Advice To Follow When Looking For A New Puppy

Pets4Homes is the largest and most popular pet classifieds website in the UK, and this is a position that we take very seriously. Our goal is to put responsible breeders and sellers in touch with responsible buyers, and to promote and improve animal welfare and do what we can to stamp out unscrupulous breeding and selling practices.

We work closely with a range of animal welfare organisations and other experts to help us to do this, such as the C.A.R.I.A.D. Campaign to end puppy farming and the Pet Advertising Advisory Group, in order to use the power and influence that we have to say “no” to puppy farming and unscrupulous backyard breeders who sell only for profit and without animal welfare in mind.

However, while we continually work for improvement and carefully review any complaints made against any of our advertisers, when it comes to selecting and buying a new puppy, the ultimate responsibility for making the right choice falls to you, the potential buyer.

While we do everything that we can to ensure that only responsible breeders and ethically bred puppies make it onto the online advertisements here at Pets4Homes, it is up to each individual buyer to ensure that the puppy that they choose is healthy, honestly represented and responsibly bred. As such, we urge all potential buyers to follow our simple eleven-point checklist when making a decision to buy. So, what’s on the checklist? Read on.

Do your research first

Before you even start ringing around breeders or send an enquiry to as seller, you should ensure that you know what you are getting in to! Learn all about the breed and type of dog that you are considering buying before you make a firm decision, and make sure that you read their breed profile and other information in detail before you go ahead.

Confirm that the advertiser is genuine

When arranging to view a dog or puppy, you should always see it in the home that it lives, and never at another address or in a carpark or something similar. Never accept an offer to have the puppy brought to you, and never make payment for a dog online. If you have any concerns about a seller, report them to us.

Is the puppy over 8 weeks of age?

Pups should be a bare minimum of eight weeks old and fully weaned before going to their new homes, and ideally twelve weeks old. For Kennel Club Assured Breeders, pups should not be released to the buyer before they are twelve weeks old, and finding a breeder that insists on this is a good sign. Read further information on the minimum age puppies should be before leaving their mothers.

Check the health of the puppy or dog

Whilst it can be hard for the layperson to spot a potential problem or illness in the making in a dog or puppy, when making a purchase you should ensure that the seller agrees to a return within 48 hours if a veterinary professional finds the pet to be unwell or suffering from a hereditary health problem.

Getting your new pet checked out by a vet as soon as possible after purchase can help to ensure that everything goes as smoothly as possible.

Can the puppies be viewed with their mother?

All pups should be viewed with their mother, and in some cases, you may be able to see the father as well. Seeing the mother will allow you to get an insight into the temperament and traits of the pups as they age, and if the mother dog is not available to be seen, this is a warning sign that the advertisement is not what it seems to be.

Is the puppy or dog up to date with their vaccinations?

Puppies need to receive their two-stage vaccination shots before they can go outside, the first at 8-10 weeks of age and the second two weeks later. Due to the weaning age of puppies, this is something that is usually carried out by the breeder, and for older dogs, their vaccinations should of course be up to date too.

Always ask to see the pup’s vaccination card or record to back up any claims about their vaccination status.

Have the puppies been treated for worms and fleas?

Puppies can be wormed for the first time at around two weeks of age, and flea treated using an appropriate product from a young age too. There is no reason why a properly cared for puppy should have fleas or worms, so check this carefully, and take it as a warning sign if they do.

Is the puppy/dog microchipped?

From April 2016, all dogs and puppies over the age of eight weeks are required by law to be microchipped, and details on the keeper kept up to date. This means that when you buy a puppy, they will already need to be microchipped in accordance with the law, and so you should verify this and ensure that all of the paperwork is in order before making a purchase.

Ask questions about the puppies’ mother

Find out the temperament of the dam, how old she is, how many litters she has had, and why she was chosen for breeding. This will help to tell you not only about the dam, but also about the seller!

Is the dog/puppy registered with The Kennel Club?

If the puppy is a registered pedigree with The Kennel Club, make sure that all of the paperwork is in order and ready to go with the dog-don’t accept an explanation that the papers will be sent on later!

Have the puppies been socialised?

Finally, puppies should begin learning about the world around them when it comes to other dogs and people from a very young age, and this will happen organically for pups that have genuinely been raised within a home environment. Puppies that have been farmed or otherwise incorrectly raised are likely to have problems adjusting, and be harder to train and manage as a result of this.

You can find our full puppy buying advice checklist underneath every single advert for dogs or puppies for sale here on Pets4Homes, and we strongly advise all potential buyers to print a copy off and refer back to it as needed throughout the buying process.


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