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What to Look for When Buying a Puppy: A Veterinarian’s Guide

different breeds of puppies all sitting together in a row

Bringing a new puppy into your life is an exciting time. However, there are several important factors to consider to ensure that you purchase the right puppy for you. In this guide, we will cover everything you need to know and what to look for when buying a puppy.

Buying a puppy – What breed should I get?

different breeds when thinking of buying a puppy

Are you ready to add a furry friend to your family? One of the most exciting parts of the process is deciding what breed of dog you want. But with so many different breeds out there, it can be overwhelming to know where to start.

First, consider what size of dog would be best for your living situation. If you’re in a small apartment, a smaller breed may be a better fit, while those with larger yards may want to consider a bigger breed.

But choosing a breed goes beyond just size. It’s important to research the personality and characteristic traits of different breeds to ensure they align with your lifestyle and aspirations. If you have family members with allergies, you may want to consider a hypoallergenic breed or one that is low-shedding. And if you’re an adventurous family who loves outdoor activities, a breed with higher energy levels may be the perfect fit to keep up with your active lifestyle.

So take your time and do your research to find the perfect breed for you and your family. It’ll be worth it in the end when you find your perfect furry companion.

Where to Purchase Your Puppy

Choosing where to get your new companion from is an important decision. There are various options available, each with its own pros and cons.

If you have a particular breed in mind, you may need to purchase one from a breeder. However, it’s crucial to choose a reputable breeder to ensure that your pup is bred well. So, how do you find a trustworthy breeder? Begin by checking if they’re registered for breeding in their state. While this doesn’t guarantee good animal welfare standards, it’s a start. You can also look at reviews and visit the breeding establishment to view the puppies and the breeding dogs yourself.

Adopting a puppy or dog from a shelter or welfare organisation like RSPCA is another great option. Not only can it help reduce the purchase cost, but it also provides a home for an unwanted or abandoned pet. While you may not get to choose the exact breed or age of the puppy, these dogs are usually vet-checked, vaccinated, and desexed.

Buying a puppy online or through a pet shop may seem like a convenient option, but it comes with significant risks. Pups from puppy mills, where the welfare of the animals is often neglected, could lead to more health issues and suboptimal welfare conditions.

Sites like DogsOnline, PetSpot and RightPaw specialise in representing responsible breeders online and matching them with new pet parents.


It’s easy to get swept up in the excitement of bringing home a new puppy, but it’s crucial to consider the expenses that come with it. The initial cost of purchasing your pup is just the beginning. You’ll also need to factor in the cost of premium dog food, toys, feeding and walking equipment, as well as parasite prevention and veterinary costs.

To avoid any financial surprises down the road, it’s highly recommended to take out pet insurance as soon as possible. This is a wise decision for a couple of reasons. Firstly, pet insurance doesn’t cover pre-existing conditions, so getting coverage before your puppy develops any health issues is the smartest financial move. Secondly, puppies have a knack for getting into trouble and eating things they shouldn’t, which can lead to expensive veterinary bills. Check out our Quote Tool to see different options for your fur-family, we also have a Vet Costs and Common Claims guide. This breaks down the average claims we see for common conditions as well as the highest claims submitted.

By taking these steps, you’ll be able to enjoy the companionship and joy that comes with owning a puppy, without having to worry about unexpected financial stress.

Puppy Health Checks

So, you’ve finally found the perfect furry friend to bring home! But, before you get too excited, there are some important health checks that need to be done to ensure your new pup is in tip-top shape.

Firstly, it’s crucial to make sure your puppy is up to date with their vaccinations and parasite preventatives. Different breeds may have certain genetic predispositions to certain diseases or conditions, so it’s important to do your homework on what health checks are necessary for your specific pup.

One way to ensure that your puppy is healthy is by checking that they come from a breeder who has had genetic testing done on their dogs. This will give you peace of mind that your new pup won’t develop any heritable diseases that could have been passed down from their parents.

Another important consideration is the age of your new furry family member. Puppies need to be a certain age before leaving their mother and littermates, as this allows them to learn important socialization skills and be properly weaned onto solid food.

Visiting Your Puppy

Some breeders might offer you the chance to visit your puppy a few times before bringing them home. This is a perfect opportunity to observe your little one with their littermates and ensure they have been raised in a clean and safe environment.

Take advantage of this time to ask the breeder any questions you have and confirm that the puppy has been health-checked, vaccinated (if applicable), and microchipped. You might even get to meet the parents, which can give you a clue about the temperament of your new pup. So, get ready to fall in love with your new fur baby and make the most out of your pre-purchase visits!

Puppy proofing

Bringing home a new furry friend is one of the most exciting moments in life. You can already picture them cuddling with you on the couch, running around the yard, and wagging their tail at every opportunity. But before you welcome your new pup into your home, there are a few important things you need to prepare.

First things first, you’ll want to make sure you have all the necessary supplies for your new pooch. This includes a good quality puppy food, food and water bowls, a comfy bed, and some toys to keep them entertained. Depending on your preferences, you may also want to invest in a crate to help with potty training and to give your pup a safe space to retreat to when they need some alone time.

When preparing your home for your new puppy, you’ll want to make sure it’s a safe and welcoming environment for them. This means puppy-proofing the area by removing any potential hazards or chewable items, and setting boundaries for areas of the house that are off-limits.

It’s also important to schedule a visit with your vet to discuss your puppy’s vaccination and health check schedule. And while you’re at it, ask about puppy pre-school options to help with early socialization and behavior training.

Bringing home a new puppy can be an incredible experience, but it’s important to be prepared and set your pup up for success from the very beginning. With a little planning and preparation, you’ll be on your way to a lifetime of love and companionship with your new furry best friend.

Last thoughts

Bringing a new puppy into your life is a big decision that requires careful consideration. When choosing a breed, it’s important to research the personality and characteristic traits of different breeds to ensure they align with your lifestyle and aspirations. It’s also important to choose a reputable breeder or adopt from a shelter or welfare organization to ensure the animal’s welfare. Checking the puppy’s health, age, and the environment they were raised in is also crucial. Furthermore, it’s important to be aware of the costs involved and puppy-proof your home to ensure your new furry friend is safe. By taking these steps, you can ensure that you and your new companion will have a long and happy life together.

Written by Dr Angie

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