another thing to consider when deciding if you should buy a dog is personality types. Not all dogs have the same personality and some will work better with your lifestyle than others. For example, if you are a very overworked doctor with minimal time to take your dog for walks during the day, you might want to stay clear of getting a dog with high energy, like a Vizsla.

  6. Am I financial able to afford a dog? 

    Although having a pet can be great and very fun. They are expensive! Costs for taking care of a dog including purchasing food, treats, vaccinations, vet bills, grooming and anything extra adds up! In fact, many dog owners can spend between $4,000 and $40,000 dollars a year on their pets. Is this something that is affordable for you? You want to make sure your dog is getting the type of life that they deserve.

Should I Buy a Purebred Dog?

You maybe be thinking, that sounds expensive. The answer is yes, it is more expensive than buying a poorly bred dog. For example, many dogs costs between $500-1000 dollars for a good breed, whereas a “mutt” dog can be around $150-200 dollars. Although the up front costs for this dog can be significantly more, you do get a full background of your pup. The one thing to keep in mind when using a breeder is the quality of the service. Ask friends, do research, and ask the right questions to make sure that the breeder that you chose has all the right licenses and is selling dogs that have been brought up in a healthy environment. Check out our blog on Canadian dog breeder qualifications to get a good idea of what a good dog breeder is!

What type of Dog should I buy?

The next thing to do after you have decided on the quality of dog breed is to decide what type of dog you want to get. There are tons of great dog types that you can choose from. Each dog breed has a variety of different strengths and weaknesses. Some dogs need to run around more, some dogs need a lot of food, and some dogs need to play in the water. The top dog breeds in Canada are known to have a great mix of the above qualities, they are good with kids, are not aggressive, and are easy to maintain and take care of. Check out this list when you decide on buying a dog in Canada:

Labrador (Retriever)

These beautiful dogs have been on the top of everyone’s list for years. They are absolutely adorable, great for families and are a perfect level of energy to have in any bustling Canadian city.

Buying a Dog in Canada

| @chocolatelady |

German Shepard

This is one of the smartest and most well behaved breeds of dog that you can get. They are a great addition to any family. They learn fast and love to hang out with just about anyone! Also, did I mention they are adorable…

Buying a Dog in Canada

|@hannetw |


Known as the one of the smartest of all the dog breeds, this pooch has a world of talent. Also, they are incredibly dapper pups. If you are looking for a well behaved dog to make part of the family, then this might be the right choice for you.

Buying a Dog in Canada

| @tildar |


This fun loving pup is a great addition to the family. They are perfect for kids or first time dog owners because they are so easy to take care of. They are small, don’t take up a lot of space, and keep in generally  good health. Finally, their energy level is off the charts. They love running around and having fun. They are a great pet to bring to the beach or for a long walk on a Saturday morning.

Buying a Dog in Canada

| @love_airedaleterrier |

Bernese Mountain Dog 

These dogs are perfect for families, they get along great with kids, strangers and love being affectionate. Although these dogs are slightly larger and therefore take up more space, they are very loving. They are also easy to train and fun to play with as they have a lot of energy. These are all very important factors when looking at buying a dog in Canada.

Buying a Dog in Canada

Where should I buy my Dog?

Okay now that you have decided what type of dog you want, the next decision is figuring out where to get it from. There are a variety of places you can get a dog. The two easiest ways of getting a dog is from a breeder or from the kennel/SPCA. There are variety of perks to both these options. For one, the breeder has purebred dogs. Buying from a breeder usually means there will be a very registered and contractual agreement signed. Also, they know the whole health history of the dog’s family, which can be beneficial for your dog’s health in the future. However, getting your pup from the SPCA is also a viable option. There are many dogs that do not have homes and could use you. Furthermore, the SPCA is a very safe agency looking out for the well being of each and every dog. They want to make sure that they all have a happy home, which makes them a great agency when looking at buying a dog in Canada!

5 things to prepare in your home BEFORE you get a dog

  1. Chew Toys

    When young dogs get nervous they can chew on things. To prevent your entire home from turning into a mad house of half chewed shoes and slobbered couches, make sure you have the chew toys available upon your pup’s arrival.

  2. Food/Treats

    Although this can easily be bought soon after arrival, having food and treats right off the bat will save time and energy once you bring your dog home. Also, treats definitely help with the training and immediate acceptance of the dog’s new space.

  3. Veterinarian

    Looking into a veterinarian before you have a dog can save time when you have questions about your new dog or have a problem and want to talk about your dog’s health in the early days of owning your pet. Also, this helps when you are looking into spaying/neutering your dog, you will have a trained professional already set up! Check out our blog on how to find the best Canadian veterinarians, and the top 10 Vancouver veterinary hospitals.

  4. Health Insurance

    It is really important to have your dog insured as soon as it is owned! If you run into any early problems then it is critical that you are insured and can properly cover your pet’s medical needs. This is something that you should defiantly push as a priority when buying a dog in Canada. Not sure where to start? Ask your veterinarian if they have any deals set up with insurance companies.

  5. Collar and Leash 

    Because most cities and towns are all on-leash zones, if you do not have a collar and leash you will not be able to take your dog out for a walk. Walks are critical for your pet and need to be done right away! Therefore, it is super important to get the collar and leash on your pet as soon as possible. As a bonus, putting a collar on your pup early on makes them feel comfortable with their new clothing!

Although there are a lot of things to considered when buying a dog in Canada, it is a wonderful experience to be a pet owner! Be sure that you are prepared for the responsibility of being a pet owner but once you have made this decision to get a dog…. HAVE FUN! Dogs are (hu)man’s best friend for a reason and they will change your life. Enjoy every minute with them and go on some major adventures. Take your new dog and check out some of your city’s greatest sites. Check out our blogs about Calgary Dog Friendly Activities, Vancouver Dog Friendly Activities and Toronto Dog Friendly Activities and learn more about the available dog opportunities in your area!



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