Pros and Cons of Buying a Puppy

  • 30/06/2017

Before getting a puppy check out the questions below.

Can you honestly say YES, to every one of the following?

Are you prepared for those first few sleepless nights? Get it wrong and it could be many more sleepless nights.

Will you really be prepared to take your dog or puppy for walks in the rain, wind and snow?

Have you worked out the extra cost to your budget each month?

Are you prepared to change your routine and lifestyle?

Do you work more than a few hours a day, if so, have you thought about who will care for your puppy?

Do you understand that it is natural for puppies to chew and bite and you will have to deal with this behaviour, teaching your puppy how you want him to behave?

Have you thought about how you will toilet train your puppy? Puppies are not born with the understanding that they must go outside to the toilet. It takes a lot of time and patience to teach them.

Do you realise your social life will suffer, especially in the early days?

How big will my puppy get? And are you prepared to cope with its size when it grows up into an adult dog?

Are you prepared for the amount of time and effort required - even when you are tired? Caring for a puppy is hard work, but for the lifetime of your dog, you need to be able to set aside 3 - 5 hours a day for its care.

So, you've ticked all the boxes, let's now get you on your exciting journey, successfully.

Once you have decided on the breed or cross-breed you need to be sure to find a reputable breeder. Check the breeder out before visiting. If you visit and find the puppies not living in very good conditions or being cared for correctly, it is very hard to walk away. If you walk away with a puppy under such conditions you could be opening yourself up to a lot of heartache and expensive vet bills.

The breeder should be more than happy for you to visit at least twice before you collect your puppy to take it home. Be sure to handle the puppies and make sure you see the puppy interacting with the rest of the litter.

A puppy is not old enough to leave its mother until it is 8 weeks old. Be wary of any breeder that tries to encourage you to take the puppy earlier than this. Be sure to meet the mother and if possible the father. Check out their temperament as well as the health history of both parents. Remember temperament can be an inherited trait as well as diseases and conditions.

A litter that is reared in the home is better than kennel reared. In the home, they get used to household noises and smells and you can be sure they get plenty of human contact. Make sure you are allowed to hold your puppy when you visit.

Be sure you are happy with the conditions the puppies are living in. Check their coat, their skin condition, their eyes and so on. Ensure there are no signs of coughing. You could also request a written agreement that the sale is subject to a satisfactory veterinary examination within 48 hours of you taking the puppy home.

Ask about worming and vaccinations. Many good breeders nowadays will get the puppies wormed and vaccinated at 8 weeks before you collect them. At least this way you know the puppies have been checked over by a vet.

Discuss insurance with the breeder. There are schemes for breeders that will cover the puppy into the first few weeks after you collect them. Again, this provides reassurance that the breeder is responsible and to the best of their knowledge the puppies are fit and healthy.

Also, visit and contact the breed specific societies & organisations. They will give you details of reputable breeders and often have a list of what puppies are available and where.

Of course, not all people selling puppies will be licensed or registered with the kennel club. It may be a cross-breed, a one off litter or an accident that the bitch became pregnant, but follow all the checks above and if in any doubt explore further. Ask as many questions as you feel fit. If people have nothing to hide they will only be too happy that you are asking the questions and that their pup is going to a responsible owner.

Getting a puppy should be a happy, exciting experience, don't let it turn into heartbreak.

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