National Animal Welfare Trust understands that sometimes it is the right choice for a family to decide to get a puppy rather than a rescue dog. With that in mind, NAWT has advice for people who have decided to purchase a puppy.
Buyers can pledge to try to follow the advice on how to buy a new puppy that’s been raised with the best animal welfare rather than from a puppy farmer.
Everyone can pledge to speak out on the issue of puppy farming and what to look for when buying a pup.
You can download and print a copy of this advice sheet at home.
We have assumed you have considered the following:
Be aware that the quality of puppy breeders can range from the Kennel Club Assured Breeders to the backstreet puppy farmers and the health and wellbeing of the puppy will also vary accordingly. Do not buy a puppy from a pet shop as it is likely to have originated from a puppy farm.
‘Puppy Farmers’ are commercial breeders who put profit before welfare, mass producing sick and poorly bred puppies which can be sold on to dealers and pet shops. Dealers will advertise over the internet or in free ads and can be very convincing in their claims to be the puppy’s breeder. There have been many heart-breaking stories of people unwittingly buying puppy farmed puppies and ending up losing their new puppy because it was so sick.
No-one can resist a cute puppy, so it is important to ask all the right questions before you even go to see the puppy. Most people understandably find it hard to walk away from the purchase once they are holding a cute, fluffy bundle, especially if they think they are ‘rescuing’ it from a miserable environment. In reality they are lining the dealer’s pockets and sentencing an exhausted breeding bitch to yet another litter of puppies.
The answers to these questions should reassure you that you are buying from a genuine breeder who owns the mum, has bred the puppies themselves and is breeding from healthy parents of good temperament.
The answers to these questions should reassure you that the puppies have had the best start in life health-wise, have been well socialised with people and the home environment, that the breeder knows all about the puppies from birth and that the puppies are not leaving their mum too early.
These questions enable you to establish that the breeder is compliant with the most recent legislation and is prepared to spend the extra money to comply.
The breeder should also be asking you lots of questions about your lifestyle, experience and suitability as an owner. They should show concern that their puppies all go to good homes. Perhaps they are keeping one of the puppies themselves – always a good sign.
If you have any concerns about the answers you are given to any of these questions, end the call and look elsewhere for a more reputable breeder. Do not arrange to visit the puppy as you will then most likely be caught in the web of an unscrupulous breeder.
If the breeder offers to meet you in a neutral location such as a car park or motorway service station, or offers to deliver the puppy rather than invite you to their premises, end the conversation as this is not a reputable breeder.
If you suspect you have just met a puppy farmer or an unscrupulous dealer do not agree to purchase the puppy – this simply fuels the trade, causing even more puppies and breeding bitches to suffer.
Instead they should report the incident to your local authority or the local authority within which the breeder’s premises are situated. Also contact the Citizens Advice consumer helpline on 0345 404 0506 and report your concerns.
Make sure you are in possession of all the necessary documentation before you pay for your puppy. This includes:
All this paperwork should be available at the point when you purchase the puppy. Be suspicious if the breeder offers to ‘send it on later’ – that probably won’t happen!
You can download this guide as a PDF to print out and read at home.
We hope you found this guide helpful. NAWT believes in promoting responsible pet ownership as part of its rehoming and rescue work. It costs the charity £7,500 per day to care for our animals and this is something that would be completely unachievable without the incredible support of people like you.
Please help and make a difference to our animals’ lives today.
Text NAWT33 and give £5 to 70070 today
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