Advice on buying a new puppy
At Rhodes Vets we love welcoming new puppies into the surgery and seeing what happiness they bring to their new families. We find it very sad in cases where a puppy has unexpected health or behavioural problems that might have arisen because it has come from an irresponsible breeder or the new owners weren't given the correct information about what to expect and how to care for their new arrival. Tragically this can lead to some puppies being re-homed.
A recent survey of 2000 puppy owners by CEVA Animal Health found that 59% said they were not completely prepared for the experience of having a new puppy and 40% of them did no research before acquiring the new puppy.
If you are thinking of expanding your family with a new puppy then please call us for advice beforehand. We can advise you on what is involved in caring for a new puppy, in terms of both time and money required for feeding, vet appointments for vaccinations/worming/flea treatment/neutering, exercising and training, grooming and insurance amongst other things (click here). We recommend you meet the breeder, see the mother with the puppies and preferably the father as well and that you get as much information as you can regarding the parents health and temperament, any health screens they have had, e.g. hip scores, previous puppies they have bred and what has happened to them, their diet, flea and worm treatment, vaccinations and their general level of care and socialisation.
If you find the right breed and type of puppy that will suit your circumstances and understand how to care for them before they arrive, you can be confident that you will be gaining a fantastic new family member with whom you can share years of happy companionship.
We recommend using the puppy contract, a scheme introduced by BVA AWF (British Veterinary Association Animal Welfare Foundation) and the RSPCA and endorsed by several other welfare and animal charities e.g. Dogs Trust and PDSA. This contract is intended to be downloaded from their website and can be used for all puppies, pedigree or not, and by any breeder or seller, including rescue centres. It is designed to empower puppy buyers and help them avoid the problems that can arise from buying a puppy from an irresponsible breeder. For breeders and sellers it records all the effort and attention they have devoted to their puppies' breeding and care. We strongly recommend anyone thinking of breeding, selling or buying a puppy uses the puppy contract to guide your plans and ensure happy, healthy puppies go to responsible homes. For pedigree puppies we recommend using the excellent information resources on the Kennel Club website (http://www.thekennelclub.org.uk/) to find the right breeder and puppy for you.
You can also find lots of excellent information about health screening, breeding and caring for new puppies on the BVA AWF website (http://www.bva-awf.org.uk/) which has links to many other resources