Have you thought about buying a dog, but while doing some there are just a few things that have jumped into your mind while doing so?
Yeah, we've been there too. Looking to bring a dog into your home is an exciting but also a nerve-wracking experience. After all, you're taking in a four-legged furry friend who does not speak the same language as you!
But, saying that, we know that you will want to make the most of owning a dog, and no doubt you will want to be the best dog parent possible. To do this, it's essential before you buy any puppy, you come prepared with a list of questions to ask the breeder your visiting.
Your questions will help you better prepare yourself and will allow you to know what you're purchasing and how a certain puppy from a litter can meet your requirements.
To help your prep, we've curated a list for you of questions to ask when buying a puppy.
1. Ask to see its parents
This question is a no-brainer; you don't want to see the litter; you will want to see the puppy's parents. Please do note that not all the time will you meet its parents, but when there is an opportunity, you should.
When looking at its parents, you will want to review its mum and dad's temperament to help you better understand what the puppy's behavior might be like and if it suits your needs.
2. Are there copies of its parents' health certificates?
Not all the time, but there are some occasions where you will need to see proof of their parent's health certificate. For instance, if you're looking to purchase a pedigree, you will want to see its genetic line.
Similarly, some breeds are prone to inheriting specific health problems, and you will want to see if their parents have any.
3. Has the dog had vaccinations?
You mustn't bring a puppy home younger than 8 weeks old. If you choose to do so, the puppy may not have developed properly. For instance, it may not have had time to socialize appropriately or know how to eat without its mother.
Similarly, puppies also require vaccinations between 6-9 weeks old and again at 10-12 weeks old. Depending on the time you buy the puppy, it's important to know what they've had so you can inform your veterinarian to continue on the care.
4. How much experience do you have as a breeder?
You will want to know how long the breeder has been breeding for and that they don't breed dogs using a puppy farm. Similarly, do they have a lot of experience in breeding the breed you wish to buy?
Plus, a good breeder will have a lot of knowledge about a dog's strengths and weaknesses. You might want to ask if they're associated with a specific club.
5. What are the puppies eating?
It would help if you asked what the breeder is feeding the puppies to provide them with the same food when you get home. This will help make the transition more easily, and it won't upset their digestive system.
Alongside what they're eating, you will want to know how often the breeder is feeding them and at what times of the day to mirror the routine. They must also be weaned off their mother; if not, the puppy could be younger than you realize.
6. Does the breeder take refunds?
Sometimes when buying a puppy, it can experience health problems in the first couple of weeks. Therefore when meeting the breeder, you must establish a contract, allowing you to return the puppy or have a guarantee if there's an issue.
7. Have the puppies been socialized?
You will want your dog to become well adjusted to your home. Therefore you must ask the breeder if the puppy has socialized with its siblings, other humans, or any other animal. This will give you a good idea if your puppy adapts.
8. Ask their best contact details for after you've bought the puppy
You must have an open channel of communication with the breeder once you've bought your pooch. This allows you to contact them if you have any questions or concerns.
9. Do you have references?
A reputable breeder will have references from previous customers and veterinarians who can vouch for their professionalism. If they do, they will provide you, and you can call them yourself and ask about their experience.
10. Is the dog registered to a Kennel Club?
If you're looking to buy a pedigree, then the breeder should have registered all the Kennel Club puppies. If they have, they will be able to give you a certificate that proves this.
11. What questions do you have for me?
A good and ethical breeder who cares about its animals will have questions for you. They will want to know your lifestyle, that the breed is well matched to you, and that you are ready and suitable to raise a dog.
12. Does the puppy need to be spayed or neutered at a specific age?
Some breeders have clauses in purchasing a puppy. One of which is that they must be spayed or neutered by a certain age. Suppose you don't want to experience this with your dog; double-check with your breeder about their demands.
13. Have any puppies in the litter been unwell?
The puppy your holding might look playful and healthy. But you must ask about its sibling's health. You never know if they've been suffering from an underlying disease or illness.
14. Has the puppy been dewormed?
Usually, most puppies are born with worms and require deworming treatment to get rid of them.
15. When can you take the puppy home?
As mentioned earlier, you don't want to take a puppy home younger than 8 weeks. If the breeder insists, then it may be a bad sign on their behalf as a professional.
Alex Wrigley is a professional writer and blogger who loves travel, technology and dogs. She is originally from the UK but currently lives in Nepal with her three dogs: two pugs and a golden retriever.