From finding out if you’re ready for a puppy and discovering the right breed to suit your lifestyle, to researching a responsible breeder, there’s a lot to consider if you’re thinking about getting a dog. 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.

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.

Start off your puppy buying journey by asking yourself this list of questions, then begin your research to find the right dog for your lifestyle here.

  1. Getting your new best friend

Finding your puppy and getting it from a responsible breeder is a key part of being #Puppywise. There are lots of 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 a member of the Kennel Club Assured Breeder Scheme. Assured Breeders all agree to follow good breeding practices and are inspected. If searching for a puppy, Kennel Club Assured Breeders will appear on the Kennel Club’s Find a Puppy Site with a Scheme logo next to their name.  You can search on the website by area and your chosen breed.  You can also search the full list of Kennel Club Assured Breeders here.

The Kennel Club recognises that there are responsible breeders outside of the Assured Breeder 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. Find out more about what to look for in terms of your puppy’s health here.

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

You can also find out more about puppy farms and other disreputable sources, and how to avoid them, here.

  1. Caring for your new best friend

From 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 being #Puppywise, is caring for your puppy once it’s home, and for its life.

When you finally come to bringing 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’ so they are safe and happy, advice on settling them in, 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 and responsible trainer or training class is important. The Kennel Club Good Citizen Scheme is a good place to start – you can find a local club here.

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 a new best friend!  


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