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Beware puppy purchase pitfalls
12th April 2019

By Karen Pickwick



The British Veterinary Association, Animal Welfare Foundation and RSPCA have joined paws this National Pet Month (April 1 –May 6) to encourage anyone thinking of buying a puppy to always use The Puppy Contract and ask several key questions of the breeder first.

New statistics from BVA’s Voice of the Veterinary Profession survey show that most of the puppy problems vets saw last year as a result of poor purchasing decisions were related to owners choosing a breed without sufficient understanding of its needs or its suitability to their household or lifestyle.

When asked about poor purchasing decisions relating specifically to dogs, one in 10 vets said they commonly saw dogs last year with health issues linked to where they were bought from, such as puppy farms or irresponsible breeders selling puppies online.

BEHAVIOURAL ISSUES

Nearly one-third of vets (32%) noted seeing puppies with congenital and conformation problems, such as trouble breathing due to flat faces, and more than one in five (22%) saw dogs that were not suited to their environment, which often led to behavioural issues.

BVA junior vice president and AWF trustee Daniella Dos Santos said: “The vast majority of vets agree that using The Puppy Contract benefits and informs prospective owners. Vets frequently see puppies bred in poor conditions or bought without a proper understanding of their welfare needs, leading to health or behavioural issues, so it is important to always consider how the puppies have been reared and cared for in their first few weeks.

“We’d encourage anyone thinking of getting a new puppy to speak to their local veterinary practice for advice on the right dog for them and use The Puppy Contract to ensure they are buying a healthy, happy and well-socialised puppy. If a seller is not willing to provide answers to your questions, then you should walk away to avoid getting a puppy that might have a poor quality of life and perpetuating irresponsible dog breeding.”