Find a Puppy Really Cheap at These Places

Updated on October 18, 2018
DrMark1961 profile image

Dr. Mark is a small animal veterinarian. He works mostly with dogs and exotic animals.

Great puppies do not have to be purebred.
Great puppies do not have to be purebred. | Source

If you want a new puppy there are a lot of sources you can check on. Remember though that nothing in life is free. If you are handed a new puppy that does not cost a thing, he will end up costing you a lot.

If you are not even able to buy a puppy from a breeder, ask yourself if you are going to be able to meet his daily needs.

Places to Check for a New Puppy

Breed Rescue
Animal Shelter
Parking Lot Puppy
Backyard Breeder
Purebred dogs can be found through rescue organizations.
Purebred dogs can be found through rescue organizations. | Source

Breed Rescues

Breed rescues are definitely not the cheapest source of puppies but you can find exactly what you are looking for if you are willing to search and wait for that dog to become available. Type in the name of the breed you are interested in, the word “rescue”, and the city (or county, state, or country) into your search engine and then call the groups nearest your location. (For example: Bulldog rescue, San Bernadino California. Your search will also reveal several sites for puppies for sale but if you want a better deal you should wait on the rescue.)

The rescue will most likely want to do an interview to determine if you have the right home for one of the dogs they have fostered. (Since the dog has already been fostered they will be able to give you a lot of great information on housebreaking, activity level, behavior and social problems, etc.)The dog will probably be neutered or spayed and be fully vaccinated and you will be asked to make some sort of donation. The donation will probably not be much, a hundred dollars or so, and will go towards covering your dog´s expenses and helping other dogs that need to be adopted; adopting from a rescue is a great way to find a special dog or puppy.

Many puppies and dogs are available through no-kill shelters.
Many puppies and dogs are available through no-kill shelters. | Source

Animal Shelters

Shelters are a great place to find healthy adult dogs and sometimes even puppies. After you have found a dog to adopt the shelter will want to interview you, and will probably want to visit your home and take a look at the environment in which you will be asking the dog to live. Many shelters have a staff of volunteers interview and evaluate potential homes. If the shelter does not approve your application ask why. The volunteers want to find good homes for their dogs and you may need to make very few changes before being accepted.

If you find the puppy you are looking for, and you fulfill the conditions set by the shelter, you will be asked to make a small donation to cover the subsidized cost of the dogs spay or neuter, microchip, heartworm test, and vaccines. It will not be much and is actually a lot less than you would have spent at your regular veterinarian.

Shelter puppies and adult dogs may not be free but they are cheap, and well worth your consideration.

Petfinder may help you find puppies outside of your area.
Petfinder may help you find puppies outside of your area. | Source

Petfinder is another good option. It is an easy way to get in touch with numerous breed rescues and humane societies outside of your city. You just tell them what type of dog you are looking for, add your location, and they will give you a list of places you can call and visit.

Most of the dogs available through Petfinder do have adoption fees, similar to those from a no-kill shelter. The costs are reasonable and help defray the expenses of providing vaccines and surgery for your new puppy.

At one time Petfinder also had a classified section but the site owners were not able to delete all the false ads and were concerned about the number of scams going on by persons offering “free” puppies; they now refer only to the adoption agencies.

Some back-yard-breeders will try to sell puppies cheaply in parking lots.
Some back-yard-breeders will try to sell puppies cheaply in parking lots. | Source

Backyard Breeders

This is not always the best source for a free puppy since some backyard breeders are trying to make a profit off of their dogs. Others though are just allowing their dogs to breed and will get rid of them cheaply.

These dogs can be cheap but they are not the cheapest around. The parents probably did not have any health exams so you might find out that your new dog has hip dysplasia, eye diseases, or other genetic diseases that could have been avoided.

Parking Lot Puppies

These are usually puppies that have been produced by back yard breeders. They may be asking for a little or a lot of money; usually they just will do whatever they can to sell the puppy and cover the expenses of raising a litter. Back yard breeders usually do not care if you are going to spend money on spaying or neutering the dog, provide vaccines, heartworm prevention, etc.

A "free to good home" puppy may have started out life roughly and not actually be free.
A "free to good home" puppy may have started out life roughly and not actually be free. | Source

Newspaper/Craigslist Puppies

News flyers that contain free ads (and are usually distributed free) will often have ads for puppies that are “free to good home”. You can also find free puppies on Craigslist or other free internet classifieds that serve your city. (If you find an ad guaranteeing a free puppy but asking you to pay the cost of shipping/vaccines/etc, it is probably a scam. Do not pay for shipping a puppy. If you need to have the puppy vaccinated before taking her home take care of it yourself. If you wire funds to someone for a “free” puppy, it is not free and your money is probably lost for good.)

The dogs will usually be mixed breeds that the owner has no chance of selling. The puppies will not usually have any sort of genetic screening and the owners may not have gone to the expense of providing the puppies with their first vaccine or deworming. These puppies are definitely cheap but will not necessarily be the cheapest. You may end up taking home a puppy that comes down with Parvovirus, an intestinal virus that will cost you hundreds of dollars to treat. Even if your puppy is healthy when she arrives, she will still cost you a lot of money in the first year and the subsidized medical costs of the shelter usually help a lot; if you are worried about saving money try to follow the easy suggestions provided at this link.

What to avoid: Pet shop puppies

If you are looking for a cheap puppy you may find a really good deal at a pet shop. The puppy will probably be five or six months old, past his cute stage (when he was most likely to be sold) and into adolescence. You will probably be supporting a puppy mill when you buy him. (Puppy mills are breeding operations that raise dogs commercially, in an intensive livestock production system. Dogs are fed but they do not have the ability to move around, may be kept in small cages and only have their fecal material to play with, and have no socialization with humans.)

The pet shop puppy that you think is such a good deal has had a bad start in life and his existence has deprived him of normal socialization and housetraining. The puppy may be VERY cheap, but even if was a $2000 dog and now he is almost free, you should only buy him if you are stupid and want to ruin your life. He will end up costing you a lot of money and probably be the source of a lot of heartache. (He may be impossible to housetrain, be dog aggressive, be food aggressive, and end up being shy and biting the adults or children in his new family.) You should look into all the alternatives above if you need a cheap dog and not even consider buying a puppy from a pet shop.

Inexpensive puppies are out there, but if you decide to get a puppy and accept the responsibility of providing a home for a dog, you need to be able to cover all of her expenses, both for the first year and each year after. If you are not going to be able to pay for emergency medical care, vaccinations, leashes, toys, and food, you should not be looking for a new puppy.

Be sure to consider all of the costs before getting a puppy.
Be sure to consider all of the costs before getting a puppy. | Source

Questions & Answers

  • Where can I find a rescue Golden Retriever?

    Use your search engine and type in Golden Retriever, rescue, and the name of the city or region of the state that you live in. It will give you a list of rescues that work in your area.

  • What is the best place to get a Pit Bull?

    Animal shelters are usually full of the Pit type breeds. Many of them are put down since they can never find enough homes for them.

    Consider getting a senior dog instead of a puppy.

  • How can I get a dog and how much will be?

    In the article, there are several sources listed. Try them if you want to get a puppy. How much that puppy is going to cost depends on where you get him. Someone might sell a puppy for twenty bucks in a parking lot, but the puppy is not as cheap as one from a humane society that has been tested, vaccinated, and maybe even spayed or neutered.


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    • profile image

      Grump Mullins 

      2 weeks ago

      Any one that wants a German Shepherd, Rottweiler,Doberman ect,really wants an American Bulldog. They just dont know the differance,and have little understanding what the American Bulldog really is.The standard bred r everything u could ask 4 n a dog .

    • profile image

      Judy morris 

      3 weeks ago

      I need a small dog.5lbs to 11lbs

    • profile image


      4 weeks ago

      "if you are stupid and want to ruin your life" insulting, condescending....

    • profile image

      Katherine Butler 

      4 weeks ago

      I'm looking for a small mutt, corgi mix 25 lb, fm

    • profile image

      Joan meyer 

      8 weeks ago

      Looking for basett hound puppy

    • DrMark1961 profile imageAUTHOR

      Dr Mark 

      2 months ago from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil

      Laredo, the places where you can look for a cheap puppy are listed in the article.

    • profile image


      2 months ago

      Hey i want a non expensive dog our family does not have a lot of money and need a little buddy to play with and cuddle with coment back please.

    • DrMark1961 profile imageAUTHOR

      Dr Mark 

      3 months ago from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil

      Johanna, I do not sell puppies and would definitely not consider shipping a puppy anywhere. I am not sure where you live in Australia, but in the big cities there are animal shelters.

      You can also visit dog shows to find breeders that sell the breeds appropriate for an apartment.

    • profile image


      4 months ago

      Hi i really want a puppy but my parents wont let me beacuse they are to espensive i really want one!!!!!!!!!!!

    • DrMark1961 profile imageAUTHOR

      Dr Mark 

      5 months ago from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil

      Some people will give you a puppy for free, or only $10 or 20 to make sure you are serious about the new dog.

    • profile image

      Shakira Jones 

      5 months ago

      What would be the cheapest for a puppy

    • profile image


      6 months ago


    • profile image


      8 months ago

      I need a little friend I only want a puppy I have looked everywhere till my boyfriend told me this was the best please help me find a cute puppy


    • profile image

      Mary Ann Hernandez 

      9 months ago

      My email is Iam.looking for 2 dogs.. One a dashound for my uncle who iS sick he's for my friend Madeline my BBF for 25yrs or more small dog she 55 with cancer and lonely... If any help let me know.

    • DrMark1961 profile imageAUTHOR

      Dr Mark 

      9 months ago from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil

      Hi Emma be sure to read about bite inhibition and train your new puppy so that if he bites it is not hard.

    • profile image


      9 months ago

      Hi I am a kid too and I want a new dog because my dog bits me hard and I won't one that is a good puppy I am a 11 years old

    • profile image


      11 months ago

      I am a kid I really want a dog or puppy

    • profile image

      Lisa Jansen, Grass Valley, CA 

      17 months ago

      Hi: I'm looking for a small bulldog, or bulldog mis near my area needing a home. I can't have a pit bull. I'd need an English or French bulldog mix. I'd consider a puppy. Email me at I could pay up to $100.00.

    • profile image


      22 months ago

      hello mate my kids want an dog please give a pretty and cute one for free im not american

    • profile image


      3 years ago

      I do not nowhere to buy a puppy for 20 dollars

    • profile image

      awwwww those puppies are beautiful and i will give 30 million dollars to get them a home and30more million in cash so where is the owmer 

      5 years ago

      Awww those puppies where really cute and i am willing to give $30.000.000 dollars to who ever posted this sight

    • DrMark1961 profile imageAUTHOR

      Dr Mark 

      5 years ago from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil

      Hi Rachel be sure to check out breed rescues in your area for Corgis. They are able to herd geese and if you get a puppy and raise her with the geese she will also be a guardian dog, although obviously not in the class of a Great Pyrenees or Kuvasz. (They will herd sheep too, of course, which I am sure you will consider an advantage.)

      Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment!

    • Farmer Rachel profile image

      Rachel Koski 

      5 years ago from Pennsylvania, now farming in Minnesota

      Great article, DrMark. is awesome! Sometimes I check it out just to "window shop", so to speak, because I eventually want to get another job to help out Honeybear. After the fox-fight I have been thinking it would be best to have too dogs. I worry she'll meet a coyote next...

      By the way, the pit-mix in that last picture look so similar to my dad's dog, JoJo! (Nicest boy ever, by the way; he was my boyfriend a couple years ago when I still lived at home, haha)

      Great hub and take care!

    • DrMark1961 profile imageAUTHOR

      Dr Mark 

      5 years ago from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil

      Hi Eiddwen thanks for taking the time out to comment. I am glad you found the information useful, and of course hope to publish many more that will be of use!

      Thanks again for stopping by.

    • Eiddwen profile image


      5 years ago from Wales

      Such a well informed and useful hub on man's best friend. Here's to so many more of yours to read.

      Enjoy your day.



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