Perfect Pooches: Advice on buying puppies and how to avoid numerous pitfalls

There are many pitfalls to avoid these days when buying a puppy as more and more people jump on the bandwagon to earn a quick buck from breeding dogs.

Saturday, 15th May 2021, 12:30 pm
Do lots of research before buying a puppy (photo: Getty Images)

There are many pitfalls to avoid these days when buying a puppy as more and more people jump on the bandwagon to earn a quick buck from breeding dogs.

The prices have gone through the roof as many reputable breeders took a step back from breeding due to COVID and the backstreet breeders trying to cash-in took over.

I can offer advice which will hopefully help you make a more informed choice.

Did you know that since April 6 2020 it’s been illegal to sell a puppy or kitten under six months old that you have not bred yourself? This, of course, doesn’t apply to animal rehoming charities.

There are lots of people out there who make large sums of money by selling puppies that have been poorly bred, often in terrible and even cruel conditions. Poorly bred puppies will grow up with lots of health problems and possibly temperament problems too. Unfortunately, these unscrupulous breeders, sellers and dog thieves can be tricky to spot, as some will go to great lengths to convince you they care about the puppy.

Here are some signs that the puppy you are looking at buying may have come from a puppy farm:-

• The mother had a litter just six months previously with no rest in between

• The breeder is selling lots of different breeds

• You can’t meet the parents or see the area where the puppies have been born/living with the mother

• The seller wants to meet in a public area and not at their home

• The puppies are in a poor condition and/or living in poor conditions

• The puppies have not been vet checked, had any vaccinations or papers

• The breeder won’t answer your questions properly

• The breeder/seller hasn’t asked you any questions

• The seller says they are selling on behalf of the breeder

• The puppy is sold before being at least eight weeks of age

Look for a reputable breeder with the Kennel Club, an assured breeder will always take a puppy they have bred back, regardless of age and health. Also, don’t get scammed by sending a deposit for a puppy you’ve never met.

Do your research, find social media groups for the breed you are interested in and get recommendations.

Don’t think you can pick up a puppy within the week — in the long run a better bred puppy is worth waiting for.

You can find lots more good advice online.

(Rachel is the owner of ViP Dog Grooming in Wakefield and has worked with dogs her whole life)