So, you’ve read Part One, done the research and you’ve settled on the right type of puppy for you and your family, what now?
Consider a rehoming charity. While you are less likely to home a young puppy, there are many rehoming charities in the UK who work really hard to rehome thousands of dogs every year. In Glasgow, have a wee look at the SSPCA or The Dogs Trust. If you find that these charities don’t suit you, consider other recognised local or breed-specific charities.
If you can’t see a suitable dog on the charity website, give them a phone to discuss future adoptions. Sometimes it can be a wee while until the right dog for you comes along, but when they do, it’ll be worth the wait!
Finding a Breeder
If you are set on a specific breed of puppy and are unsure how to find a breeder, we would recommend starting with the Kennel Club Website which is home to many reputable, licensed breeders. Some breeders advertise on specialised websites and have a waiting list for interested families.
Quite often, when looking for a specific breed, patience is key and it can take a number of months for the right puppy to come along.
If you are looking for a pedigree breed, we would strongly advise all potential owners to avoid online advertisement websites and puppy ‘dealers’. Currently, there is a real problem in the UK – and particularly in the Scottish central belt- with puppy farm sales. To avoid buying a puppy from a puppy farm, please only consider homing a puppy via licensed, reputable breeders and animal charities.
A good breeder should:
- Let you visit all of the puppies and their mum before they leave their mother
- Be willing to answer questions about the breed and offer advice about socialisation and training
- Keep you informed of the puppy’s health and wellbeing whilst being weened with the mum
- Keep you informed of any health concerns regarding the mum, dad and pups from this and any previous litters – ask if the mum has been screened by their vet for hereditary diseases prior to breeding.
- Take the puppies for a vet check, first vaccination, worming treatment and microchipping with the vet before you take them home. Note: All puppies in the UK must, by law, be microchipped by 8 weeks. As most puppies are not able to leave their mum until after 8 weeks, the responsibility for this usually falls to the breeder. You should receive the microchip and vaccination details when you collect the puppy.
Reputable breeders care about where the puppies are going so be prepared to answer questions about your lifestyle, family, home and previous experience with dogs. Some breeders also offer to maintain contact should you have any hiccups during the first few months following the puppies adoption.
Remember, if something doesn’t feel right, or you are feeling pressured into a purchase, it’s okay to back out or change your mind. It’s easy to be swept up in the excitement of buying a new puppy – especially if you’ve already fallen in love with one – but if something about the situation is off, it is often better for everyone to walk away. The right pup will come along eventually.
Tip: Check out The Puppy Contract website. Complied by some of the UK’s leading animal welfare groups, this website has really helpful, straightforward and practical advice for all potential puppy owners and breeders.
Bringing Your Puppy Home
Picking up your new puppy is such an exciting time! It can be a little daunting and new owners often find the first few weeks to be a little rocky whilst everyone settles in together. It’s also incredibly fun having a new furry bundle galivanting through the home and keeping you company during the day!
We’ve compiled some tips to help your new one settle in:
- Register them with a local vet early on. It’s important that you register so you have somebody to call if there is ever an emergency or a health concern. You will likely need to book your puppy in for their second set of injections before they are able to venture outside and it is recommended that all puppies are given regular parasite treatment up until they are at least 6 months old – this means numerous trips to see the vet nurse in the first year!
Tip: Absolutely every new pet owner worries about the health and wellbeing of their new puppy, if you ever have any concerns then please do not be afraid to phone your vet practice. There are no silly questions.
- Prepare for your puppy before you bring them home. This means getting them a bed, food dishes, puppy pads, collar, harness, lead, toys, crate, blankets & puppy gates if you need them. Now is a good time to consider things like crate training and socialisation. You should also get in a supply of the food the breeder is currently giving your puppy.
- Organise transportation for collecting your new puppy, as well as for taking them to the vet when you need to. You can transport your puppy in a suitable carrier or crate, but make sure you have a few spare towels should they have an accident or suffer from car sickness. For this reason, it is not always best to transport them on your lap.
- Remember to update your puppies microchip registration with your current contact details! If you don’t have your puppies registration details, get in touch with either the breeder or your vet practice.
- And lastly: have fun! You’ve welcomed a new member into your family and your next few months and years are going to be so wonderful. Remember all puppies are different so if there are any quirks, these can sometimes take time to get used to. Constant training, socialisation and love from their owners will ensure puppies settle into their happy new homes in no time!