Getting a puppy is an exciting moment in everyone’s life, but with so many breeders out there, you may be confused about what your options are. To ensure your puppy is happy and healthy, you need to find the right breeder for you, one that works ethically and wants what’s best for the puppy. Here are the steps to doing just that.

Find an approved breeder

Puppy breeding is, unfortunately, a minefield of unethical practices, from puppy mills to clueless people not taking the correct steps to ensure the health of all dogs involved. To avoid accidentally funding bad practices, use tools online to help you source a reputable breeder, such as the Kennel Club Assured Breeder search (https://www.thekennelclub.org.uk/search/find-an-assured-breeder/) or Puppy Choices (https://puppychoices.co.uk). This way, you can be assured that your dog will be brought into the world by people who know what they're doing.

Communicate with the breeder

Once you have found a breeder that has a litter on the way, get in contact with them as soon as you can. A reputable breeder will be more than happy to answer any questions and allow you to see pictures or visit mum and dad, as well as visit the puppies when they are born. Anyone who simply pushes you for the money with little communication is a big red flag, especially if they're willing to hand over a puppy that has health issues or is too young to be away from mum.

Ask for paperwork

This is closely related to the point above – any breeder should be able to provide legitimate paperwork or certificates for the parent dogs as well as the puppies. This includes vaccination history, microchipping, worming, and health test results. This is especially important for breeds that are prone to genetic diseases as they need to be tested for it and not bred if they are shown to be carriers. Remember though, that a Kennel Club Registration (or any registration) isn’t a guarantee that the puppy is going to be healthy, as anyone can pay for this. Real medical records are the most reliable piece of information you can get.

Puppies are a joyful addition to the family, but make sure you take these steps to make sure yours has the best start to life.

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