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Buying a puppy? Things to look out for now that lockdown is easing

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Breeders selling puppies for higher prices in lockdown

Now that we have been in lockdown for a few months, many people and families have taken the opportunity to get that dog or puppy they have always wanted. But whilst this idea seems to be a good one at the time there are many things potential pet parents need to do before making a quick decision. There have been reports of some breeders selling sick puppies for higher prices due to the increase in demand and pet owners are being left.

Both the Dogs Trust and The Kennel Club have seen interest in puppies soar from April to May this year when we were all in lockdown due to the spare time people have on their hands. People found out that certain breeders were using lockdown rules to stop potential buyers from seeing the puppies physically and only over Zoom. They handed their money to the breeder, took the puppy home only to realise it was very sick and have to visit the vet. Left with large vet bills, they realised they had rushed into buying the puppy. There are also fears that now lockdown is easing, new pet parents may not have the time to look after their new puppy as life returns back to some normality and they will develop separation anxiety which can cause a number of problems.

With an increase in demand for people buying puppies, there is a shortage and people are not listening to the advice given by the Kennel Club and Dogs Trust for example, which is crucial when it comes to owning a pet. We wanted to help pet parents and have collated some important advice below.

Kennel Club help and advice when buying a dog or puppy

The Kennel Club is a great reading resource for when you are buying your first dog or puppy. They have their own dog owners essential guide containing information and practical advice from helping you to train your puppy, such as house training, teaching basic commands, nutritional guidance and even behavioural management.

Once you have made the important decision to get a puppy, would you know where to go to find a responsible breeder? The Kennel Club has an Assured Breeder Scheme where you can search for your chosen breed alongside a registered breeder.

The Kennel Club’s puppy buying advice:

  • Good breeders usually have waiting lists in the early stages of pregnancy
  • Physically go to see the puppy at the place it was born – most importantly, it must be with its mother
  • If a breeder is pushing a puppy on you there is a good chance something is not quite right
  • Get a contract of sale outlining the terms of agreement
  • A good breeder will ask lots of questions about you, your home, your lifestyle and your family
  • If the puppy is advertised on multiple websites that is a red flag
  • Always make sure you visit the breeder of the puppy you are buying and never send money for a deposit or full payment in advance of meeting them

Visit the Kennel Club’s website to find out what to look for when buying a puppy

Dogs Trust Advice – what to do when getting a puppy

Getting a new dog or puppy is an exciting time, but can also be daunting, rewarding and hard work at the same time. Here is a great checklist from the Dogs Trust providing advice on before and after purchasing a puppy and below are some simple steps to owning your own dog or puppy.

  • Do your research. Getting a dog is a long-term commitment, so consider whether you are ready. If your heart is set on buying a puppy, the best place to start is researching breeds and breeders. For an extra check, you could visit the Kennel Club Assured Breeder Scheme for advice on breeders.
  • Be aware of online ads. Puppies which are illegally smuggled into the UK are often sold to unsuspecting dog lovers via online ads. Check out the puppy smuggling pages for more.
  • Ask questions. Speak to the seller before visiting, ask lots of questions about the puppy or dog and prepare to answer a lot of questions in return. A good breeder should be as curious about you as you are about them. When you arrange to meet, make sure you do it at the puppy’s home. You should be suspicious if the seller wants to deliver the dog or meet at another location.
  • Meet the puppy and it’s family. When you meet your pup for the first time, ask to see their mum. It’s important that you can see your puppy interacting with their mother and other litter mates (if any), as this is a good sign that they’ve been bred properly. You can also ask for a full health history of both parents.
  • Take your time, visit more than once and don’t feel pressured to make a quick decision. Making the right decision is better than a rushed one and walk away if something doesn’t look or feel right. We know that can be hard – especially if you’ve already fallen in love with a cute pup.
  • If you have any concerns about the welfare of any of the dogs you see, please contact the RSPCA
  • Any other concerns about the manner in which the puppy is being sold, report the seller to your local authority Trading Standards team.

If you need any puppy essentials you can find them on our partner’s website VioVet

By Gero Bertolone

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