How to Safely Get a Dog
Getting a dog that suits your family and lifestyle is not easy. There is no perfect dog that suits every single family.
Remember the law now is that pups should be 8 weeks old and microchipped before sale.
Buying a puppy:
Research breeds and their different behaviours. A challenging, high energy breed is not for you if you have limited time or experience. Go to dog shows where you can see several of the breed you like in one place. If you cannot commit time and money to train a dog, don't get one.
Do your research. If you are getting a pedigree puppy, research the hereditary health problems the breed has and make sure you know which certificates of health testing you need to see for parents and sometimes for the pups.
See the mother at least and they should give you details of where to see the father.
Never agree to meet the seller somewhere or have a dog delivered.
Always note the sellers name, address and contact number and google those details to see if there are any adverse reports anywhere.
Rescuing a Dog:
Social media is full of tragic stories of dogs bought privately or from "rescues". There are some excellent rescues with ethical criteria and many, especially on facebook with none. Some delete failures and comments of concern, rehome dogs within days or even hours of taking them in and cut off the adopters when it goes wrong.
Ask questions before even considering visiting a dog that needs a home, this is just an idea of the things you need to know.
How long have the rescue had the dog.
What assessment has been done and by whom and can you speak to them and is there a written record.
Is the dog neutered, has it been treated for fleas and worms and what with (and this should also all be on a properly written adoption contract).
Can you see the dog in its foster home, or at a kennels and can your whole family come to meet the dog.
What advice is available for settling the dog in and on an ongoing basis.
Will the rescue take the dog back immediately if there is a problem.
If you have any concerns, ask for advice. You need to be careful that you are not buying a sick puppy or a dog with problems you can't see and are not equipped to deal with.
More information about how to test a dog you are thinking of buying, or what to look for in a rescue dog is on the SafePets Blog Here
There are lots of honest sellers, ethical rescues and places that will advise you. Don't cut corners, a bad decision could cost you, your family and your other pets dearly.
We have recently been speaking with the Aunt of Lexi Branson, tragically killed by a dog her Mum got from a rescue that did not test the dog or homecheck them.
They have a petition aiming to change the way rescues operate and to introduce laws and rules that rescues should operate under. Please sign and share this important petition.