10 Warning Signs To Look Out For When Getting A Puppy!

The ‘Puppy Shortage’ in the UK has been a hot topic over these past few months, and you may have read our ‘Pandemic Puppies’ blog back in April, where we discussed the panic buying of canine companions for lockdown. Well, a new study has shown some interesting results from these new puppy purchases…

27% of people paid for their puppy before seeing it.

42% of people didn’t see the puppy’s breeding environment.

And 24% of people think their puppy may have originated from a puppy farm.

If you are not familiar with ‘Lucy’s Law’, I recommend you read my ‘Animal Welfare’ blog, and I thought this would be the perfect opportunity to write about what you should be looking out for when searching for your new bundle of joy.

Here are some simple Do’s & Don’ts, where to look and what to ask…

First of all, fostering is always a good option if you are unsure – or you could become a Digs for Dogs Home Boarding Family, which will give you a good insight into life with a pet but without the long term commitment.

If you are rescuing or adopting a dog, you can check if the rescue organisation is a member of the Association of Dogs and Cats Homes (ADCH) here.

If you’re buying a puppy please use The Puppy Contract. Then, once you’ve had a good read and you’re ready to start looking, you should look out for these warning signs…

Before visiting:

Do your research!

  • Have a look at the seller’s profile and search their name online. If they are advertising many litters from different breeds, then this is a red flag.
  • Check contact details. Copy and paste the phone number into a search engine. If the number is being used on lots of different adverts, sites and dates then this is likely a deceitful seller.
  • Check the animal’s age. Puppies should never be sold under 8 weeks old – do not buy from anyone advertising a puppy younger than 8 weeks.
  • Check the animal’s health records. Make sure the seller shares all records of vaccinations, flea and worm treatment and microchipping with you before sale.

When visiting:

  • Make sure the mum is present – if mum is not available to meet, it’s unlikely the puppy was bred there. Beware of the seller making excuses as to why mum is not there e.g. she’s at the vet’s, asleep, or out for a walk.
  • Check there isn’t a ‘fake’ mum – most fake mums don’t interact with the puppies as they fear the real mum returning.
  • Watch out for puppies labelled as ‘rescue’ but with much higher than expected price tags.
  • If you feel rushed or pressurised into parting with cash, this is a red flag.
  • Health problems observed at purchase are not normal and don’t be convinced otherwise.
  • Beware of offers to meet somewhere convenient e.g. car park or motorway services, or ‘shop front’ premises, common with rented properties just to make sales, and ‘sales rooms’ kept separate from nearby or onsite puppy farm.

Checklist – things to ask…

  1. How old are the puppies?
  2. Are you able to see the puppy with its mum and dad?
  3. Are you able to see and handle the full litter?
  4. Are they weaned?
  5. What social experiences have the puppies had so far?
  6. When am I allowed to take the puppy home?
  7. Which vaccinations has the puppy had and when is the next dose due?
  8. Has the puppy received any other treatment i.e. worming?
  9. Is the puppy registered with The Kennel Club?


Do you have a new puppy?

Digs for Dogs offer a specialist service to ensure that your new ball of energy is happy and settled when you are not around, getting the attention and socialisation that is so important during the first months.

We provide companionship and care visits that include house or garden play, feeding – and plenty of cuddles and affection. When your puppy is ready, we will start short walks from your house which will develop into a full walk as the dog gets older, stronger and more socialised.

Whatever your puppy needs, we can help to ensure that he or she gets the best start in life.

Contact us today for more information:

01204 895 355

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