Welcoming a puppy into your world is one of the most exciting, joyful (and challenging!) times of your life. As a Maltese breeder we understand. But before getting carried away with planning your first pet friendly holiday, there are some serious things to consider.
Choosing the right dog breed for you and your lifestyle will be a deciding factor in how happy life with your pup will be. If you have decided you will get your puppy from a breeder, then theirs a few vital things you need to know.
New statistics show that most of the puppy problems vets saw last year as a result of poor purchasing decisions, related to owners choosing a breed without sufficient understanding of its needs or its suitability to their household or lifestyle.
So, how can you choose the right dog breed for you? Also how can you be sure your that your dog has come from a responsible puppy breeder?
The Puppy Contract is a free, one-stop guide developed and supported by leading UK animal welfare charities. It gives prospective puppy owners all the information they need at their fingertips. This includes all the right questions to ask the breeder about important aspects of the puppy’s care. Such as socialisation, vaccination, microchipping and health tests.
Here are the important questions you should ask a puppy breeder before making your big decision:
1.Did you breed the puppies?
If the answer is ‘no’, walk away regardless of the answers to the other questions. Puppies from puppy farms often will be sold via third-party sellers. ALWAYS buy a puppy directly from the breeder.
2. Where are the puppies kept? Have you started to house train and socialise the puppy?
It’s important to know if the puppy has had lots of human interaction or only at particular times, such as during playtime and feeding. If puppies are not kept in a home environment, they will have reduced human contact and they may have socialisation issues or trouble adjusting to life in a home.
3. Were both the puppy’s parents screened for inherited diseases?
All dogs, whether pedigree or crossbred, can suffer from inherited diseases which can pass from parent to puppy. Health testing and screening, such as the BVA/The Kennel Club Canine Health Schemes, allow breeders to screen for inherited diseases. The results can help to ensure that only healthy dogs go into breeding programs.
4. Is the puppy micro-chipped and given its first vaccinations prior to homing?
Micro-chipping is mandatory for all puppies by the time they are eight weeks old, and before they go to their new home. The breeder should supply you with microchip paperwork which includes your puppy’s individual identification number and the database which its registered. Also vaccination records signed by a veterinary surgeon.
5. Has the puppy or its parents had any health problems?
Knowing if any health problems the puppy or its parents have had is very important, as they could pass to your puppy. Many puppies don’t need to see a vet before they leave their breeder. If your puppy has been checked or received any treatment, the breeder should provide details of anything abnormal that the vet noted.
6. Has the breeder used any routine veterinary treatments for the puppies, such as wormers?
Regular worming is important for the health of puppies and humans. Ask your vet about the products mentioned and avoid buying from breeders who have not treated their dogs for worms at all.