Don't fuel the cruel Puppy Smuggling trade, help us stop it | Dogs Trust

Dogs Trust

Don't fuel the cruel Puppy Smuggling trade, help us stop it

Whilst we think that rehoming is the best option, we recognise that people sometimes want to buy a puppy from a breeder. When you first start looking to buy a puppy, it is vital that you do your research first, that you know how to buy a puppy responsibly and the questions you should ask when you meet your new puppy for the first time.


Meeting your puppy for the first time

When meeting your puppy for the first time, don't be afraid to ask questions! Always ask about their age, microchip, worming and vaccinations, as well as their feeding. If you are not sure on the things you should be asking, check out our top tips below.

  1. Take a copy of the Puppy contract or the Puppy Plan with you as it gives you guidance on the information your breeder should be giving
  2. Puppies should not leave their mum until they are eight weeks old
  3. Puppies should have clean eyes, ears and bottom. They should be bright and lively, and keen to interact!
  4. Puppies must be microchipped, with the details on that chip registered to the breeder. When you get your new puppy home, the first thing you'll need to do is update the details on your puppy's microchip to your contact details. If you and your puppy ever become separated, a microchip is the best way to ensure you can be reunited
  5. Ask about the vaccinations and worming treatments the puppy has had, and make sure you get any paperwork associated with this
  6. Some breeds can be prone to hereditary issues, which the parents should be screened for before breeding. Where you can, you should ask to see a copy of health screening papers of the puppy’s parents which detail any hereditary diseases

What about my puppy's Mum?

When you meet your puppy, Mum should always be there. Feel free to ask the breeder about Mum, how many litters she has had and her heritage. Mum should be clean and in good condition, showing general signs of being happy and healthy with bright eyes. She should also be sociable with people.

  1. Mum should be over one year old, and usually less than eight years old
  2. By law, she shouldn't have had more than six litters in her lifetime
  3. Watch how Mum interacts with her puppies. Some sellers use 'fake' mums to convince people the puppies were born in that home, when in reality they have been bred in large scale puppy farms, sometimes in other countries
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Are you concerned about a breeder?

Contact your local authority or Trading Standards Office and make a report.

If there are signs of obvious neglect or cruelty, contact the RSPCA as soon as possible.

Help us put a stop to Puppy Smuggling