When you sell a puppy, it’s a good idea to provide the new owner with the essential information they need to look after their new dog, as well as a pack of goodies to help the puppy settle in. There are several things that you should give to the new owner, but what you put in your puppy pack is entirely up to you. Giving out puppy packs is a great way to help the puppy make themselves at home and ensures that their first few days away from mum (and you) go as smoothly as possible. It’s also a great opportunity to give the new owners your expert advice, which could influence how the puppy is raised, fed and trained.
What is a puppy pack?
A puppy pack is a collection of written information, advice and useful items that breeders give to new owners. These packs provide new owners with important paperwork about their dog and help guide them on how to raise their new puppy. What you put into your pack can help your puppy settle into their new home and is a great way to show that you care. A puppy pack doesn’t need to be expensive or decadent but can include a few thoughtful items that bring a smile to the new owner’s face, and a wag to the puppy’s tail.
What to put your puppy packs in?
Presentation is everything. You could hand over your puppy pack in a plastic bag, but that may not reflect the effort that you’ve put into assembling this pack. Some breeders may choose to hand over a box of goodies, while others may use a cloth bag or a bag for life. Some breeders may also place any paperwork in a handy folder, or if you’re an Assured Breeder, then you may choose to place all documents in one of our Assured Breeder puppy pack folders.
What should I put in my puppy pack?
Your puppy pack must contain essential information (contract of sale, microchipping details etc.), information about vet treatments the puppy has had (vaccinations, worming treatments etc.), breed-specific information and advice on how to care for the puppy as they grow up. As well as these essentials, you could include toys, food, bowls and treats, but this is entirely up to you. Below, we’ve created some information on items that you could include in your puppy pack.
There are several important documents that should be given to new owners, these include:
- Contract of sale – every responsible breeder should have a puppy contract that outlines details of the puppy, breeder details, owner details and any arrangements that you have agreed to (e.g., not breeding from the puppy or having them neutered). Having a contract gives you and the puppy buyer a degree of protection and ensures that any contractual issues are agreed upon by all parties
- Microchipping details – it’s a legal requirement that all dogs are microchipped before they are 8 weeks old, which means that every puppy you breed must be microchipped before you sell them. Each puppy’s unique microchip number must be registered with a microchipping database, along with your contact details. It’s essential that you provide new puppy buyers with their puppy’s microchip number, as well as details of the database that it’s registered with. Once they’ve bought the puppy, it’s imperative that they update the contact details to their own
- Insurance details – Many breeders choose to insure each puppy before they are sold. If you choose to insure the puppy, remember to provide any details about who their insurance is with, when this insurance expires and provide them with a cover note. Find out more about breeders insurance
- Kennel Club documents – If you’ve registered the puppy with us, then make sure you give the new owners the registration certificate (which contains the puppy’s Kennel Club registered name and number) and sign the reverse of this document as this will enable them to be able to transfer the registered ownership to themselves. You may also want to provide a pedigree for the puppy – this could be obtained from us or you can hand-write these if preferred. These documents are essential if the dog is bred from, or if they wish to take part in any canine activities
- Health screening results – if the puppy or its mother and father have been health tested/screened, you should provide the puppy buyer with a copy of the results and, ideally, what these mean
- Your contact information – as a responsible breeder, it’s important that you’re available to help puppy buyers, should they have any questions about training, diet, socialisation etc. It’s important to make your contact details easy to spot in your documents
Puppy’s vet visits and treatment details
To help with the continued care of the puppy, it’s essential that the puppy’s new vet knows what treatment has been given and when. You should include:
- Details of any vaccines that have been given, including the brand and when boosters are next required
- Worming treatments, including when and which products were used
- Details of any vet visits
- Information about any medical treatment that’s been needed
- Some vets may be able to give a health certificate that states that a puppy is healthy at the time of inspection
- A copy of the puppy’s weight chart
To help the new owner understand more about their puppy, you should provide them with breed-specific information. This may include features and characteristics of the breed that may influence how the puppy behaves and looks as they grow. Some breeds may be more prone to certain diseases, so a list of health issues to watch out for could help them spot early signs that their puppy is affected. You can find out more about any Kennel Club registered breed on our Breeds A-Z, including health tests and screening schemes that we recommend.
Some breeders also supply details of local breed clubs. Knowing more about a breed can be helpful when raising a puppy and being involved in a supportive network of breed experts can be a great way of getting more guidance.
Advice for new puppy owners
Owning a puppy can sometimes be daunting, so having information to look at on how to raise a dog can be very helpful. You should provide information and advice on:
- Training – what’s the best way to train the puppy, are there any particular methods that you think are good, are there any websites, books or videos you’d recommend?
- Feeding/diet information/feeding schedule – which dog food would you recommend, how much should they give and how often?
- Grooming – how often does the puppy need to be groomed/trimmed and how should this be done?
- Socialisation – How can they help the puppy get used to people, dogs and other pets?
- Habituation – how can they help the puppy get used to certain environments, noises and situations?
- Exercise - how much exercise would you recommend the puppy gets as they grow up and how can new owners stimulate their dog mentally and physically?
You could also include information on:
Something that smells of their mother
Moving away from the comfort and safety of their mother, to a new home with strange humans, can be difficult for a puppy. Some puppies are comforted by the smell of their mother, so some breeders give them a piece of cloth that smells of home. To do this, try putting a blanket in with the mum and puppies, around 4-5 days before the puppies are due to be rehomed. On the day that they leave, take out the blanket and cut out a square and seal it in a plastic bag for them to take away with them.
Some breeders may include a new toy in their puppy packs, such as a ball, a tug toy, a squeaky toy or something to help when teething. Other breeders sometimes give a plush toy to help reassure the puppy. Giving the toy to the puppy a few days before they leave you, allows them to take something to their new home that’s familiar and comforting.
When moving to another home, the last thing your puppy needs is an upset stomach. Switching to a new food, particularly when they may be stressed, could give the puppy diarrhoea. If the new owner is keen to feed their puppy the same food that they’re used to, then having a supply to see them through a few days, or even a week, can really help. If they’d like to switch to a new brand, then giving an amount to help the puppy transition to a new food is essential. If the new owner is keen to switch to a new brand, suggest that they mix in a small amount of the new food with the current brand, slowly increasing it and adjusting the ratio with each meal. You could also include a food measuring cup so the new owners know how much to feed their new puppy.
Water and food bowls
Some breeders include food and/or water bowls in their puppy packs. Whether you choose plastic or stainless steel, these will always be useful to new owners.
Every puppy enjoys a treat, and choosing a bag of healthy treats can help the puppy settle into their new home.
Many companies are keen for you to promote their products, so try asking your favourite dog food manufacturer, pet insurance company, online shop, dog trainer etc. if they have any products that you could include in your puppy pack.
Find out about the Purina Breeders Club.
Other things that you could add to your puppy pack, include:
- Sample pack of puppy pads for when they’re toilet trained
- Poo bags
- Tick picker
- A collar and leash (although many owners like to choose these themselves)
Content provided by PRO PLAN - The Kennel Club’s partner in dog nutrition.