Buying a Pet

If you are planning to buy a pet dog or cat, it is important that you make some basic but important checks.
Never buy a pet on impulse!!


Do not buy a cat or dog from unknown sources – It’s important that you know where it comes from and where it was born. Research has proven 12 per cent of people pay for their puppy before they have even seen it.

Be particularly careful when buying dogs or cats advertised on the internet or through local media such as a newspaper. Almost one in three puppies bought online experience an illness or die in the first year.

Illegally imported dogs and cats may not only carry diseases such as rabies but may also be advertised in a way that misleads the buyer regarding the animal’s history, breed or pedigree. For those that reach our shores alive their are unfortunately many more that will have died in the process.
Guidelines to follow when buying a cat or dog

You can play a part in fighting the illegal trade in pet animals by following some simple guidelines:

  • Buy your animal from a reputable supplier – advice on buying a dog or cat is available from a range of animal organisations, such as Dog Advisory Council, Kennel Club, the Dogs Trust and the RSPCA
  • Check the animal’s history by speaking to a previous owner – if you are buying a puppy or kitten, you should ask to see it with its mother and the rest of the litter.
  • View the animal and its documentation before you buy – if it was born outside the UK it must have either a pet passport or a veterinary certificate. The pet passport needs to confirm that it was vaccinated against rabies at the correct age, according to the manufacturer’s data sheet (normally at three months of age). For dogs, the passport should also show that it has been treated for tapeworm.
  • If you have any doubts about an animal speak to your vet before agreeing to buy it.

Puppy Contract

The puppy contract has been developed to empower puppy buyers and help them to avoid the problems that can arise from buying a puppy from an irresponsible breeder. Puppy buyers can use the information provided by the breeder or seller to make a decision on whether they want to buy the puppy they have seen.

For breeders and sellers the contract is a record of the thought and attention they have devoted to their puppies' breeding and care. It can be used for all puppies, whether they are pedigree or not, and by any breeder or seller, including rescue centres.
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