Buying a dog is an exciting prospect. However, it’s really important to do a lot of background research on how to find your perfect pup.
Some online advertisers care more about money than puppy welfare and won’t think twice about duping you into buying a dog that has been illegally smuggled into the country.
Follow these steps to avoid being dogfished.
...to avoid being dogfished.
Speak to the seller on the phone before visiting. But never pay a deposit up front.
Always see the puppy and their mum together at their home. See them more than once, even if it is via video call.
Make sure you see all vital paperwork including proof of a vet check, vaccinations, microchipping, and pedigree papers (if relevant).
Ask lots of questions. And expect to be asked lots of questions by the seller. A good breeder will want to know where the puppy is going.
Don’t feel pressured to make a snap decision. Walk away if something doesn’t look or feel right.
If you suspect a seller is acting suspiciously, or if you think your puppy may have been illegally imported, please report them to Trading Standards.
There has been a 260% increase in dogs being imported into the UK since pet travel rules were relaxed in 2012.
Some puppy smugglers can make more than £100,000 in a year.
We have rescued and rehomed more than 1,000 smuggled puppies since 2015 when our Puppy Pilot scheme began.
Instead of buying a puppy and risking being dogfished, why not consider giving a Dogs Trust dog a much-needed home instead? We’ve got pooches of all shapes, size and ages – and we’d love to help you find your perfect match.