4 September 2017 | Dog Advice

Puppy Buying Checklist

You're probably reading this article as you're considering buying or adopting a new puppy.

It is vitally important that you chose a reputable breeder and healthy puppy. But do you know what checks to make to ensure that the puppy you're interested in, has had the best start in life and shows signs of good health?

If you don't make the right checks when visiting the breeder, you could be setting yourself up for a lifelong commitment of a dog with many illnesses, or without knowing, supporting the puppy farming industry. To save yourself a lot of heartache you must do your research first and comply to a simple checklist when choosing the puppy in question.

This article you'll find everything you need to ensure you pick a healthy puppy.

Checklist when buying or adopting a new puppy 

There is never any kind of guarantee that your puppy will live a healthy life after you bring them home. To help you gauge their health before buying or adopting, there are some checks that you can do to ensure you have a good head start. This will then able you to make the right decision as to whether they are healthy or not.

Shiny, clean coat

A puppy's coat should always be shiny and clean, with no visible skin irritations and any kind of spots. If they do show signs of skin irritations then this could indicate that they have an underlying skin issue which could be an allergy or mange. If they have been playing outside and are covered in mud, then this is fine. If they have a matted coat and look not take care for this could indicate issues with worms, or they’ve been neglected with their health which should raise concerns for other potential issues.

Clean Ears

The puppy's ears should be free from any kind of redness and visible irritation and cleaned regularly to prevent any build-up of bacteria. If they're constantly itching their ears or shaking their head or there is a funky, strange smell coming from their ears, then this could mean that they have an ear infection or in some cases, ear mites. Again, you should question this and visit the vet if need be.

Clear nose and eyes

Normally, puppies that are healthy will have eyes that shine bright and clear and be showing no signs of discharge or soreness. If they're showing any signs of infection then you should question how they're treating it and see the vet notes.

A strong body

Healthy puppies should have a strong and compact body. Smaller dog breeds will have a smaller frame which is daintier than a medium or larger sized dog breed. They shouldn't look too thin or bony as this could indicate that they have an underlying health issue which could be serious. Always check with the vets if you're unsure.

Playful and energetic

All dog breeds have different temperaments and some like to play more than others. But if the puppy is showing signs of lethargic behaviour or seems lifeless then this could be an issue. Some puppies are shyer than others but generally, they love to play and will get excitable when they have new visitors. If they seem totally disinterested in your visit and their surroundings then they could potentially be sick. 

Healthy, firm stools

A healthy puppy should pass regular stools that are firm. If they have diarrhea then this could be an indication that they're unwell. The puppy's 'bottom area' should be clean and show no signs of loose stools. If the puppy is constantly licking their genital area then this could indicate a urinary tract infection.

The above checklist is the most basic things that you should be looking out for when buying or adopting a new dog. It's also just as important to look at the parents of the puppy and check whether they are healthy and that their environment in which they live in, is kept clean.

If the environment is clean and well-kept and the show signs that their cared for and are being handled correctly, then this shows that the breeder is full of knowledge and competent in their profession. 

Puppy paperwork

Finally, before taking home the puppy you must ensure that you have all the correct paperwork. All puppies should come with their veterinary care paperwork that they've received to-date, along with all vaccinations and worming confirmation.

Check for their puppy paperwork

If you're adopting or looking to buy a purebred puppy, you should also be given their registration documentation during the sale or adoption. You should not accept any paperwork via post as this could indicate that the paperwork doesn't exist. A breeder that is responsible should have the paperwork ready.

If you are suspicious that the puppy has been puppy framed then this must be reported to the RSPCA

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Considering buying a puppy is one of the most exciting commitments you will make, but does come with its stresses.

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