How to buy a puppy


For those who choose to get a dog, there a multiple ways to go about it, of which buying a puppy is one. Buying a puppy is an exciting time, but it’s important to be responsible in your research to make sure you purchase a healthy dog that has been raised ethically and supports good practices.

Advantages of buying a dog from a breeder

  • When you buy a dog you will most likely be buying a pedigree dog as a puppy.
  • Choosing a particular pedigree from a breeder will mean that you can better predict the size and appearance of your new pet.
  • You may also be able to get an indication of the dog’s temperament depending on the breed, the nature of the parents and by asking what measures the breeder has taken to socialise the dog.
  • You can get a full medical history of the puppy.
  • You can get a more comprehensive idea of the puppy’s physical and emotional background than in the case of an adult rescue dog.

Things to consider when buying a dog from a breeder

  • Some breeds can be predisposed to particular health conditions.
  • Puppies require a lot of time and patience to train them and support them in their development as well adjusted pets.
Puppy Golden Retriever walking outdoors in grass.
Puppy Beagle running outdoors with a red ball in its mouth.

Where to buy a dog

It’s important to do your research thoroughly to find a reputable breeder, and avoid buying puppies from pet shops and superstores. You can ask your vet about local breeders.

A responsible breeder will:

  • Provide lots of information about their puppies
  • Encourage you to meet your puppy several times
  • Have a clean and safe area for puppies and their mum
  • Will not let puppies leave their mum until they are eight weeks old
  • Will ask you lots of questions
  • Will sell the puppy with a contract promise to take it back if case of problems
  • Will supply a medical background including genetic screening, deworming and vaccinations
  • Will have the puppy microchipped (a legal requirement)
  • Will have started housetraining
  • Will have started to socialise their puppies
  • Will provide information on the puppy’s diet to date

Walk away if you experience any of the following:

  • If you can’t meet the puppy’s mum or siblings
  • If they offer to meet you in a public place
  • If they can’t provide proof of vaccination, deworming or health certificates with a pet passport
  • If they cannot provide a genuine vet’s contact details
  • If the puppy isn’t microchipped

Top tips for buying a puppy

  • Visit the puppy at least twice before you take it home
  • Find out about the breed’s traits and habits
  • Find out if the puppies are weaned
  • Find out how old the mum is - she should be over a year but not obviously old
  • Make sure the mum has had no more than six litters
  • Check the living conditions of the mum and litter
  • Pick up and play with the puppy
  • Give the puppy a blanket to familiarise it with the scent of your home
  • Check the puppy for clean eyes, ears and bottom

While it will take time, by doing the research to fully understand your dog and find a good breeder, you will help to ensure the longterm wellbeing of your pet and a happy transition into their new home.

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Dachshund puppy jumping in black and white on a white background