Purchasing a Puppy

Purchasing a Puppy, from a breeder or pet store

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So, your thinking about purchasing a puppy?

First of all, don't rush into it. Some things to think about...

What type of dog suits your personality and lifestyle? Different breeds require more or less exercise, and different levels of care and training. Be honest with yourself about what you are willing to provide.

Where are you going to get your dog?

Will it be from a pet store? A breeder? are they reputable? if your not sure, ask for references and CHECK THEM.

Before picking your puppy...

Are you familiar with the breed and it's history, are you aware of the common diseases and genetic problems that affect the breed? Behaviour associated with the breed? National Companion Animal Coalition (NCAC) Buyer’s Check List for Purchasing a Dog

Avoid Purchasing a Dog from a Puppy Mill.

A puppy mill is defined by the NCAC as a high-volume, sub-standard dog breeding operation, which sells purebred or mixed breed dogs, to unsuspecting buyers. Some of the characteristics common to puppy mills are:

* Sub-standard health and / or environmental issues;
* Sub-standard animal care, treatment, and/or socialization;
* Sub-standard breeding practices which lead to genetic defects or hereditary disorders;
* Erroneous or falsified certificates of registration, pedigrees, and/or genetic background.

Note: These conditions may also exist in small volume or single-breed establishments.

1) Assessment of the Facility / Environment:

A clean and sanitary environment fosters healthy dogs.

* Does the vendor provide access to the facilities where the dogs are housed?
* Is the facility clean?
* Are food and water available in the dogs’ environment?
* Are references supplied upon request?
* Has the vendor asked pertinent questions to ensure the compatibility of you (the buyer) and the dog?
* In the case of a breeding establishment, is the mother (dam) on the premises and available for you to see?

2) Health Issues and Physical Appearance of the Dog:

Healthy well-socialized puppies have an active, open and friendly disposition. Avoid puppies that are overly shy and fearful.

* Do the dogs have good dispositions?
* Do the dogs appear to be in good health?
* Do any of the dogs exhibit any of the following signs?
Thin body condition?
Pot- belly?
Diarrhea or stained hair around the anus?
Discharge from the eyes or nose?
* Are copies of health, vaccination certificates and documentation of the dog’s last visit to the veterinarian available for you to see?
* In addition to the above, when dealing with a breeder, is documentation available confirming formal health clearances for both parents? (Such information is required to reduce the likelihood of transmissible diseases and genetic disorders)

3) Issues at the Time of Sale:

Buyer beware! Proper documentation protects you and your dog.

Does the vendor provide a bill of sale, listing;

* Date of purchase?
* Names of the buyer and seller?
* Description of the dog?
* Purchase price?

In the case of a purebred dog, does the vendor provide:

* A bill of sale stating that the dog is a pure bred and naming the breed?
* Confirmation the dog has been permanently and uniquely identified (microchip or tattoo)?
* Confirmation of a valid certificate of registration· of the parents, litter (when applicable) and dog that you are purchasing?
* The total purchase price of the dog?

Does the vendor provide a written guarantee that lists:

* Specific details of pet return or compensation arrangements in the event of a health problem / illness and any time frame that apply?
* What is expected of the buyer (i.e. exam by a veterinarian within a certain time frame)?

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