Whether you’re looking for some company, a way to make your family more active, or you have simply long had a tradition of having a furry friend under your roof, welcoming a new puppy to your life can be endlessly fulfilling and can help you craft all sorts of lovely, new memories. However, when you’re looking to bring a new puppy into the home, you should be mindful of just how deceptive and unethical the market can be. Here, we’ll look at a few risks you should consider when you think about buying a new puppy for your family home.
Please note that I am not advocating for the purchase of pedigree dogs from a breeder, nor am I advocating for any form of pet selling. This post is about raising awareness of pet purchasing practices, so that potential pet owners can make ethical decisions when buying a new puppy. Adopting a dog from a rescue shelter is an amazingly worthy cause, but most rescue centres won’t allow families with young children or with other pets already to adopt rescue dogs. And so in these instances, families will end up sourcing dogs that require purchasing. This post aims to support people wanting to bring a new puppy or dog into their family home.
Ensuring that they are healthy
When it comes to new puppies, you want to make sure that they have the best possible chance of a healthy and happy life. Of course, a few lingering health issues don’t make any dog less deserving of love and care, but you should be aware of what, exactly, you’re getting into and how much additional work it might end up requiring of you. To that end, when choosing a puppy from a litter, there are a few health checks you should make. Talk to the owner and observe their behaviour to see if there are any signs of health issues that you should inquire further about. The owner should also consent to you visiting the vet with the pup for a health check before you take them home.
Watch out for scams
Given how excited people can get when buying a new puppy and how much they might be willing to pay for puppies of a certain breed, it’s unfortunately not uncommon for people, especially in the private buyer’s market, to try and scam them out of their money. You should learn as much as you can about how to avoid puppy scams on Gumtree and other private market websites. There are a lot of cases in which buyers have exchanged money ahead of time to put down a reserve on a new litter of pedigree puppies, only to eventually find out that no such puppies exist and the person who was supposed to be selling them has run off with their money.
If you’re buying a puppy from a breeder, you are also allowed to request to see the puppy with the mother and have a health record for the puppy’s mother. Look out for signs of how the mother interacts with the puppy – does it appear to be typical puppy-to-mother behaviour?
Look out for puppy farms
Sadly another common scam is puppy farming. The seller you’re talking with may well have new puppies for you to take home, but in doing so, you might be supporting the highly unethical and, in many cases, illegal puppy farms that are seemingly spreading across the industry. These puppy farms intensively breed dogs without any care for the health, social, or emotional needs of the animals that they house, which can cause serious trauma to both the mothers of the litters as well as the litters themselves, which can, in turn, cause long-term health issues that can be very costly. Get to know the signs of puppy farms so that you can ensure you’re buying from more ethical sources.
Ethical breeders will be registered with organisations such as the Kennel Club who have strict rules and guidelines to follow that are aimed at preventing over-breeding, breeding of genetic conditions, and look out for the care of the mother dog and future litters by putting strict limits on the frequency and number of litters each registered female can ethically have. You are entitled to see registration certification if it’s claimed they are registered, and please do a thorough check of all paperwork claims.
Getting a new puppy should be a joyous, exciting time, so you want to make sure that you’re getting them from either reputable breeders and sellers who keep them and their parents in good condition, or consider adopting, instead.