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 East: Monday September 6, 2004

BUYING A PUPPY

Puppy asleep on a table
Puppy farm puppies often suffer with health problems

Disreputable dog breeders, who are usually in the "puppy-farm" business just for the money, can wreak misery and death on the innocent animals that would otherwise be lifelong pets and friends.

There are some simple guidelines that, if followed, could put such people out of business, and give a dog a long happy life.

Trading Standards recommendations for buying a puppy

  • Be wary of outlets offering more than one or two breeds
  • When visiting the seller note the surroundings
  • Visit the puppy more than once
  • Ask to see the pedigree papers and ensure the breeder's name is on the certificate
  • The breeder should want to know about you too
  • Ask to see the puppy with its Mother - be very suspicious if you can't

Puppies bred commercially, indiscriminately and carelessly are likely to…

  • Develop disease
  • Have temperamental problems
  • Find adjusting to family life hard
  • Be difficult to housetrain
  • Suffer physical defects and have hereditary weaknesses

Think carefully before buying and do not buy the puppy because you feel sorry for it.

If you trade with an unscrupulous dealer or breeder, you will be supporting their trade in misery. Every one you buy, another takes it place.

Buying a puppy or dog in good health is vital for its own well-being as well as your bank balance. Follow this advice, and man and dog will be long term friends…

Importance of vaccinations…

Unless properly vaccinated, a dog could contract a fatal infectious disease such as parvovirus or leptospirosis. This can also affects humans. They also need to be protected against hepatitis, distemper and kennel cough, all of which are killers.

Worming is vital too…

A six-week-old puppy can shed more than 10 million Toxocara eggs in one week if it is not treated. Control of Toxocara egg shedding is vital for animal and human welfare. (Toxocara is the one that can cause blindness in children)

It is recommended that a puppy should be wormed at two-weeks-old, and its mother should have been wormed regularly throughout her pregnancy.

A second dosage should be given at five-weeks, and at eight-weeks, the mother should have the third dose. Ensure you see the breeder's signature of verification of dose.

Other veterinary surgeons say…

Puppies bought from recognised Kennel Club registered breeders should come with:

  • Proof of six weeks free health insurance
  • Proof of Kennel Club registration
  • Diet sheet and at least four days supply of any dry food that forms part of the diet it would require
  • Vaccination should be at six and 10, or eight and 12 weeks
  • The puppy should not be wormed or subject to flea treatment within three weeks of a vaccination, either before or afterwards

If in doubt, - ask your vet

Click here to read the full feature

See also ...

On bbc.co.uk
Irish puppy farm shut down

On the rest of the web
RSPCA
The Kennel Club
The Dogs Trust
British Veterinary Association
Pedigree Dogs

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external websites

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