You have picked out a name, selected the spot for the dog basket and worked out the best local dog-walking routes, but what else do you need to know when buying a puppy?
1 in 4 pandemic puppy buyers admit they could have ‘inadvertently bought from a puppy farm’, and a fifth don’t know whether their dog will always suit their lifestyle.
At Rookes Pet Products, we want to help you make an informed decision so let’s delve into some key areas a little further.
1) The right dog
How have you chosen which type of dog is best for you? Different dogs lend themselves to different lifestyles, so it’s important to make sure their breed blends well with yours. Devote time to learn about different breeds. The Kennel Club encourages you to consider a dog’s size, specific needs, hereditary health issues, common health tests and where you can find suitable breeders. What about you as the owner? Are you allergic to long-haired dogs, want a dog to run with or can’t stand excessive vacuuming? With over 200 pedigree dog breeds to choose from it is important to consider the typical characteristics of that breed.
2) Choose your breeder carefully
At Rookes, we believe that dogs which live healthy and happy lives tend to come from reputable and trusted breeders or trusted rescue centres. Known as “Lucy’s Law”, April 2020 saw new legislation in place ensuring that anyone looking to buy or adopt a puppy under 6 months ‘must either deal directly with the breeder or an animal rehoming centre.’
Puppy farming is illegal. Backyard breeders work illicitly to breed and sell puppies for a profit without any consideration for the wellbeing or welfare of the dog. Pandemic Puppy purchases are on the rise and it is crucial to look out for signs of unscrupulous breeders. Your breeder should be as interested in your character as you are in your new potential pup. A decent breeder will not let their puppy leave any sooner than eight weeks old. By the time you take your puppy home, the veterinary records should show evidence of injections and worm tablets. Ask questions and expect answers whilst greeting the parents of the puppy and looking at the environment they are being raised in.
3) Costs Considerations.
The Kennel Club recently found that costs relating to insurance, food and vet bills were a concern to 15% of new puppy owners, so what bills will you face? One-off and on-going costs for equipment, microchipping, worming, flea treatment, insurance, vet fees, training classes and of course food are to be expected. Puppies need to be fed little and often, but you can make sure you know everything about feeding your puppy here.
4) Puppy Training
We have missed out on so many social occasions during the pandemic and so have our pets. Between the age of 3 and 12 weeks, puppies naturally feel confident and safe around people, so this is an ideal time for them to learn basic socialising skills before they become more cautious. On arriving at their new home, these social skills can be bettered as they continue to be receptive to learning new skills. Try to curb the excitement to play with the new puppy all day by remembering this simple Puppy Playtime calculation. ‘5 minutes of exercise per month of their age for the first 12 months.’ So at 12 weeks old, 15 minutes of exercise and training will prevent any damage to their growth plates that are yet to fuse and reduce the risk of injuries in later life. It’s not just about teaching your puppy to sit, socialise and walk well on a lead, we previously discussed potty training your puppy here.
5) Travelling with your Dog.
When it comes to thinking about travel, a secure option for your puppy will prevent you from being distracted and ensure your puppy is safe in transit. Crates and harnesses are both ideal travel systems and come in varied sizes to guarantee a suitable fit for your dog. Investing in your pup’s travel safety is imperative – and please always remember to deactivate the airbag if your pet is harnessed to a seat.
6) Pet Insurance
The vaccinations, worm tablets and health check-ups all add up and, although many vets have ‘fit clubs’ which enable you to spread the cost, you should think about pet insurance too – it could save you from a large unexpected vet bill. Covering costs of illnesses and accidents can be expensive, but paying a small monthly fee can mitigate these charges.
When buying a puppy we must always remember we are committing to a lifelong relationship with a dog. Dogs Trust UK, the largest dog welfare charity in the UK, predicts that over 40,000 dogs will need help or rehoming following the impact of Covid-19. Our four-legged friends can bring us such enjoyment but are a big responsibility. It is important to remember a dog is for life, not just the pandemic.