Thinking of getting a puppy?
Buying or adopting a new dog is a hugely exciting time but choosing the right dog from the right place can be a minefield so here are some tips to help you find your perfect match.
Firstly, think hard whether a puppy is right for you. They can come with a 15+ year commitment to care for them which requires lots of time and can be expensive (The PDSA estimates between £21,000 -£33,000 over a dog’s lifetime!). Check your finances can afford the commitment.
Is an older dog a possibility? There are a lot of dogs looking for their second chance and many rescues work very hard to match you and your lifestyle to a dog in their care, which is ideal for many people.
Then there’s the breed. Have a look at the characteristics of the dogs you like. If you can only realistically go for two 10 minute walks a day then a hugely active dog such as a husky or a collie is not for you! Have a look at the RSPCA website for more advice on which dog breed would be right for you.
If you do go for a puppy then it’s extremely important to consider where you’re getting it from. Although a responsible breeder can’t guarantee a perfectly healthy dog, finding a responsible breeder can give you the best chances. Here are some top tips on how to avoid puppy farms (which these days often operate from normal houses to try to dupe prospective buyers!) and irresponsible breeders:
1) Always see mum with the pups – a good breeder will be more than happy for this to happen and should also have lots of information about the sire (father).
2) Visit the puppy before you collect them - this gives you a chance to bond and to discuss anything of concern with the breeder and check your puppy looks healthy.
3) Check that your puppy has been microchipped by 8weeks – this is a legal requirement and as pups shouldn’t be rehomed until at least 8 weeks this should be done with the breeder. They should also have documents about vaccines, flea treatment and worming.
4) Research what health tests are recommended for your chosen breed (give us a call if you need to!) and ensure both parents have had these tests before committing to buying a puppy. They should have certificates and, if Kennel Club registered, you can check online.
We’d also suggest having a look at the Puppy Contract - it has been designed to help you to avoid buying from an irresponsible breeder and give you the healthiest pup possible. You can find it on the RSPCA website.
If you are getting a puppy/ new dog, come and see us for a health check and advice! There is so much information online but if you have any questions at all before or after getting a new dog we are here to help