Your ultimate guide to buying a puppy

Puppy Guide 2024

Why You Need a Help Sheet

Being organised and prepared is essential to finding a licensed breeder and ensuring you make the best choice. Having a comprehensive guide will equip you with the knowledge and confidence that you need to navigate the process smoothly.

Some key benefits:

  • Choosing the right breeder
  • Choosing the right breed for your lifestyle
  • Understanding health and vaccination needs
  • Knowing what documentation you require

Buying you Furry Friend

Before collecting your puppy or dog, you will need to be able to tick off all the paw prints on the help sheet. Dog ownership can be extremely rewarding as it brings you unconditional love, companionship, a healthier lifestyle, and a sense of joy. So, let’s make sure you’re ready for the commitment;

  1. A dog is for life, not for Instagram. The average lifespan of a dog is around 12 years and so you will need to be able to commit for this length of time.
  2. Make sure your circumstances are right for your dog. This includes work hours and size of home. Will there be someone at home if I work long hours?
  3. Make sure you’re ready for the financial commitment to a dog. Some things to think about include, food, veterinary fees, possible grooming costs, kennelling fees, and insurance costs.
  4. Ensure you can exercise the dog everyday. Will you be able to train, groom, and generally care for the dog on a daily basis?

Which Dog Breed is Right for Me?

The right dog breed for you depends on your preferred size, exercise levels, grooming needs, and if they suit family life, or a quieter one. There are many breeds out there and all will suit different sorts of people and circumstances. A Border Collie, for example, will not do well in a flat with no garden and no access to regular exercise, whereas a smaller breed such as a Chihuahua will likely not mind.

Here are things to consider:

    • How much exercise are you able to provide a day?
    • What grooming requirements are you comfortable with?
    • Do you have any health problems i.e. asthma or allergies?
    • Do you live in the town or country?
    • What type of home do you live in?
    • What size garden do you have?
    • What size dog can you handle? 


Finding the Right Breeder

Adding a new puppy to your household is an exciting time, but it does come with some preparation. Finding a reputable licensed breeder is crucial in making sure  that you’re buying a puppy that’s in good health and is well-cared for, so they can grow into a happy and healthy dog.

Why not use our help sheet so you know what to look for in a licensed puppy breeder?

How to Buy a Furry Friend: Top Tips

Buying your new furry friend from a licensed, responsible breeder sounds great, but what’s the best method to find one?

There are a few options:

    • Check your local authority website for a list of licensed breeders on their site
    • Look for breeder information from breed clubs
    • Join forums and Facebook groups for breed information
    • Visit dog shows to meet breeders and owners
    • Be prepared to wait for the right puppy
    • Avoid buying a puppy from a pet shop or online without meeting them first

If you’re still unsure where to start, why not drop us an email at, and we will help you on your journey towards finding your licensed breeder.


Top Additional Questions to Ask a Dog Breeder When Buying a Furry Friend

When thinking about what questions to ask when buying a puppy, it’s a good idea to do your research first. 

Find out as much as you can about the breed by talking to the current owners and doing your research.

You can use our help sheet for further guidance, and refer to these additional questions, to help you on your journey;

  • How many litters has mum had?
  • How did the pregnancy go? Did the mum have any complications?
  • Do mum or dad have any health problems? Ask specifically about hip/elbow scores and any eye problems.
  • Are the dogs tested for any genetic problems in the breed?
  • Is it possible to meet dad? If he’s not around, you should insist on meeting mum.
  • What environment will the litter be raised in?
  • Has the puppy been health tested?
  • Are they a licensed breeder and are the puppies eligible for Kennel Club registration?
  • Do they just breed, or are they involved in showing, working or competing with their dogs too?
  • How long have they been breeding for?
  • Do they breed more than one type of dog?
  • What support do they provide?
  • Do they offer to take the puppy/dog back in the event of any problems during the dog’s entire life?
  • Do they home their puppies with pet insurance?
  • Check the puppies’ environment. Is it clean and dry? Do mum and her puppies have their own space?
  • Look at all the dogs in the environment. Do they all look healthy, happy and friendly?
  • Meet mum and the rest of the litter before getting a puppy.
  • Look at mum’s size and temperament.
  • Ask about the father’s temperament, health (including any genetic or health tests) and pedigree.

How to Spot a Puppy Farm

A puppy farm is a breeder that produces puppies in high volumes and often has no regard for the health or welfare of the puppies or their parents. Sometimes they may inform you that they are a ‘hobby breeder’ and do not require a licence to breed. 

Here are some tips to identify a puppy farm:

  • The prices may seem cheaper and too good to be true. 
  • Never buy a puppy when you haven’t seen the mother.
  • They shouldn’t be chasing you for the sale.
  • Be wary of breeders who offer to deliver a puppy or meet you somewhere.
  • If the puppy is free or requires a rehoming fee, that’s always a bad sign!
  • A reputable breeder will always want to meet you before selling you a puppy and this will always be in their own home.

Additional Resources

List of useful websites for further research:

  • The Kennel Club for information on breeds, confirmations, and breed watch lists.
  • British Veterinary Association for support on breeds and health conditions.
  • Animal Genetics for genetic health testing.
  • Check if a particular breed has a breed council and seek their support and advice, including certification service.

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