FARMING: Guidance for if you are buying a puppy

This year has been like no other and with people working from home, many families have chosen to add a furry friend to their household.
It seems the perfect time to get a puppyIt seems the perfect time to get a puppy
It seems the perfect time to get a puppy

It seems the perfect time to get a puppy - plenty of time at home to get to know your new family member, time to train them and start taking them out on walks after their vaccination course. This baby boom has, however led to its own set of problems.

The increase in demand for pups has led to a worrying increase in both the price of pups and in the number of animals coming from unsuitable breeding conditions or “puppy farms”.

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In their first few weeks of life, puppies need a lot of care and attention - correct and good quality food; worming at the correct age; socialisation; microchipping and vaccinations. All of these are essential in giving a puppy the proper start in life and are often left out when pups come from poor conditions.

How can you be sure you are buying from a reputable breeder? There are several ways in which you can try and ensure that the place you are buying your new puppy from is safe and that your puppy has been given the best start in life:Research your breeder. If you are buying a pedigree puppy, ensure you are buying from a Kennel Club registered breeder or, even better, a Kennel Club assured breeder. Look for mum! When you visit your potential pup, as you always should, be sure to look for the mother of the puppies. Ideally see her with the litter, feeding them as this is an excellent way to be assured that they have been born and bred there and not imported.Look for paperwork. Puppies should come with paperwork including microchipping details and vaccination records. If they are pedigree, they may also come with their Kennel Club papers showing their family history. Some breeders also sell their puppies with a contract.Consider taking a “puppy contract” to the breeder. This is filled in by both parties and includes information about the pup’s parents, where the animal was bred etc and is freely available online.Expect questions! Good breeders will want to make sure their puppies are going to the best homes possible. Expect the breeder to ask difficult questions such as work routine, financial stability and availability of funds for veterinary care among others. This is a good way to be sure that the breeder cares for the pups they are selling and are not just doing it for money.

If you go to visit a puppy, try to look beyond the cute! If something feels not right … walk away!Further information about choosing the right puppy can be found on the Kennel Club and British Veterinary Association (BVA) websites.

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