One question that comes up all the time in any spouse or pet group is where to find a puppy or kitten in Germany.

Germany does not support the sale of cats or dogs in pet stores since they are viewed as animals that need to live in a social environment.
There are plenty of places to get puppies and kittens from; you just need to know where and how to look.
For many, the first place they look is the internet, and while most breeders do have websites, search engines don’t make it easy to really find a breeder or even just an ad for one.

Your first step should be to decide what kind of dog or cat you want and does it fit your lifestyle.
If you opt for a rescue, you have plenty of options to choose from; there are rescue groups that bring dogs into Germany from all over Europe or your local animal shelter.
A word of advice though, quite a few German ran shelters have decided against adopting pets out to US military members and families, because they were abandoned or left behind too often. Don’t despair though, there are plenty of shelters that still do adopt to Americans; it just may take some searching.

Rescue groups from outside the country work a little different; often you get to choose a dog from pictures online and don’t actually meet them until they get brought into the country once they are chosen for adoption.
It’s a great option for someone that wants to give a pup a chance at a good life. I would like to add, if you decide on a dog that is not a puppy anymore, count on spending some extra money on training. Most dogs lived and fended for themselves and are not yet socialized properly, so I would not recommend that route to a new dog owner.

If you want to go for a breeder kitten or puppy, there are also some things to avoid. Do spend the time and do your own research, I know puppy finder services can be nice, but in the past years they have gotten blacklisted, busted for dealing with mill puppies and on top of that charged you for a potentially sick pet.
I know the search can seem overwhelming, but once you know what to look for, it’s really simple.
Here are a few guidelines:

Germany has kennel and cattery clubs just like the US. For Germany the main club that oversees everything is the VDH; for cats, there is no main club like that.
The VDH then splits off into the different dog classes: working/herding/toy and so on.
So if you want a papered dog, the VDH is the label to look for. The AKC accepts any VDH dog and you can breed with it back in the states. The AKC does not recognize any other club, and there are quite a few others out there.
The VDH also offers a handy search engine for breeders and people looking to buy puppies, just be sure to use the German name of the breed you are looking for.

Check the link out:

If you are paying paper prices for a dog, be sure they are the right papers.

Do look on online classifieds.
Breeders often advertise there, too, and, often they have a link to their page along with degrees and kennel club details.

Don’t fall for scam ads; no serious breeder (hobby or registered) will charge you money to ship an animal up front that you have never met.
Stay away from ads that come up with several different breeds all from one place which literally screams puppy mill.
Always try to meet the seller in person, and ask to view the pups and the mother to make sure they all look healthy. Don’t meet the seller to hand over a kitten or puppy out of a car.

Then, of course, are the hobby breeders, often frowned upon, but they can still be a source of a healthy, well socialized pet, if you just follow a few guidelines.
Most hobby breeders sell cats and dogs that are essentially like a pedigreed pet. They are quite a bit cheaper than their papered brothers, but they can still run up a bit of a price tag.
Again go with your gut, the pet should be noticeably less than the equivalent dog with papers, but if they are charging a hefty price you can still expect health and genetic tests on the parents, immunizations and a breeder that checks in with you and your new housemate.
Usually they will be happy to show you the mommy and babies, and you can see for yourself that they are well cared for.

Last but not least, you have the barnyard pets, usually mostly kittens and not so much puppies since it is expensive to keep a dog here in Germany.

You may notice that kittens and puppies are a bit more expensive here that back home, but most people get their pets neutered, because it’s much less stress on them and their pet.

If you are wondering about prices, then I can give you a bit of a guideline, but prices do vary a lot.

A shelter pet will cost you between 100-200 Euros, depending on the pet. Also, Germany does not run adoption events like they do in the states, but some private shelters accept donation based fees.
A rescue from outside of Germany will run you 200-300 Euros.
A pet from a registered breeder with papers 600-900 Euros (up to 2000 - depending on titles, colors, or the ability to breed yourself)
Pets from hobby breeders 400-500 Euros (with health checks)
and your plain old barn kitten should not run you any more than 100 Euros tops (with shots and dewormed)

If they are asking more than that, ask why or look for another breeder. Don’t rush into a sale if it does not feel right and the seller has unreasonable requests.

Make finding your right furry friend an adventure for the whole family. Do the research, visit breeders, drown yourself in cute puppies or kittens, and do it all over again until you find the one that you fall in love with.