Firstly, Congratulations on deciding to get yourselves a Puppy! Wether you've already purchased the new addition or not, I hope you've done your research! Many first time puppy owners who I speak to were under the impression that a puppy comes 'ready made' or will be easy to train into a the 'perfect' dog (I'm laughing as I write this...). Please be realistic. It's going to be tough, hard work, costly and tiring. But hey, it'll be worth it! I offer a 'prepare your home for your new puppy' service which goes over all these things as well as tips and how to puppy proof your home. Full details can be found on The Dog Training page.
Before you buy your puppy, please consider and think about the following;
Do you have an idea on how much approximately your puppy will cost to buy?
What is considered too cheap so it raises a concerns about why this person has puppies for sale?
Is the breed you want the right breed for you?
Are they a reputable breeder or re-homing centre?
Have you researched what food you want to feed your dog? Most people will just stick with what the breeder suggests without checking out if there's better alternatives.
Legal requirements such as Microchipping and ID tags. Microchipping is a legal requirement for puppies by 8 weeks of age unless a Vet has issued an exemption certificate for welfare reasons. The new regulations came into effect in April 2016. The fine for having your dog microchipped could be up to £500. Make sure you cover everything!
Spaying and Neutering options. Have you decided if you should or not, at what age and at what cost?
Do you work long hours? Have you looked into local Dog Walkers or Pet Sitters that can look in on your puppy whilst you are working and at what cost? Can you budget for it? So many people re-home their dogs because the dogs are on their own for too long and they can't afford the help.
What preventative measures will you take to cover your dog against fleas, worms and ticks?
Have you researched your puppies first vaccinations?
Dental hygiene is a big thing that many people forget. Healthy teeth make a happy dog!
Insurance? Do you want to take out cover for your pet? Insurance is not a legal requirement, it is optional.
Puppy Training. Have you looked at the cost & availability of local trainer or are you going to go it alone?
The initial set up of your home is also very important. Food & water bowls, beds, leads, collars/harnesses, toys, puppy pads (if you wish to use them), crates, stair gates to puppy proof the house and grooming supplies such as brushes & shampoos.
There are so many things that people do not consider when buying their first dog. Please make sure you are equipped to take on the responsibility.
Puppy Farms are on the rise, do you know the warning signs that you may be buying from someone who dabbles in these cruel places?
A reputable breeder will ask questions about you, your home and your set up. They will have the mother (& possibly the father) for you to see, they can provide the correct legislation, they are happy to give advice and will answer all questions confidently. They will also let you return the puppy if things don't work out.
A puppy farm breeder will not let you see the mother, they will most likely ask to meet you somewhere with the puppies, the puppies will be relatively low cost, they may look ok on sight, but health issues will soon become apparent. They may dodge your questions and will not ask you any questions regarding your home set up.
If you suspect a possible puppy farm, please inform the RSPCA, the police or your local authority.