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Thinking of buying a puppy?

It's a very exciting time when you decide to get a puppy, but do you know the best way to get a puppy? Read on for our advice: 

 Consider which breed to get very carefully, make sure it is a breed that fits your lifestyle, and the time you will be spending with it. Some breeds are very energetic and might not be suitable for owners who haven't got much time or inclination to exercise them.

Think twice before buying flat-faced breeds - a recent poll of vets showed that most vets have concerns about the health and welfare of these breeds.

Poorly bred puppies (eg from puppy farms) can suffer diseases, health problems and poor socialisation that can lead to behaviour problems.

The BVA and Animal Welfare Foundation (AWF) are encouraging prospective pet owners not to buy a brachycephalic breed and consider healthier breeds or cross-breeds instead, and to always consider how a puppy has been reared and cared for in its first few weeks to ensure a happy, healthy dog in later life. 

British Veterinary Association President Gudrun Ravetz said:
"Anyone thinking of getting a new puppy should speak to their local veterinary practice for advice on the right dog for them and use the free Puppy Contract that gives prospective owners all the information they need to ensure they are buying a healthy, happy and well-socialised puppy. If a seller is not willing to provide the information listed in the Puppy Contract or allow you to see the puppy interacting with its mother, then you should walk away otherwise you risk perpetuating irresponsible dog breeding and lining the pockets of people who care more about profits than puppy welfare.”

The Puppy Contract, developed by AWF and the RSPCA, is an invaluable go-to tool to empower pet owners to ask all the right questions when choosing a puppy, in order to help avoid the problems that can arise from buying a puppy from an irresponsible breeder.

BVA and AWF are highlighting five top tips for anyone thinking of buying a puppy:

•    Download the Animal Welfare Foundation/RSPCA Puppy Contract for free, to help you ask the breeder all the right questions: 

•    Do not buy a puppy from anyone but the breeder, and ensure you always see the puppy interacting with its mother and any littermates.

•    Ask to see the puppy’s health records, including records of vaccination, worming and flea treatment as well as other veterinary treatment.

•    Consider getting a rescue dog from one of the recognised rehoming charities.

•    Ask at your veterinary practice about the right pet for you, your lifestyle and your family.