Dr. Mark is a veterinarian. He works mostly with dogs and exotic animals.
Are You Ready to Be a Pet Owner?
If you want a new puppy, there are a lot of resources available for you to check out. It is important to remember that nothing in life is free. Even if you are handed a new puppy for free, he or she will end up costing you a lot of money. There are dog food tabs and vet bills to be paid, and these things can add up fast!
If you are not able to buy a purebred puppy from a breeder in the first place, ask yourself if you are going to be able to meet a dog's daily needs. Dogs also need socialization, love, affection, and exercise. If you can provide all of these necessities, congratulations! Let's look at where you can find a puppy for an affordable price.
Places to Check for a New Puppy
Purebreds and crosses are available at rescues designated to that specific breed.
This search engine does a great job of pairing you with a pet based on your geographic location.
Animal shelters generally adopt out animals that have been spayed or neutered and fully vaccinated.
Parking Lot Puppy
Generally a circumstance where a privately bred dog has a litter and the owner wants to give the puppies to homes.
Oftentimes considered an amateur animal breeder who breeds from home.
Ads placed online or in print will specify the breed type and personality along with any purchasing fees.
Breed Rescues (Purebreds and Crossbreeds)
Adopting from a rescue is a great way to find a special dog or puppy. 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 the dog to become available.
The rescue will most likely want to conduct 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, the rescue will be able to give you a lot of great information on housebreaking, activity level, behavior, social problems, etc. The dog will probably be neutered or spayed and fully vaccinated.
You will most likely be asked to make some sort of donation. The donation will probably not be too much—a hundred dollars or so—and will go towards covering your dog's expenses and helping other dogs that need to be adopted. (It is up to you to determine if the breed rescue is legitimate. If they are demanding as much as a pet shop for a "rescue" puppy, it is probably a puppy mill being disguised as a rescue. A puppy mill is a terrible place to find your new dog.)
How to Find a Breed-Specific Dog Rescue
- 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. (e.g., bulldog rescue, San Bernadino, California)
- Call the groups nearest to your location.
- Your search will also reveal several sites for puppies for sale, but if you want a better deal, you should wait on the rescue.
Breed Rescue Pros and Cons
Breed-specific (purebred, crossbred)
Some purebreds have genetically inherited health issues (as do some mixed breeds)
Good history on the dog
Shelters are a great place to find healthy adult dogs and even puppies. Shelter puppies and adult dogs may not be free, but they are cheap and well worth your consideration.
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 dog's 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 (we're talking a couple hundred dollars).
How to Adopt a Shelter Dog
- Find a local shelter and show up during the hours they are open to the public. Check the available dogs on the website ahead of time.
- Check in with an adoption specialist or client service representative and ask to see the available animals. It helps to provide them with some information about your preferences. Be sure to specify your preferences—small dog, medium-sized dog, shorthair dog, senior dog, and what kind of energy level you prefer.
- Meet with the dog(s).
- After you have found a furry friend to adopt, the shelter will want to interview you. Some shelters will probably want to visit your home and take a look at the environment in which you will be housing the dog. Many shelters have a staff of volunteers that 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 several changes before being accepted.
Shelter Dog Adoption Pros and Cons
Saving a life
Animal history not always known
Mixes inherit less genetic health issues
Often requires training
May ask adopter to make numerous changes (fences, etc.)
Current on health requirements
Petfinder.com is another good option to find cheap puppies for sale near you. It is an easy way to get in touch with numerous dog breed rescues and humane societies outside of your city, too. 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.
How to Find a Dog on Petfinder.com
- Tell the search engine what type of dog you are looking for.
- Add your location.
- They will give you a list of places you can call and visit.
Petfinder Pros and Cons
Can be pricier than other options
Searches by preference
Discloses important information
This is not always the best source for a free puppy since some backyard dog breeders are trying to make a profit off of their dogs. Others, although, are just allowing them to breed and will get rid of them cheaply. Some take the extra step and provide an indoor space, whelping box, and take decent care of their dogs. But overall, backyard breeding conditions tend to be poor, and the animals often don't receive adequate vet care.
These dogs can be cheap, but they are not the cheapest around. The parents most likely did not have any health exams, so you might find out that your new furry friend has health issues like hip dysplasia, eye diseases, dental issues, a predisposition to atopic dermatitis, other genetic diseases, or even heartworm or digestive issues due to poor care or environmental conditions that could have been avoided.
Backyard Breeders Pros and Cons
Free or cheap
May have limited or no healthcare (vaccines, deworming)
Possibility of inherited genetic issues
Saving dog from a potentially bad environment
May have chronic behavioral or health issues due to upbringing
Supporting irresponsible breeding
Parking Lot Puppies
These are usually puppies that have been produced by backyard breeders. These breeders 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. Backyard breeders usually do not care if you are going to spend money on spaying or neutering the dog, provide vaccines, heartworm prevention, and other necessary pet care. Because they avoid covering the cost of essential care, you will be stuck with the initial costs.
If the parking lot person asks you for a significant amount of money (e.g., one hundred dollars) for the puppy, do not buy the dog. Some puppy mill operators try to sell puppies in this manner.
Be Wary of a High Asking Price
Some states have restricted pet shops from selling puppies because of puppy mill suppliers—commercial dog breeding farms that put profit over the health and wellbeing of their animal. Some mills are licensed, and some are unlicensed.
Do not buy a puppy from anyone in a parking lot that is asking you for a significant amount of cash. Puppy mill sellers have been known to try to sell their dogs and puppies in parking lots to evade the regulations placed on pet shops. Do not buy from them!
Parking Lot Puppies Pros and Cons
Giving a puppy a better home
Huge health costs due later because of inadequate care
May be cheap or free
May cost a lot initially
No guarantee of parents' health or litter health
Supporting irresponsible breeding
Advertisements in Newspapers and 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.
Do Not Get Scammed
If you find an ad guaranteeing a free puppy but the seller asks you to pay the cost of shipping, vaccines, etc., beforehand, 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.
What Kind of Dog Breeds Can I Find?
These dogs will usually be mixed breed dogs that the owner has no chance of selling. The puppies will probably not 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 (this is why the subsidized medical costs of the shelter usually help a lot).
Free or cheap
No health care or health history
May be expensive to cover health issues
No known behavioral history
Why You Should 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.
What Is a Puppy Mill?
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, only have their fecal material to play with, and have no socialization with humans. Certain jurisdictions in the United States and Canada have actually instated a retail pet sale ban that prevents dogs and puppies from being sold at pet shops.
States With Jurisdictions That Passed the Retail Pet Sale Ban
Reasons Not to Buy From a Pet Shop
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 his breed is priced around $2000 and now he is almost free, you should only buy him if you are stupid and want to ruin your life. Why?
- 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.
Tips for Affording a Canine Companion
Your furry friend will need the essentials: exercise, good nutrition, love, and shelter. If you are worried about expenses, discover more tips to save money on your dog's health care.
When it comes to feeding, it may be tempting to but the cheaper dog food brands, but you will be doing your dog a disservice. Diet easily impacts overall health, so be sure to check out several dog food brands before purchasing and take a look at the ingredients list. Here are some recommendations:
- Look for quality protein like chicken meal (avoid fillers)
- Look for quality grain (corn may be hypoallergenic in some cases but can be of poor quality and trigger allergies in others)
- Check the calorie content (make sure it's adequate and feed according to your dog's activity level and body type)
- Make sure the food has all essential vitamins and minerals
- Consider supplementing with glucosamine and chondroitin (good for athletic dogs and arthritic dogs)
- Research homemade options
Are You Really Ready to Be a Pet Owner?
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.
Important Articles About Puppies
- How to Train a Crazy, Chewy, Nippy Puppy
Need tips on dealing with a crazy puppy? Find the answers to your questions here.
- How To Housetrain A Puppy In 5 Days Using a Cardboar...
Simple and cheap method to potty train your puppy, with tips on how to spend each day.
- How To Bond With Your New Puppy
You should learn how to treat your new puppy so that he becomes loyal to you. This article gives several methods you can use to bond the puppy to you.
Questions & Answers
Question: Where can I find a rescue Golden Retriever?
Answer: 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.
Question: How can I get a dog and how much will be?
Answer: 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.
Question: I'm looking for a Rottweiler puppy. Where can I find one?
Answer: The best thing to do if looking for a cheap puppy is to go through the list in the article. If you do not find what you are looking for, you will need to contact a Rottweiler breeder and get on a waiting list for the next available puppies.
Do not purchase a puppy from a pet shop, even if you want a puppy soon.
Question: What is the best place to get a Pit Bull?
Answer: 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.
Question: Where can I find a bulldog?
Answer: You should first look online at Petfinder.com. Some dogs are abandoned for many reasons, and you might find a local shelter with a bulldog. Enter the words "bulldog" and "rescue," and your city or region into the search engine.
Question: Where can I get a golden retriever puppy?
Answer: Any puppy can be found through the sources listed in this article. If you are looking for a dog of a particular breed, it may take longer and may be a little more difficult, but you can still find what you want if you are willing to search.
Be sure to start your search with a great site like Petfinder.com. It will allow you to see if there are any Golden Retriever puppies in your area that need a new home.
james vanderink on September 05, 2020:
looking for a maltese-shid tze-or havanese-small dog-700 or less
ASHLEY Robinson on September 03, 2020:
HI IM UP TO LOOKING AT ANYTHING I WOULD LIKE A PUPPY HOPEFULLY AROUND 500 OR LESS.
Gabby on September 01, 2020:
I'm looking for a puppy today under 900 pound
Lily on August 29, 2020:
im looking for a small puppy that is 1000 dollars or under
Isabella Gonzalez on August 26, 2020:
Hello I’m looking for a mini Labradoodle under 1000 thank u
Justin Dyce on August 25, 2020:
Hi I'm looking to purchase a puppy of any breed around my postcode of 3860 for around $400
Kaylee on August 23, 2020:
I’m looking for a puppy any breed and is under 250 thank you
Dr Mark (author) from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil on August 15, 2020:
Simra, responisble breeders do not sell through pet shops. Will the pet shop take him back in a year and find him a good home if you cannot keep him for some reason?
simra on August 14, 2020:
we got a puppy from a pet shop who buys dogs directly from responsible breeders. he is the best dog with the sweetest temperment (he's a maltipoo every time we go out on walks with him people say he's the cutest). i totally support adopt dont shop but if u want a high quality purebred or designer crossbreed look at 1. petfinder and 2. responsible breeder
BTW we got him from tiny tykes
Mia on August 14, 2020:
i am looking for a Toy poodle, labradoodle or any poodle mixes that don't shed. And under $1000
Ariella on August 12, 2020:
I like Australian cattle dog or a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
Mike Lavoie on August 09, 2020:
Looking for small to medium female dog, young who does not shed because of allergies.
Peter on August 09, 2020:
Looking for a Shitzu female puppy
Ramesh on August 08, 2020:
I want puppy of wite please give me l want boy no girl ok
Dhanya D Prabhu on August 08, 2020:
I am looking for a GR
Mary Anne Heric on August 07, 2020:
Would like a small breed like a chorkie, shitzu or poodle
Golden on July 28, 2020:
Please Am looking for a dog to be my friend I stay alone so I need a friend thinking dog will be better please I need one
Cliff Pereira on July 26, 2020:
Iam looking for a lab puppy
7167177717keary on July 19, 2020:
Looking for a free or cheap (200) large breed dog. Can be a mutt i have no issues with breed but i need a puppy that will grow to be a big dog
Mario on July 18, 2020:
Looking for a chocolate Labrador puppy retriever 78501 thank you
Michael on July 13, 2020:
I'm looking for s.husky puppies for cheap my 7 year old won'ts one for her birthday Aug 22
Lucy on July 11, 2020:
Dr Mark (author) from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil on July 09, 2020:
Ayanna, read the sources listed in the article. It is not a good idea to buy a Lhasa puppy through the internet unless it is from a breeder that specializes in just Lhasas. If they sell all sorts of dogs they are a type of puppy mill.
Ayanna on July 08, 2020:
I am interested in a Lhasa Apso puppy of any gender, do you know where can I find a website?
Jacinta Breardon on July 08, 2020:
Hi i am looking for a puppy for my daughter. Was wondering if yoy had any small puppies avalible
Michael Broussard on July 03, 2020:
Dr Mark (author) from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil on June 23, 2020:
Judy--most websites that offer dogs in that price range are linked to puppy mill type operations. Try the local animal shelters and Petfinder.com
Judy on June 22, 2020:
I am interested in buying a Yorkie near me for $300 or less, where can I find a website ?
Briana on June 12, 2020:
Hey i am intrestrested in buying a puppy what is the nearest one in new cumberland
Dr Mark (author) from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil on June 12, 2020:
dogs4life: my dog is from a byb. You are uninformed.
dogs4life on June 11, 2020:
Promoting looking for a byb is so irresponsible! If you're going to promote breeders, at least promote reputable breeders. You should not be giving any kind of promotion to byb and craigslist breeders.
TONI on June 11, 2020:
I’m looking for a puppy in hull East York or surrounding areas a cross breed or something not to big must be ok around children and another dog
Joshua on June 10, 2020:
Smalldogs21 on June 09, 2020:
I'm looking for a small breed dog that will not get any bigger then 20 pounds. I live in St Paul Minnesota. Email is firstname.lastname@example.org
Rosa Davila on June 06, 2020:
looking for a bichon poo female puppy apricot or beige color
Gg on June 04, 2020:
Looking for puppies under 1000 dollars in pa,nj or ny
Uyen dang on June 04, 2020:
Hi I’m looking for maltipoo female puppy . And the price is 500$ and under.
Chuasianghee on May 29, 2020:
I am looking for a pomeranian that is a brown colour baby and its price not over $500
Penny on May 26, 2020:
Iam looking for a free puppie and a best friend
johnny jackson on May 25, 2020:
i am looking for a chiwawa under a hundread
Anonymous on May 15, 2020:
I am looking for a cute little puppy
Jessie Fierro on May 09, 2020:
Looking for a medium sized dog, short hair puppy or less than a year old Female preferably
Debra Mills on May 08, 2020:
Iam lookin for a st bernard or great dane i have had both but they best dog i have every had
Katelynn on May 07, 2020:
I am looking for a tiny two years old puppy but then will grow up to be a country dog but kinda like when it gets to an adult but it will be like a good size but like a sweet and friendly little girl
Corbin Harmon on May 04, 2020:
Hello,I’m looking for a bichon frise in NC under 100$ preferably 50$.i need a lazy dog that doesn’t bark and run away all the time.
I’d also prefer a male dog please.
I’m sorry if the price is to low but I’m in a bad financial situation at the moment.
Inchara on May 04, 2020:
I need a puppy under 4000 rupees
Liz wylie on May 04, 2020:
Looking for small to med male pup .shitz. pom. poodle .mix i dont mind .have been looking well before xmas .all shelters have nothing .
Sheila Yard on May 01, 2020:
I am looking for a small dog 2 years old
chloe on April 29, 2020:
is there ANY puppies for sale that are $100 and less?
Dr Mark (author) from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil on April 29, 2020:
Naomi, I am not familiar with the places where you can get a cheap puppy in Baja. Try the things I suggested in the article. Best of luck.
Naomi on April 27, 2020:
I am going to move to Mexico in a month or two hopefully, in the baja California part of Mexico. In the norte part. I want a Labrador retriever puppy, but my parents say I can't get a puppy until we are in Vicente Guerrero and even then, with all the moving, they don't want me getting it right away. I'm not old enough to have an official job yet, so I don't have much possibilities for earning money. Any advice?
Cheyenne on April 27, 2020:
I'm looking for a dadhhound puppy $100 or less
millie on April 24, 2020:
i am looking for a german shepherd under 100$. And a baby.
Dawn on April 22, 2020:
We we're wondering if you have any Doodles or poodles cheaper than 500 dollars? Email preferred.
Robyn jackman on April 22, 2020:
Looking for a small breed puppy in the tri state area under 1200 only serious please and no scammers i will only pay upom sight of dog
Aylisha on April 19, 2020:
I am looking for a small cute breed dog for cheap that would be under 1000
Cynthia on April 19, 2020:
Can I get a female dog and are they for free.
Cynthia on April 19, 2020:
Looking for a puppy that is free or at $150.00 in ind a border cloley
John Matthew evans Matthew on April 16, 2020:
My kids and me and my partner have been after a dog 4 a long time we think now is the right time for us to have a dog were really iooking forward to having one hopefully.
BP on April 11, 2020:
I am looking for a small and cheap puppy
Loa on April 02, 2020:
Looking for a cheap puppy
Sheer on March 22, 2020:
Looking for a cheap breed of bulldog
Taran on March 15, 2020:
I just wanna puppy like small size bread
Ali on March 09, 2020:
Hi am looking for pit bull terrier puppy in 500 range. For kids
Karen Dzuro on March 03, 2020:
looking for an older female that can be trained for service dog
Dr Mark (author) from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil on February 18, 2020:
Grace, Chihuahas are sometimes available at animal shelters. Your local shelter is the place to start. Consider Petfinder.com also, and go through the other options on this article.
GraceEpenesa on February 18, 2020:
Hi I’m looking for a Grey boy chihuahua for my son please, he love puppies he really need a puppy his being ask for puppy ages ago but I’m still can’t fine where’s the best way gonna fine it one please
Tammy Moore on February 09, 2020:
I'm looking for a small furry puppy. Either a shuzu or a poodle or anything small but furry in Wayne County Tenn
Sharon on January 30, 2020:
I what husky my dream have one
Saurabh on January 20, 2020:
I want a small puppy labrador and free puppy
Dakota on January 18, 2020:
I want a small puppy and free puppy
Ryan on January 13, 2020:
I want to adopt a puppy or dog ,can bring in philippines for free....
Janelle on January 07, 2020:
I’m 9yrs old and my mom won’t give me a puppy that fits in a cup and some things for the dogs and can you help me get a dog she will never buy me a puppy and I have nothing to play with my little sister and I don’t have anything to play with and I’m just so sad and my sister please please please help us little kids and my little sister is 6yrs old once again please help us
Tonyatatum on January 04, 2020:
I'm looking for a small free dog
Lisa on December 15, 2019:
I'm just looking for a free puppy for my friends kid for Christmas
Mrs maureen cass on December 15, 2019:
Would love a small dog lost my prescious rusty 3 months ago he was 16 .i do so miss a dog in my home.rusty died in my arms
Chris Smith on December 09, 2019:
I am looking for a Jack Russel cross puppy short haired. Skegness area if possible.
Dion D’Mello on December 08, 2019:
I’m looking for a mid-sized Dog not necessarily purebred to be a family pet. Our Labrador Retriever passed away two years ago after 13.4 years.
Moutushe on December 08, 2019:
I was looking small dog
Samanthe rote on December 01, 2019:
I am looking for a small puppy i loat my miniature pincher last year so i would absolutely love to love and enjoy. New small puppy. Has to be small.
Lis Lambert on November 20, 2019:
Looking for a small dog to be company for my little dog i live in england
Sally aber on November 12, 2019:
We just had to put our pom down we had her 18 yrs.we miss her so bad. The house is empty. Please can you help us. We want a pom puppy.
Kayla on October 16, 2019:
I want a puppy but I can't find any free ones
Yuri on October 06, 2019:
Can I have a puppy I need one ok as so a possible
shelby on October 04, 2019:
is there any cute puppys???
Sana venkatesh on August 29, 2019:
I want doberman pincher
Kalana dash on August 17, 2019:
I need a puppy for $40.00
Iloveroblox on August 01, 2019:
I'm looking for a medium, cheap, German Shepard
Dr Mark (author) from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil on April 25, 2019:
Charity, I do not have free puppies. Try to use the sources I added in this article.
Jerilyn is on April 18, 2019:
Im looking for small to med size no shed dog. Up to age 4. Male or female.
Jay vance on November 11, 2018:
Looking for a lab mix puppy 30-50lbs full grown - or a terrior poodle mix also must be young .0
Dr Mark (author) from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil on November 08, 2018:
Lori, the article will give you details of many places you can find a Pomeranian. If you cannot find one at one of those sources, a breeder is best.
Do not buy from a pet shop. The dog might look sweet and lonely in the cage when you see her but will most likely end up being sick.
Lori Butenhoff on November 07, 2018:
Where can I find a Pomeranian/ or toy Pomeranian?
vickiemiller on October 30, 2018:
We lost our little dog to health issues looking for a small breed puppie
Jozefbalneg on October 27, 2018:
Where can i found a free puppy any breed like
All female and puppy plzzz
Grump Mullins on October 05, 2018:
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 .
Judy morris on September 26, 2018:
I need a small dog.5lbs to 11lbs
Laurie on September 20, 2018:
"if you are stupid and want to ruin your life"....how insulting, ....how rude....how condescending....
Katherine Butler on September 18, 2018:
I'm looking for a small mutt, corgi mix 25 lb, fm
Joan meyer on August 24, 2018:
Looking for basett hound puppy