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There are a great many pros to bringing home a puppy in lockdown 2, as you’ll probably be able to stay home with them ad settle them in properly. There are just as many cons though, and all of this doesn’t even take into account the logistics and legalities of buying a puppy in lockdown; or even if this can be achieved legally at all.
This article will answer five frequently asked questions about buying a puppy in lockdown, including first of all whether puppy buying in lockdown 2 is legal in the first place. Read on to learn more.
First of all, buying and selling puppies during lockdown 2 isn’t in itself illegal; but buying a puppy responsibly means going through a process, rather than picking a dog out from a picture on the internet and getting it shipped!
The responsible puppy buying process is time-consuming, lengthy, involves a reasonable amount of travel, visiting other people’s homes, and interaction with other people; and so it is the different elements involved in buying a puppy in lockdown that could cause you to fall foul of the law and also place yourself and others at risk, rather than the theoretical financial transaction itself.
Another problem here is that there are many scammers and fraudsters targeting would-be puppy buyers to rip them off in lockdown 2, as claims that would normally be totally implausible are actually believable; like not being able to show the puppy in person due to social distancing, and potentially requesting a deposit on a puppy unseen to secure it.
Ultimately, this means that it is unlikely you’d be able to go through the whole process of responsible puppy buying from start to finish and remain within the remit of the laws relating to lockdown 2 that are designed to limit the spread of Covid-19, and also avoid falling foul of scams too.
Next, we’ll look at some of the individual elements involved in puppy buying during lockdown and how they work (or don’t work) in practice.
Viewing litters in person is a vital part of picking the right puppy from the right breeder, and this means you’re going to clock up a lot of miles in the car if you’re looking to buy a puppy and are careful about making the right choice and not rushing into things.
As well as the general UK-wide second lockdown and the blanket rules imposed as part of this, the different devolved administrations also have their own local rules and restrictions in place on travel, and how things look in different parts of the country based on their tiers can mean this is variable too.
Areas in higher tiers are restricted to essential travel only, and visiting litters of puppies is about as far from “essential” as one might reasonably expect a thing to get! In general, non-essential travel during lockdown 2 is discouraged and people are being asked to be responsible, and so traveling to view litters doesn’t support this.
Travel-related issues aside, are you actually allowed to visit breeders and see litters within their own homes during lockdown 2? No. The national restrictions state that you can’t meet other people indoors or in a private garden (so essentially, in a home where a litter resides) unless they’re part of your support bubble.
This essentially means that physically visiting breeders and meeting and interacting with litters is not possible during lockdown 2.
What if you agreed the purchase of a puppy before lockdown began, and the agreed date for you to get the pup or the age at which it became able to leave its dam and go home with you falls within lockdown? Can you get your puppy in lockdown 2 or do you have to wait until the restrictions lift or change?
Again, you’d fall foul of the spirit of the lockdown 2 restrictions if you travelled to a breeder’s home to collect your puppy. Even if you did decide to do this, you would break the letter of the restrictions if you entered their home, and would have to arrange a socially distanced hand-off of the puppy and all of the paperwork and accessories for them at the door, which is likely to be highly impractical if not impossible.
However, if the breeder you’re buying from is registered as a business (in the business of breeding dogs) delivering the puppy to you might theoretically be permissible if this does not breach localised or tier-related restrictions.
If you do agree to this, ensure that this is the final drop-off of a puppy you’ve already met and seen with their dam and littermates, and not under any circumstances a substitute for viewing and meeting the pup first.
This is another consideration to bear in mind if you buy or bring home a new puppy in lockdown 2. Vets are still permitted to work in lockdown 2, but they also need to protect themselves, their team, and their customers and deliver essential care as a priority.
This means that non-essential, routine, preventative and other things that can wait for a few weeks without causing harm to the animal in question might not be available. The first vaccinations and health check for a puppy might be among these things, as puppies can and should be kept inside until they have had their vaccinations.
That said, puppies also need to socialise and be introduced to the world at the right stage of their lives, and so many vets are continuing to offer initial vaccinations for puppies, even if they are asking the owners of adult dogs requiring boosters that can wait to hold off.
Check with your own vet what the situation is before you bring your puppy home during lockdown.
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