Vetting Your Breeder

Bringing home a new puppy creates a magical, life-changing experience. You’ll experience joyful zoomies, cuddle puddles galore, and more face licks than a calendar full of romcom premieres.

But one ruff reality can turn that warm fuzzy feeling upside down if you get the puppy from pet paradise hell. One minute you dream of long walks, puppy coats and cute pawprint wall decals, the next minute you watch your brand new Poodle systematically shred the living room curtains while your wallet hides in fear.

A bad breeder can seriously harsh your puppy love vibe faster than you can say “separation anxiety.” You face frustrating behavioural issues, painful medical nightmares, and enough accidents to make you regret not skipping straight to the robot dog phase.

But fear not, soon-to-be puppy parents! I arm you with an extreme vetting strategy for sussing out the dog dealers from the responsible breeders worthy of your hard-earned puppy fees.

Run through this checklist first and interrogate any potential breeders like you are the canine civil servant we all wish existed:

Did YOU breed this litter of puppies?

If the answer is anything other than a resounding “YES!”, it’s time to get the heck out of Dodge. Any shady third-party sellers are a huge red flag for backyard breeding operations and potential puppy mills. Only accept pups directly from the source.

Where are the puppies kept? Have they been socialised properly?

That’s 2 in 1 but you’ll absolutely want to ensure your new fur-kid was raised in a real home environment – not some dingy basement cage or dark, dank kennel. Lack of human interaction and proper socialisation can lead to all sorts of behavioural woes further down the line. Press for details on playtimes, alone time, different environments the pups were exposed to, and more.

Did you screen BOTH parents for inherited diseases and issues?

Even the most well-meaning breeders with beautiful, friendly adult dogs can accidentally pass along some gnarly genetic health conditions to their litters. Responsible breeders will have done all the proper testing through legit organisations like Wisdom panel, Labokin Or Embark to screen for issues like hip and elbow dysplasia. If they didn’t bother with this step, they shouldn’t have brought those pups into the world in the first place. Kick rocks!

Will this puppy come microchipped, vaccinated, and with medical records?

This one should be a hard pass if the breeder doesn’t immediately provide a hard “YES.” In fact, it’s straight-up illegal for breeders to let a puppy leave without a microchip after 8 weeks old. You’ll also want signed paperwork from a licensed vet detailing any treatments, deworming, or health certificates given.

Have there been any health problems with the parents or puppies?

While no reputable breeder would ever knowingly sell a total lemon of a pup, they SHOULD disclose any minor medical issues seen in the parents or litter. Maybe the mum got a little mastitis or one of the puppies had to be treated for a mild case of Giardia. That’s understandable and they should have documentation from the vet. However, anyone trying to hide a larger chronic condition is shady as heck.

What routine preventative treatments have the puppies received so far?

Deworming and basic puppy vaccinations are 101-level standards here (again a MUST if your in the UK). And let’s be honest – would you WANT to become the poor unfortunate soul who has to deal with tapeworms or the parvo poos? Me neither. Press your breeder for ALL the details here to protect your home…and your sanity.

Final Thoughts

Run through this list and don’t settle for anything less than a puppy with a complete bill of (mental and physical) health. Any breeder stumbling over these basic questions is NOT one you want to work with.

Reputable breeders should happily jump through all these hoops to prove their dogs come from good stock and were raised with tons of love and responsible care. After all, they want pupper to end up in a great forever home just as much as you do!

So do your homework on the front end and you’ll be that much closer to making your puppy parenting dreams a reality. Your future self (and living room) will thank you immensely. With the right pup by your side, you’ll be too busy living your best co-pet parent life to deal with nightmare doggy drama.

Canine Reproduction and Puppy Care Extraordinaire at MLA Pets

With 15+ years of tail-wagging experience in Advanced Canine Reproduction, I’ve mastered the art of puppy care and have a knack for producing the most exquisite and highly sought-after puppies. Not just any breeder, I’m an Accredited UK Kennel Club Assured and Council Approved pup-whisperer.

With my 20+ years of nursing and care with a clinical nurse background in Mental Health and challenging behaviour, think of me as the Florence Nightingale of the canine world, but with more fur and slobbery kisses.

As a proud mum of two (the human kind), and a loving daughter, wife, and sister (plus the in-law package), I balance the barks, social media, writing and family life with a sense of humour that’s as infectious as a puppy’s yawn. My life is a juggling act between family, fur babies, and the occasional chase after a runaway squeaky toy.

If you’re looking for someone who can talk doggy DNA and human psychology in the same breath, I’m your gal. Just remember, behind every successful woman is a pack of loyal pups and a family cheering her on (even if it’s just for the leftover dinner scraps).

4 replies
  1. Jacqueline Ward
    Jacqueline Ward says:

    I’ve been asking these questions to breeders because I am looking at getting a puppy. This information really helped to structure the questions and why to ask them. Thank you appreciate your knowledge and loving the topics you blog on.

    • MLA
      MLA says:

      I’m glad the information is useful. Asking a breeder questions is important for both the the potential owner and the breeder.


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