We’ve assembled some Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) and answers to provide some basic information about puppies at PAWS and to help you decide if you are ready to bring home a puppy.
Q: What breeds does PAWS typically have?
A: Our typical breed is a mix between cute and extra cute! If you like cute puppies then you are in the right place! Other than knowing for sure that they are cute, we often don’t know anything else about the background of the puppies we get. If we do not know the specific background, we list them as mixed breeds and list their size, such as medium mixed breed. If you are looking for a specific breed, it may take a little longer to help you find the right puppy. Similarly, if you are looking for a “hypo-allergenic” or “allergy-friendly” puppy, those don’t come around too often. We more commonly have short-haired puppies up for adoption.
Q: What size of puppies does PAWS typically have?
A: We have had puppies of almost all shapes and sizes, but most of the puppies we have for adoption tend to be medium to large size (which generally means that as adults, they will be between 40-70 pounds, but again no guarantees). Occasionally, we do get puppies that will be small sized as adults.
Q: How do you know how big a puppy will get?
A: To be honest, we don’t! We use several factors to classify puppies by the size we expect them to be as adults. However, we cannot guarantee the size of the puppy since we often don’t know the size of their parents, their exact age, or other factors that go into determining how much puppy you will end up with. We classify our dogs by adult size using the following categories:
- Extra Small Mix: 10 lbs and under as adults
- Small Mix: 11-25 lbs as adults
- Medium Mix: 26-50 lbs as adults
- Large Mix: 51-100 lbs as adults
- Extra Large Mix: 101 lbs and over as adults
The majority of the puppies we receive fall in the Medium and Large Mix categories as calculated by their current age and size. While we do occasionally receive Extra Small, Small, and Extra Large Mix puppies, we do not receive them as frequently.
Q. How often does PAWS get puppies?
A: Puppies make their way to PAWS about once a month, sometimes more often and sometimes less often. In the winter months, traveling can be dangerous, so transports are postponed until the spring when it is safer to bring the puppies to us! Puppies start arriving at PAWS around April. You might think they come via a furry stork, but they actually come in a van most of the time.
Q. Speaking of puppy arrivals, where do the puppies come from?
A: We work with rescue partners in other states and PA counties to bring puppies to our area for adoption. Occasionally, we also get puppies in need from our local area.
Q. What is the application and adoption process like if I want a puppy?
A: After you’ve read these FAQs and had an earnest conversation with yourself and family members about the responsibility of raising a puppy, you can fill out the online application. We will contact you for an interview and process your application and then we will let you know if we think you might be a good fit to adopt a puppy. At that point, you would be tentatively approved to adopt a puppy. When we get puppies that are available for adoption, we will contact you to come in and meet them.
Q: How will I be notified that you have puppies available for adoption?
A: When we have a puppy transport scheduled, we will send out emails to our list of interested and tentatively-approved applicants to alert them there is some extra cuteness in the area! Those who are interested will schedule an appointment to come meet the puppies during an “Exclusive Showing” typically on a Sunday morning (but possibly on another day of the week). This email will come from email@example.com so be sure to have that email saved as a contact!
Q: What happens at an “Exclusive Showing”?
A: Sounds fancy, right? Basically, the Exclusive Showing is a by-appointment opportunity for you and your family to come in and meet the puppies that are available. Keep in mind that this is often our first (and maybe only) opportunity to meet you in person as well! We will help you select a puppy that is appropriate for your particular situation/needs and will finalize your approval of a specific puppy at that time. Once approved, you can take your puppy home that same day.
Q: I was contacted for the Exclusive Showing and I am available but my partner/roommate/child is not available. Can I come in by myself to pick a puppy for my household?
A: We want to know for sure that everyone in the household is on board with getting a puppy. We also want to make sure that everyone in the household is comfortable with the particular puppy you want to bring home. With children especially, we want to make sure they are not afraid or overwhelmed and we want to be able to help them interact appropriately. If everyone in your household is not available for a particular Exclusive Showing, just let us know and we can offer you an appointment at a future showing.
Q: I’m not really sure if I want a puppy right now, but I’d love to come see the puppies. Can I do that?
A: We get it. We love puppy breath too. But we want to reserve our limited appointment times for people who know they are ready to bring a puppy home the same day. We also want to limit our exposure and contact with members of the public as much as possible while trying to find furever homes for our puppies. So if you are not ready yet, just let us know and we will make your puppy dreams come true when the time is right.
Q: How do I know if I am ready for a puppy?
A: You’re probably thinking that puppies are a lot of fun, and you’re not wrong! They also require a lot of time, energy, and resources to devote to things like housebreaking, behavioral training, exercise, socialization, and playing. Like all pets, they require vet visits and shots and we would also recommend puppy classes or one-on-one training with a professional for basic obedience skills. Read on to learn about more specifics of what puppies need.
Q: How often will my puppy need to go outside?
A: All that cuteness in such a tiny package means that puppies have a small bladder! Your puppy will need to go out to do their business at least every 2-4 hours, possibly including during the night when you might want to be sleeping! Taking your puppy out frequently will help with house training and make sure your time is well spent snuggling your new family member, rather than cleaning up their messes!
Q: I think a puppy will be better for my family than an adult dog because I can raise it from the time it is young to make it what I want it to be. Is that a good idea?
A: Well, that depends. One benefit of adopting an adult dog is that sometimes we know more about their personality/traits whereas with a puppy, it can be hard to know what type of personality it will grow into. However, with a puppy you will have some influence on things like training and socialization from a young age. Keep in mind, though, that some things like temperament are often based on genetics as much as environment.
Q. My partner/roommate/child is not really interested in getting a puppy right now, but if I take one home, I’m sure they will love it. Can I surprise them with a puppy?
A: It is very important that everyone in the household is not only ok with getting a puppy, but excited for your new addition.! All family and roommates should be prepared to come in and meet the puppy with you so that we can make sure that everyone is on board.
Q. Kids like puppies and puppies like kids, right?
A: Again, that depends. Some kids love puppies, while some kids are actually afraid of puppies, believe it or not! But all kids need to be shown how to interact with puppies appropriately so that neither gets overwhelmed. Many of our puppies like children, but if we think a particular puppy or litter would not be good with children, we will clearly state that. We definitely want everyone in the household to be happy with each other!
Q. I would like to wait until my puppy is older to get him spayed/neutered. Is that okay?
A. There are varying opinions on pediatric spay/neuter. PAWS is completely committed to promoting spay/neuter as the only solution to needless pet overpopulation. All puppies and adult dogs are spayed or neutered before adoption unless the procedure would cause imminent danger to the pet because of medical instability. For more information on pediatric spay/neuter, click here.
Now that your questions have been answered, does adopting a puppy sound right for you? If so, fill out our online application to get the adoption process started.