If you’re looking to bring a puppy into your life (especially if it’s for the first time) it can be overwhelming.

Recently, on a local for sale group, I saw an advert which caught my eye. It was an advert for Ragdoll kittens for £100. There were a few reasons the advert caught my eye, firstly the price tag of £100 is very very cheap for a Ragdoll, but the main reason was the photo. There were 3 very cute, but most definitely not Ragdoll kittens pictured. They were black and white kittens and were certainly not Ragdolls, I would be very surprised if they had any Ragdoll in them at all. But it made me angry that there might be people out there who believe the advert and pay for a ‘Ragdoll’ when the kittens were clearly moggies.

This is what pushed me into writing this post. Buying a new pet can be a minefield and I thought it might be of help to those looking to get a puppy. I will also (hopefully) be using the below tips myself at some point to get a puppy when the time is right.

Do your research

This is by far the most important thing to do before getting your puppy. You will want to consider things such as temperament, what size they will grow to and how much exercise they will need. You will also want to calculate how much your puppy will cost you, there’s the cost of the puppy, the vaccinations, the spaying/neutering, the food, toys, sleep accessories and any ongoing vet bills. It’s worth considering getting pet insurance just to be on the safe side.

Buy or adopt?

Trying to find a reputable breeder can be a minefield, but it’s important to find a good breeder and not unwittingly support a puppy farm. A good tip is to use The Kennel Club website which will list registered and reputable breeders. If you have any doubts when you go to view a puppy listen to your instinct and walk away. If you’re flexible when it comes to age and breed you could consider going to a rescue centre and adopting a puppy or dog. The puppy/dog will be fully health checked and you will usually get a voucher for neutering/spaying if that hasn’t already been done.

Make a list of everything you will need

Believe it or not, there’s a whole host of things you will need to buy before welcoming your puppy home. Toilet training pads (or plenty of newspaper) for toilet training, a food and water bowl, a bed, a cage (if you want to crate train your puppy), toys, a collar, a dog training lead, and puppy food. It’s also worth considering paying for puppy training classes to help train and socialise your puppy from a young age.

Have your puppy health checked

Many breeders will have their litter of puppies health checked by their vet prior to leaving to ensure they are healthy but this isn’t always the case. If the breeder states the puppy has been health checked ask for proof of this for your own records. When you get the puppy home it’s important to take him or her to your own vet for a health checkup (some vets provide this free of charge). From experience, I can tell you that there’s nothing worse than getting attached to a poorly puppy. We had to have our labrador put to sleep at only 6 months old due to hip dysplasia.

Does a dog fit your lifestyle?

If you already have a pet you know this, but if you’re welcoming a pet for the first time then it’s worth thinking about whether a dog will fit your lifestyle. If you go on holiday often then you will have to take the dog with you, put them in a kennel (this can be expensive) or have someone look after them whilst you’re away. Dogs also need someone who is at home most of the day and regular exercise each day to make sure they don’t get bored. If they get bored they could become unhappy and show destructive behaviour such as chewing and barking whilst they are home alone.

Do you have any helpful tips for people considering getting a puppy?

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