It sounds like a good idea: saving an adorable young puppy from a life with an illegal dealer who neglects their basic rights – a relationship with their mum, for example, or pleasant living quarters and access to essential vaccinations and health care. Your parental (and human) instincts might tell you to go for it, save the poor thing!
Sadly, rewarding as it is to improve one puppy’s life, buying from an illegal dealer is a bad idea as ultimately, you’d only be funding the Puppy Farming Trade and whilst you would rescue one puppy, neglect, stress and often trauma would remain in store for many more.
According to Dogs Trust, the UK demand for puppies is around 800,000 a year. The UK GOV, however, estimates that only 560,000 puppies are born each year in the UK, which leaves a further 240,000 who could be coming from anywhere. This alone is living proof that the backstreet puppy industry is in full flow.
The government is taking action on this. They recently unveiled plans to tackle commercial breeding and will implement new rules that licensed dog breeders must follow. You can do your bit too! See the video below for some simple steps to follow to ensure that the newest addition to your family has been brought into the world ethically and responsibly …
Buy from a reputable breeder – Visit their house on numerous occasions and not just on the day of purchase. A good breeder will probably have a waiting list for puppies but remember a happy, healthy dog is worth this. Take note of price; if traders know there’s a demand, they’ll sell fashionable breeds for high prices. That said, be equally wary if the price is too low.
Visit the puppies – As a minimum, visit the litter when the puppies are 3-4 weeks’ old. Take them home at no younger than 8-9 weeks of age.
Ask to see the conditions in which the litter is kept – A licensed, responsible breeder will keep their new puppies somewhere safe and warm.
See the puppies with their mother – This is a big one. If the mum is nowhere to be seen, the puppies were not bred at this location. Puppies shouldn’t be separated from their mothers until they reach 8-9 weeks and a licensed breeder will know this. Ideally, you want to see puppies feeding from their mother.
Seek regular updates/photos of the puppy – This is especially helpful if you don't catch the puppies feeding from their mother during your visits. Genuine breeders can provide this information; they’ll be patient, happy to display their pets’ quality of care and take any measures necessary to ensure that their puppy is going off to a good home!
NEVER buy puppies from car parks, laybys or over the internet – In fact, we recommend you don’t buy a puppy from anywhere except the breeder’s home. If a breeder cannot show you where their puppies live, for whatever reason, they’re not to be trusted. Do your research and stay smart, be wary of fake advertisements and information when searching online.
Avoid spontaneous purchases – This encapsulates all of the above. Research and correspondence between breeder and buyer is an absolute must. Do not hesitate to ask questions. Have the puppies been wormed? It’s a legal requirement for all dog breeders to microchip and register puppies with their own details, prior to sale. Has this been done?
Don’t forget to visit your local rehoming centre. Last year the RSPCA rescued 129,602 animals; if you’re looking to save a dog or pup from a disadvantaged background, this is the way to do it!
For further advice, book a free pre-pet consultation with any of our My Family Vets Approved practices. Our expert team can advise you on where you should obtain your puppy, which breed best suits your lifestyle and everything else you might need to know in order to take care of your new furry friend.
Contact us for more information!
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