There's a lot to consider if you're thinking about getting a dog, including finding out if you’re ready for a puppy, choosing the right breed to suit your lifestyle and then, researching a responsible breeder. New owners also need to make sure they can provide the best care for their puppy, which is why we’re encouraging people to #BePuppywise.

#BePuppywise checklist

✓ Make sure you’re ready for a dog
✓ Find the right breed for you
✓ Know what a responsible breeder looks like - consider a Kennel Club assured breeder
✓ Find out which health tests to look for
✓ Visit the breeder and see your puppy in its breeding environment, with its mum
✓ Be aware of rogue breeder red flags
✓ Take time with your decision
✓ Prepare for the arrival of your puppy
✓ Research puppy training and understand how to be a responsible dog owner
✓ Enjoy life with your new best friend!

How to #BePuppywise in three steps

1. Are you ready for a new best friend?

Firstly, if you’re going to #BePuppywise, research is vital. You need to think about and carefully research the right breed for you. Consider how they will fit your lifestyle and whether you are ready for all the responsibilities of dog ownership.

Begin your puppy buying journey by asking yourself some key questions, then research to find the right breed of dog to suit your lifestyle.

2. Getting your new best friend

If you want to #BePuppywise, it's important to get your puppy from a responsible breeder. There are many fantastic, passionate dog breeders out there who want to produce happy, healthy puppies. However, there are also other individuals who put profit before health and welfare, keeping their dogs in poor conditions and producing puppies that are unhealthy and may eventually require expensive veterinary treatment. 

We advise puppy buyers to go to The Kennel Club Assured Breeders. Members of this scheme all agree to follow good breeding practices and are inspected to maintain and guarantee standards. When searching for a puppy, our assured breeders will appear first on our Find a Puppy service and they will have the scheme's logo next to their name. You can search by area and your chosen breed. You can also browse the full list of The Kennel Club Assured Breeders.

The Kennel Club recognises that there are responsible breeders outside of the Assured Breeders scheme, but it can be difficult for buyers to identify who those breeders are. Ask friends, family, breed clubs, training clubs or your local vets to see if they have any recommendations. 

Responsible breeders will also perform any relevant health testing and screening on their parent dogs before breeding from them to increase the chances of producing healthy puppies. Learn more about looking after your puppy's health.

Read more tips on finding the right breeder and please refer to our infographic above for advice on how to spot a rogue breeder, and avoid the heartache that comes with buying a poorly bred puppy.

Learn more about puppy farms and other disreputable sources, and how to avoid them.

3. Caring for your new best friend

By doing your research and finding the right breeder, you are well on the way to providing your puppy with the best start in life. The final part of the #BePuppywise campaign is caring for your puppy once it’s home, and throughout its life.

When you finally bring your new best friend home, make sure you are well prepared – read our tips for when you first bring them home, suggestions on how to ‘puppy proof’ your house to keep them safe and happy, advice on feeding them well, and socialisation guidance for when you start to introduce them to new experiences.

You’ll also need to think about puppy training. This will build your bond and be fun for you both, as well as providing vital socialisation for your puppy. Finding a good, responsible trainer or training class is important. The Kennel Club Good Citizen Dog Scheme is a good place to start – find a local club near you.

Buying and owning a dog is a big responsibility but #BePuppywise and your canine companion will be happy and healthy, providing you with a lifetime of happiness, fun and companionship.