Before contacting or visiting the seller please make sure you have printed and read this checklist fully. Do NOT buy a dog or puppy from the seller unless you are happy that they follow all the advice on the list. If you have any concerns, report them to us (see how here).
Do your research firstGetting a new dog or puppy is a massive commitment, so make sure you have researched the breed fully and have the time and commitment necessary to care for the dog. You can read our detailed Information guide about dogs for potential new dog owners. Also read our Dog breed information profile.
Confirm that the seller is genuineYou should verify this by arranging to visit the dog or puppy at the seller's home, if they make excuses or try to ask for money or a deposit to be paid online without visiting the dog at their home, or if the advertiser attempts to deliver the puppies or meet you at any other location than their own home, then please do not agree to this. NEVER pay for a dog or send money as a deposit without visiting and seeing the dog at its home beforehand. Please read our article on avoiding potential scams. Pets4Homes do not verify that all sellers are genuine, so you must make sure you visit the advertiser at their home to confirm yourself. If you are unsure that the advertiser is genuine, please report them to us.
Can the puppies be viewed with their Mother?The seller should ALWAYS let you see the puppies with their mother, and in certain circumstances should let you see the puppies father. Not being able to see the puppies mother is a sign the puppies have not been bred by the advertiser and possibly imported. If the advertiser makes excuses why you cannot see the puppies mum, please walk away and report them to us. Pets4Homes do not allow the third party sale of puppies. All litters of puppies advertised, MUST have been bred by the seller.
Is the Puppy over 8 Weeks of age?Puppies must be at least 8 weeks old and fully weaned before they can leave their mothers. Most responsible sellers will keep their puppies longer than this before they let them go to new homes. Read further information on the minimum age puppies should be before leaving their mothers.
Is the puppy/dog Microchipped ?From April 6th 2016 it will be required by law that all dog over 8 weeks of age are microchipped and that the keepers details registered against them are kept up to date. The breeder is responsible for microchipping the puppies and must have their details registered on the microchip database first. Please check to make sure you receive the microchip documentation with chip number BEFORE taking the dog or puppy home and then arrange to transfer the microchip in to your own name (see more info below).
Check the Health of the Puppy or DogIt can be difficult for the average person to check if a dog or puppy is healthy or not, so if you decide to adopt or buy the puppy, make sure that the seller agrees that you can return them within 48 hours for a full refund after taking the dog or puppy to a Vet of your choice for a health check. The seller should be willing to let you do this. If the puppy has already been health checked by their own vet, make sure you get evidence for this in the form of vet records and phone their vet to confirm this.
Is the puppy or dog up to date with their vaccinations?Puppies should receive 2 vaccinations, the first at around 8 to 10 weeks of age and the second, two weeks later at around 10 to 12 weeks of age. Older Dogs require booster vaccinations occasionally as recommended by their Vet. Ask the breeder which vaccinations they have had and if not, why not. Puppies should have at least had their first set of vaccinations before they leave. If the seller has not started the puppies vaccinations, it will be your responsibility to make sure you arrange both vaccinations 7 days before letting your puppy go outside (see more info below).
Have the puppies been treated for worms and fleas?Puppies should really be wormed at around 2 weeks of age, and again at around 5 weeks of age, and finally just before they leave the seller/breeder at 8 to 12 weeks of age.
Ask questions about puppies mother (and father)Ask how many litters the mother has had and how old she is, she should be at least 1.5 years old. Ask about her temperament. Ask if the parents have any health issues and if they have been tested for common health issues known in their breed. The seller should be willing to tell you all about the puppies parents.
Is the dog/puppy registered with the kennel club?If they are, then check to make sure you are given the correct kennel club documents BEFORE you decide to take the dog home. It may also be worth phoning the kennel club to check the information provided is correct.
Have the puppies been socialised ?Make sure that puppies have been socialised from a very early age and are raised in a home environment, have interacted with their litter mates and are used to people, children and general household life. Puppies that haven't been raised in a home environment may develop behavioural issues, have temperamental problems, be difficult to housetrain and find adjusting to family life hard.
Please read our Pet Advice section for further information before buying a dog.
Microchipping a dog is the process of implanting a chip under the dog's skin and registering the keeper's details on a national database so that the dog's keeper can be traced.
From the 6th of April 2016 and onwards it will be mandatory that all dogs be microchipped before they are 8 weeks old. Puppies MUST be microchipped before being sold and the breeder must be the first person whose details are registered on the microchip.
You should confirm with the seller about the pet's microchipping status, if this has already been carried out, and if not, when it is scheduled.
You MUST make sure you receive the microchip documentation and check that it is genuine BEFORE taking your dog or puppy home.
Once the ownership of the pet has formally passed over to you, you should make sure that you contact the microchip company to update your details as the registered keeper of the pet within 21 days. A failure to do this could result in a £500 fine.
All dogs should be vaccinated and have their vaccinations kept up-to-date, this is part of being a responsible dog owner and will be your responsibility.
Puppies should receive two vaccinations, the first at around 8 to 10 weeks of age and the second, two weeks later at around 10 to 12 weeks of age. Puppies should not be allowed outside until 7 days after their second injection. Older dogs require booster vaccinations occasionally as recommended by their Vet.
If the seller has not vaccinated their dog/puppy, then it will be your responsibility to make sure this is done straight away.
Many responsible dog breeders will keep their puppies longer, and make sure they have been fully vaccinated before they let them go to new homes.
If the seller has said the dog/puppy is vaccinated, please make sure you receive the dogs vaccination record paperwork.
Other useful resources
Here are a few very useful articles you should read before visiting any dogs or puppies
- Ten pitfalls to avoid when buying a pedigree puppy
- What paperwork should you have
- Important Questions to ask the Breeder
- Picking a healthy puppy
- Choosing a pedigree puppy
- Health testing for dogs
If you need further assistance
If this help article did not answer your question, you are of course more than welcome to reach out to us by clicking the button below.