Congratulations on making the decision to welcome a puppy to your home! Get ready for endless cuddles and plenty of puppy eyes! The next stage in your journey is to decide where to find your puppy. This can take months, and rightly so. With so many puppies being sold online, and through lots of different channels it can feel a bit overwhelming, but where you get your puppy from is an important decision to help you understand as much as possible about the start of your puppy’s life.

The two main routes are adoption through a reputable breeder or rescue a pup from a dog shelter. If you are thinking of adopting we’ve picked out some top tips below. Remember, if something doesn’t feel right then be prepared to walk away and continue your search elsewhere.

WHAT TO LOOK FOR IN THE ADVERT AND ARRANGING A VISIT WITH A BREEDER

  • Plenty of photos of the puppies, mother, father, playing in home.
  • It’s recommended BOTH parents to be DNA health checked by the breeder. Check which breed specific health checks are recommended here.
  • Puppies should be microchipped and up to date with flea and worming treatment when ready for their forever homes.
  • Puppies should have had their first vaccination prior to you picking them up.
  • Licensed breeders offer an added layer of protection. To check if licensed ask to see a copy of certification and license number, you can then check on your local authority website for confirmation.

TOP TIP: Research the breeder. Search social media, Facebook groups and Google the telephone number to see if anything suspicious is highlighted.

When you get in touch with the breeder they may ask you plenty of questions about your household and everyday lives. They want to understand if their pup will be cared for properly. You may be asked to fill out a questionnaire in some cases. These are all good signs of caring, genuine breeder.

VISITING THE LITTER

  • Only agree to visit the puppy’s home, then you’re able to assess the breeder’s environment. If the breeder suggests meeting in a carpark, then don’t go.
  • Go with plenty of questions.
  • Meet mum and watch how she interacts with her pups.
  • Have they got a clean and warm bed?
  • Ask to see the health certificates.
  • Is a puppy contract in place?
  • Spend time with the pups and don’t feel rushed.
  • If you suspect a puppy farm contact the RSPCA immediately.

PUPPY CONTRACT

If your breeder uses a contract then it’s a great sign they are a responsible breeder. This contract outlines the terms of sale and return rights. As standard the breeder asks their vet to conduct a standard health check 3 days prior to you collecting your pup. It’s then recommended that you do the same with your local vet once you have pup home with you.  If any concerns are raised at either appointment then you are not tied into the agreement and can return the pup to the breeder.

COLLECTING YOUR NEW PUPPY

You’ve now overcome one of the biggest hurdles in finding your puppy. Or so you thought… the wait is just as hard!

When you collect your new puppy be sure to run through all the paperwork with the breeder. It’s also a great idea to spend some time learning as much about your pup’s special personality as you can.

In many cases the breeder will provide you with a ‘puppy pack’. This includes all the relevant paperwork, microchip details, vaccination record, socialisation tick list, copy of parent DNA tests, a weeks worth of food and not forgetting the most important – a blanket with their mother’s scent.

TOP TIP: Check your pup microchip details are updated once you arrive home. Your breeder will give you the relevant paperwork to do this online.

It’s common to wait 8-12 weeks for your new puppy to come home. This can vary but as a rule puppies should stay with their litter until at least 8 weeks old.

The breeder should be sending you weekly photos/video updates with how your puppy is growing. All this time gives you the perfect opportunity to prepare for your new arrival

WE’D LOVE YOU TO STAY IN TOUCH!

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