Breeders and coronavirus (Covid-19) FAQs

 

Last updated: 26 June 2020

Please regularly check the latest government advice across EnglandScotlandWales and Northern Ireland and continually assess your own situation based on this information and where you are in the UK.

For information on our health testing schemes during this period click here.

I have a litter of puppies due. What is the advice about visiting families?

If you already have a litter of puppies, we’d suggest keeping in contact with and updating new owners by phone, email, video calls, and sending photos – not with excessive visits to your home.

It now may be possible for new owners to view and meet their new puppy with its mum following updated government advice which allows for people to meet other households outdoors - as long as the breeder has a secure, private garden or outdoor space and social distancing is maintained at all times. Similarly, if guidance in your nation allows one other household to meet another indoors, then the new owner is able to see the puppy with its mum, in its home environment, as long as social distance is maintained. Please check guidance in your location using the links at the top of this page and carry out your own risk assessment.

What about puppies which are ready to go to their new homes?

Please check guidance in your nation and risk assess the individual situation, but new owners are now likely to be able to collect a puppy as long as social distance and hygiene requirements are maintained, and no one involved is showing symptoms.

It is important to note that at present, all other existing legal obligations, such as microchipping your puppies prior to sale and any licensing conditions, remain in force. Issues related to licensing should be raised with the relevant local authority.

How can people socialise their puppies at this time?

Of course it’s more difficult to socialise puppies at this time. Some practical tips you can do at home to help socialise your pups include:

  • Play different sounds to them via your phone or computer, like traffic noises, dog barks, other animal noises, and anything else your pups might not be experiencing in real life while we are staying at home more.
  • Make additional efforts to get them outside in your garden to experience as many sights and sounds as possible, but at a safe distance for you and others around you.
  • Get them used to different environments and everyday situations where you can, for example hoover around them, show them the washing machine while it’s on, if you’re near a road show them it at a safe distance, etc. 

Will there be a delay of registering my puppies with the Kennel Club if the offices are closed?

There are currently no delays with any of our registration services.  However during this time, we would strongly advise that customers use the online methods where possible as there may be unavoidable delays to postal applications.

We were planning a litter but should we now delay this?

This has to be personal decision, based on your individual situation and risk assessment of this, but do consider the difficulties around socialising puppies in the current climate, the potential of you getting poorly and not being able to care for your puppies or dogs, whether your local vet will be able to assist if needed and how to deal with prospective owners responsibly.

Depending on how the situation evolves, do also consider that you may need to keep your puppies for longer than eight weeks, and whether you will be in a position to care for your puppies for as long needed during uncertain times.

How can I best take care of my puppies and dogs during this period?

It’s important to follow government advice depending on your situation. If you have symptoms of the virus and feel unwell, the advice is to self-isolate and this includes physical contact with your dog/s and/or puppies – as hard as it may be. If you live alone and become unwell and need to self-isolate, a friend, family member or professional may be able to care for your dog/s and/or puppies for you.

Otherwise, if you have puppies but are feeling well, take extra hygiene precautions: try to avoid your puppies or dogs licking your face, keep your puppies as clean as you can and always wash your hands with soap and water after touching them, preparing their food, and cleaning their sleeping and toileting area.

Make sure anyone in your household where you are rearing the puppies follows these measures. There is no evidence that dogs can get or transmit Covid-19, but these measures are to reduce the likelihood of your pet spreading the disease through environmental contamination on their fur – so it’s essential to increase hygiene precautions.

Keep your puppies mentally and physically active – start training early, play games and let your puppies socialise with each other in the home and outdoors, where it is safe to do so.

Will vets still be on hand to assist if something goes wrong?

If your dog or puppy needs vet care during this period, call your vet in the first instance. Don’t leave the house to go to your vet if you are self-isolating.

What should I do if I need to get my puppies vaccinated or microchipped?

Guidance from the British Veterinary Association now states that primary vaccinations and year 1 boosters in dogs could go ahead (as of 14th April 2020) as an essential service, and that microchipping could be undertaken if the puppy is already in the practice for an essential service. However, veterinary practices may vary in their approach due to individual circumstance, so call your vet in the first instance to ask them what they recommend and what procedures they are carrying out at this time.

Is it safe for someone else to take care of dogs that I breed from if I'm taken ill or have to self-isolate?

A friend, relative or professional may be able to care for your dog/s for you if you have symptoms, or are vulnerable or elderly, but let them know in advance if you are self-isolating and follow government guidelines when handing over your dog/s, maintaining social distancing measures. Always wash your hands before and after handling your dog/s and preparing their food, and ask whoever cares for your dog/s to do so as well.

Further government guidelines on how to safely help others during the pandemic can be found here.

Assured Breeder Scheme 

Can I still apply to join the Kennel Club Assured Breeder Scheme ?

During these times the Kennel Club is putting the health, safety and welfare of its staff and customers first, and as such have suspended the process of undertaking face to face assessment visits.

As the visit process forms part of the application process to join the scheme, we have taken the decision to temporarily withdraw the option to join the scheme until further notice. We do not have a definitive date as to when we may recommence visits and re-open the new membership application process, and this will be subject to comprehensive risk evaluation.

Please be assured that this does not prevent you from breeding nor registering dogs, and we would still actively encourage you to follow the health testing requirements and guidelines for responsible breeding which you can find here. 

In the meantime, if you would like to register your interest in joining the Assured Breeder Scheme, please email us at ​abs.new@thekennelclub.org.uk, so that we can follow up with you once the new membership application process re-opens.

When will you be starting the visits again as mine has been cancelled?

 We are suspending all certification visits for the foreseeable future. All new applications, or applications pending a certification visit, will be placed on hold until further notice. The Kennel Club is monitoring the situation closely and will align to Government advice and information. We will keep all members updated on this situation and thank them for their understanding at this time.

What happens if I can’t get my dog health tested?

In light of the developments relating to Covid-19, the Kennel Club Assured Breeder Scheme recognises that, in some cases, health testing may be impacted. If this is likely to affect you and your breeding plans, you will be required to contact the ABS team prior to the date of mating via email on abs@thekennelclub.org.uk.

I have already applied, how will this affect my application?

All Breeder Assessment Visits are currently suspended for the foreseeable future, therefore, your application will be placed on hold until the visits have recommenced. Any litter registration applications made whilst your application is pending cannot be considered for registration under the scheme and must be made on the standard, non-ABS register. We will be reviewing the situation continuously, in accordance with Government guidelines.

Can my puppies go to their new homes before 8 weeks old?

Usual standards will apply, please refer to The Kennel Club Assured Breeder Scheme Standard for further information.

What happens if I cannot pay my renewal fee?

Membership renewal notices are sent out one month prior to the annual renewal date. If payment is not received, membership status becomes inactive. Assured Breeders whose memberships are inactive due to a missing payment are able to renew at a later date to bring their membership up to date, however their membership renewal date will always remain the same.

What happens to my payment now my application has been put on hold?

If your application is placed on hold, then your payment will be held in place with your application on file. Renewal payments will only be activated after your visit has taken place and your visit report completed.

I have a litter to register and a pending ABS Application, can I register my litter?

Litter registration applications can still be submitted to the Kennel Club but these must be made under the standard Kennel Club registration system. Providing the requirements of registration have been met, you will receive confirmation from the Kennel Club once your litter is registered. Please note, you are only eligible to register non-ABS litters whilst you are not a member of the scheme

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