If you have decided to buy a puppy or a kitten then stop! We aren't trying to put you off merely to just think about some issues before you go out and purchase. That way there will be no surprises and all will be happy ever after!
If you are thinking about buying a puppy or kitten, you shouldn’t rush into the process. Many people buy a puppy or a kitten on a whim and then they find out that the pet in question has serious health problems that can lead to a lot of upset and can also prove to be very expensive treatment-wise.
Most experienced puppy and kitten breeders are responsible and caring, they will look after their animals and ensure that they are fully health checked. To this end, it is vital that you only buy pets from qualified or experienced breeders of the pet in question. If you don’t know where to find local breeders, you can look online or ask a breed club to recommend great breeders to you.
The next tip when you are buying a puppy or kitten is to always visit the breeder (or breeders if you want to visit a few) in person before you make your final decision. This will give you the opportunity to ask them any questions that you may have, assess their facilities, the health of their animals and the prices that they are charging.
If you are in any doubt whatsoever that the animals are not being looked after, leave the breeders, and if you have serious concerns about their welfare, report them to the RSPCA or to another animal charity.
An experienced breeder will have both of the puppy or kittens parents registered with the relevant breed registry and they will usually be able to provide a detailed ‘family tree’ with names and information about their predecessors.
They should also provide information about any hereditary diseases that have been apparent in any of the family ‘lines’. If they fail to disclose this information to you, you could end up with a poorly puppy or kitten, so always ask them the question. They should also have their animals vaccinated and hold a medical card for each animal with details about the vaccinations given to them.
If you have found a breeder that meets all of the above requirements, it is a very good idea to pay an initial visit to the breeder to see the actual puppy or kitten in question before you take them home.
An experienced breeder will usually recommend that you do this as standard anyway, as they will be as concerned about the animal’s welfare as you are, they will want their puppy or kitten to go to a good home.
If you get to the stage where you are sure you want the pet, you will need to agree in advance how much they are asking for the pet and how they want to be paid. Always get a receipt if you are paying out large amounts of money, it’s a transaction just like any other, so get solid proof before you leave with your new pet. Finally, you can take your new puppy or kitten to their new home!