Buying a Puppy?

Thinking of buying a puppy or a pet please read this thoroughly before committing to a purchase.

If you are thinking of buying a pet please ensure you fully research the person behind the pet to avoid being lured in deceitful sellers. The price of puppies has more than doubled this year during lockdown. This has led to the UK's Chief Vet raising concerns about the risk posed by deceitful low-welfare sellers who breed and keep animals in poor conditions to take advantage of this spike in prices.

We are urging prospective pet owners to be alert to the risks involved whilst you are unable to visit the animal in person in its home environment, and to think of extra checks you can carry out to ensure the seller is legitimate. Animals bred in low-welfare conditions can often be separated from their mother to early in their development and this can lead to severe health and behavioural problems resulting in high vet bills.

The government-led Petfished campaign provides advice on how to research a seller and what warning signs to look out for, such as:

  • Look at the seller's profile and search their name online. If they are advertising many litters from different breed, then this is a red flag.
  • Check contact details. Copy and paste the phone number into a search engine. If the number is being used on lots of different adverts, sites and dates then this is likely to be a deceitful seller.
  • Check the animal's age. Puppies and Kittens should never be sold if they are under eight weeks old.
  • Check what medical treatment the animal has had.

More information on what to do before contacting a seller and what to ask when you do get in touch can be found on the Get Your Pet Safely Website.

Under Lucy's Law, since April 2020 commercial third party puppy and kitten sales have been banned in England as part of a crackdown on puppy farms and untrustworthy sellers. This means that anyone wanting to get a new puppy or kitten in England must buy direct from a breeder, or consider adopting from a rescue centre instead. Licensed dog breeders are required to show puppies interacting with their mothers in their place of birth.

Last updated: 26/01/2022 10:28:58