Buying and Caring for a Puppy

Deciding whether to get a puppy or dog is a big decision and hence important to give it proper thought, don’t rush into it and to carry out some research. Guidelines on buying and caring for a puppy  are available on the attached Guide to advise ​prospective purchasers. The advice is to buy your puppy/dog from a responsible breeder, or seller. These people will have made sure that the puppy has had the best start in life. This is important, because how puppies have been bred and raised can have a lifelong effect.

To make sure you are buying a puppy from a responsible breeder it is important to :
• Only buy a puppy aged at least 8 weeks old, and make sure you see it with its mother.
• Make sure the breeder/seller can give you an official pedigree detailing the ancestry of the puppy’s father and mother.
• Make sure the breeder/seller can give you important details about the specific health requirements of your puppy, such as which vaccinations it has been given and which ones it is yet to have.
• Make sure the breeder/seller can give you as much information as possible about the puppy.
• If the puppy does not originate from the place of purchase, ask where it came from and try to obtain its previous history. Purchasing from an illegal breeder may mean that your new  puppy was illegally imported into Northern Ireland.
• Make sure the breeder has prepared the puppy for the world around it. This is called ‘socialisation’ and could include activities like gently handling the puppy; introducing it to noise and varieties of human contact; and mixing it with other puppies.

Also, the Guidelines highlight that anyone who decides to get a dog becomes responsible for that animal and will need to be fully aware of the legal requirements of owning a dog.

The Guide sets out information on

• the importance of research, before deciding to buy a puppy/dog;

• finding the right dog breed;

• deciding where to get your new puppy/dog;

• finding a healthy, happy dog;

• collecting your new dog and bringing it home;

• helping your new dog settle-in to its new home; and

• understanding dog behaviour.


The Guide also highlights the responsibilities that dog owners have, regarding:

• licensing the dog;

• keeping the dog under proper control; and

• meeting the welfare needs of the dog.

Download file: Buying & Caring for a Puppy Guide

Buying & Caring for a Puppy Guide

9th December 2019
PDF - 498 KB