• Half of dog owners shocked by the cost of caring for their
• One in ten buy 'mail order pups' online or from newspaper ads,
without seeing it first
• One in five pups bought online without the pup being seen
first end up with gastro-intestinal problems and 15 percent with
the potentially deadly parvovirus
• Many people are unknowingly sold pups smuggled into the UK
from puppy farms abroad
• Kennel Club warns that you should always see pup with mum and
in its breeding environment as part of Puppy Awareness Week
Almost half of dog owners are spending more on vets' fees than
they had accounted for, as more than one in four people (27
percent) say that they suspect that their puppy came from a cruel
puppy farm. The rising cost of owning a puppy comes as people opt
to buy 'mail order pups' online or from newspaper ads, not
realising that many pups being sold through these routes have been
illegally smuggled from abroad.
Kennel Club research for Puppy Awareness Week, taking place on
1-7 September, shows that a shocking one in ten people bought a
'mail order pup' from the internet online or from a newspaper
advert, without seeing it first. This is a classic sign that the
puppy has come from a puppy farm, as the breeder does not want
buyers to see the state of the pup or the conditions it was raised
Many of these pups will go on to develop diseases and conditions
common in puppy farmed pups. One fifth of pups purchased online,
without being seen by their new owner first, ended up with serious
gastro intestinal problems, 15 percent with the potentially deadly
parvovirus and one in ten developed kennel cough. A further 15
percent of people continue to buy their puppies from pet shops and
almost one in five of these pups end up with the potentially deadly
parvovirus (18 percent).
The Kennel Club is increasingly concerned about puppy farmers
abroad supplying dealers with puppies to sell onto the public.
Defra figures indicate that there was a 61 percent increase in pups
coming into the UK from abroad in the first year since the controls
were relaxed under changes to the Pet Travel Scheme in 2012, and
that does not account for the undeclared dogs that are being
smuggled illegally into the country.
As part of its Puppy Awareness Week the Kennel Club is reminding
people to always see the puppy's breeding environment and to always
see the pup interacting with its mother. The Kennel Club advises
people to either go to a rescue centre or buy a puppy from a Kennel
Club Assured Breeder, who are inspected by the Kennel Club and have
to follow rules for the responsible breeding of their pups.
Caroline Kisko, Kennel Club Secretary, said: "Sadly, it is all
too easy for puppy buyers to be duped by irresponsible breeders,
whose puppies end up with severe health and behavioural problems
because of the terrible start they have had in life.
"It is absolutely shocking that people are still buying from pet
shops or from online and newspaper adverts without seeing the pup
they are buying first. There is nothing wrong with sourcing a puppy
online, so long as adverts on the website comply with the Pet
Advertising Advisory Group's minimum standards for advertising
pets, but you must then meet the breeder and the pup and ensure
they are doing the right things. Unless people insist on seeing mum
and seeing the home environment then unsuspecting puppy buyers will
continue to buy puppies that will end up with health and
behavioural problems that will cost them dearly, both financially
and emotionally. It is quite likely that the pups they are buying
will have been brought into the country illegally or raised on
puppy farms in the UK.
"We urge people to buy from a Kennel Club Assured Breeder, where
they can be sure that the breeder and their premises have been
inspected by the Kennel Club and found to be complying with our
rules for responsible dog breeding."
The Puppy Awareness Week research has shown that more than a
third of people do not see the pup interacting with its mum (36
percent), nearly two thirds (61 percent) do not see the pup's
breeding environment, almost three quarters (72 percent) do not see
a contract of sale and more than two thirds (70 percent) do not
receive health test certificates to show the parents have been
health tested before being bred from.
The research also shows that 12 percent still buy pets as
presents and 7 percent as a spur of the moment decision and one in
five buy a puppy because of the way it looks. Puppy buyers are
cautioned to do their research before they buy to ensure that the
breed is the right fit for their lifestyle and that the breeder is
For more information about buying a puppy responsibly and for
the Kennel Club's do's and don'ts of buying a puppy video, visit www.thekennelclub.org.uk/paw.
Pup Aid, an anti-puppy farming event and fun dog show, organised
and founded by TV vet Marc Abraham, takes place at Primrose Hill on
Saturday 5th September www.pupaid.org.