getting a puppy

where to and to get your puppy or dog

A dog is for life 

Are you

If you are planning on getting a puppy or an adult dog, then you have a Duty of Care towards it – The Animal Welfare Act (AWA) 2006  says you MUST meet the dog’s following needs :

  • To protect them from pain, suffering, injury and disease
  • A suitable environment
  • A suitable diet
  • Its need to be able to exhibit normal behaviour
  • Any need it has to be housed with, or apart from, other animals.

Dogs are for life, not just to temporarily put a smile on a child’s face or give you something to do while you’re making life decisions. It’s a big deal getting a dog – huge in fact, and not a decision to be made lightly.  Remember, they don’t stay puppies for long. So think long and hard and make sure you’re committed enough to be in it for the long haul.

A dog will become more than just the family pet, it will be an important part of your family. Consider carefully if a dog will fit in with your lifestyle and family commitments. It’s important that everyone in the household is in agreement and happy, because it will definitely crave lots of love, affection and time with you all.

Your dog’s home life should always be safe, stable and comfortable – just as you would like it.

Loving your dog of course is free, but microchipping, food, basic dog supplies like toys, bedding, accessories. Necessities like grooming, veterinary care, health Insurance and training can all mount up to a pretty penny every month. For some there will be additional costs such as emergency health care, dog walkers, pet sitters or kennels for example.

The PDSA says dogs typically cost aa minimum of:  £4,600 – £8,900 for a small dog breed,  £7,000 – £11,000 for medium breeds, and from £5,700 –  £13,000 for a large dog breed, over a lifetime. However depending on your dog’s personal needs and any health problems it may develop, it could cost as much as £30,000 – So be prepared!

Dogs much like children require a lot of attention, so it’s important that you have enough time available to cater to their needs. 

So you’re ready to get a dog – great! Remember however that forearmed is forewarned. Before you take home that adorable dog, you should spend time looking into the different breeds to find the right one for you and your family.

Can you give that particular dog what it needs?You will need to consider the type of home you live in and even your surrounding area. Different breeds have different needs. A husky for example wouldn’t be happy in a small flat without a garden and it needs lots and lots of exercise. So if you’re a bit of a coach potatoe, a husky’s not for you!

Whatever the weather, your dog will need to go out for a walk every day. How often and for how long, will depend on the breed you choose. Don’t be fooled into thinking a little chihuahua for example will just want to stay home. As much as they might like to be cuddled, they also love to go for a walk to sniff, pee and socialise!

Training gives dogs a sense of structure, and a well-behaved dog will benefit not only you and your dog, but others too – particularly on dog walks.

Preventing bad habits early on such as chewing furniture and peeing where they shouldn’t make for a happier life all round.

Training takes time, patience and commitment.

A puppy needs to learn life skills in order to be happy and confident in its surroundings.

It needs to understand rules and be disciplined both in the home and particularily outdoors for its own safety.

Exposure to different sounds and situations, like traffic, crowds and hoovers. Travelling in a car. Social interaction with family, people and other dogs are all part of socialisng your dog, and are best practised in the early stages. Good training classes can really help to get you on track.

Dogs don’t like being left alone for long periods of time during the day.  Have you seen the videos where a dog jumps with joy and grins from ear to ear when their dog parent comes home? They’re so happy to have your company, they wait patiently for your return.

If you work full time, who will come to care for your dog and give him a break from the loneliness? Will there be a family member on hand or will you use doggy day care, a dog walker or dog sitter perhaps? 

What will happen when you want to go for a break somewhere. Who will walk, feed, water, watch over and keep your dog company while you are away? Will they go to a family member, to a pet hotel, dog boarders or will someone come and stay in your home? Can you afford your dog’s care and a holiday?

Do you have children? Some dogs get on well with them, and some don’t.  So before inviting a new dog into your home it’s important to make sure they get along first. 

Sometimes younger children can get over exicited and put a puppy or small dog in danger through rough or thoughtless play. It’s important your dog has a safe, quiet place if this is a possibility, like a crate in another room.

It’s impossible to know what the future holds, but keeping up to date with your dog’s vaccinations, flea treatment and worming will do a lot towards keeping them healthy. Just like humans though, a dog can become sick at any time, so registering with a good local veterinary practice is a must.

Health insurance for your dog is also a good idea to help spread the cost and be prepared for any unexpected health care costs that may come.

Much like having a toddler in your home, you will need to make sure your home is safe for your dog. Things like hanging cords and vertical blinds, wires and cables need to be tidied away, to avoid any accidents. Floors and carpets should be kept clean from toxic foods and small toy parts.
Never leave a dog with a collar on in the home.

Where do you get your from?

Next to a new baby, there’s nothing quite like a puppy or an adult dog to make a family complete – but where do you go to get one?

First and foremost please remember that puppies should never be sold under 8 weeks old – DO NOT buy from anyone advertising a puppy younger than 8 weeks. Insist on seeing the puppy interacting with its mother and littermates in the location where they were bred and reared.

Option 1 - Fostering

If you aren’t able to commit to a dog permanently, then you might like to help one by considering to foster instead.

  • Not all rescue groups have a physical shelter and so they depend on foster homes to care for the dogs while a suitable home is found. Some shelter on the other hand, are simply  running out of room for adoptable dogs.
  • Some dogs don’t respond well to kennelling and can become severely depressed and stressed.
  • A dog may need to be socialised because it has never known a home or had contact with people.
  • Another may be recovering from surgery, illness or an injury and need a safe environment to recuperate.
  • Sometimes a puppy is too young to be adopted and just needs a safe place to call home, until they are old enough to go to their forever home.

LINKS TO FOSTERING

Option 2 - Adopting

Rescue centers are full to the brim with dogs who have suffered cruelty, neglect or abandonment. Some are there because their owners were no longer able to look after them. All of them, are waiting for their forever home.

When you adopt a dog, you are giving that dog a second chance to have a good life – like it should have had all along.

gettting a dog

Option 3 - Assured Breeder

If you’re looking for a Pedigree puppy, then you should try the Kennel Club’s Assured Breeders Scheme.

They follow strict guidelines and have a list of registered breeders available for you to contact direct.

Option 4 - Online ?

Buying online – This option is a bit iffy to say the least, and you may well find yourself unwittingly negotiating with a puppy farm breeder – which you definitely do not want to do!

Many websites are a front for puppy farms so you really have to be thorough in your research.

The only website that SEEMS to be doing all they can to follow the minimum standards  as set out by the Pet Advertising Advisory Groups (PAAGS’s)  is:
Pets4Homes

They work closely with local councils and animal welfare organisations like C.A.R.I.A.D to prevent known puppy farmers from using their website.

Assured breeders and rescues do use the site, but it is down to you to do your homework to avoid getting stung and buying a sick puppy or dog – or helping a puppy farm to profit, and continue in their appalling ways.

Puppy Farm Breeders WILL fall through the cracks, so be wary and:

Read our section on Puppy Farms for more information and signs to look out for.

buying a puppy
  • Research the seller’s profile and name online. Beware of  advertisments for many litters from different breeds.
  • Check contact details. Copy and paste the phone number into Google. If the number is being used on lots of different adverts and websites then steer clear.
  • Check the animal’s age. Do Not buy from anyone advertising a puppy or kitten 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 the sale of the puppy.
english Bulldog puppy

The Puppy Contract

Download the Puppy Contract  – a good breeder will either have this already or be more than happy to use it.

Download Now