Buying a dog

Choose wisely and give them companionship, space and exercise and a dog can become your best friend and an important part of your family.

Read our tips below...

Start with research

First things first, make sure it's the right breed or type of dog for your home and lifestyle. Look around online for advice or ask your local vet some questions to find the right dog for you.

Do the maths

Did you know owning a dog can cost as much as £31,000? That includes a lifetime of food, chews toys and treats but excludes things such as veterinary costs. If your dog becomes sick or injured this average cost could be even higher. Make sure you can afford the lifetime costs of owning a dog before moving ahead.

Go and say hello

When arranging to view a dog, you should always see it where it lives, never in a train station, car park, high street or park etc. Also, never accept an offer to have the dog bought to you. If the seller does not want you to visit their home, this is a sign of an unscrupulous seller or puppy smuggler.

When you visit a dog, take your time, ask lots of questions and trust your instincts. You should try and visit at least twice to see how you get on together. Ask about his or her health and history, and make sure the owner sounds true and honest. Always ask for a copy of its medical records, including vaccination certificate and records of worming and flea treatment.

If your chosen dog does not originate from the place of purchase, ask where it came from and try to obtain its previous history. If the owner will not let you visit their home or meet the dog at least twice, we recommend that you don't take the dog home. If you have animal welfare concerns report the advert to Gumtree or directly to the RSPCA.

Dog neutering

If the dog is over six months old, check whether it has been neutered. It is not beneficial for a dog to have a season or just one litter. Unnecessary breeding just adds to the many dogs and puppies needing homes.

Microchip your dog

From 6th April, 2016 it is a legal requirement in England and Scotland that dogs over eight weeks be microchipped and the owner's details kept up-to-date. Ensure the dog that you are buying has a microchip by checking the paperwork and when you take it home update the microchip with your details straightaway. Microchipping gives your dog the best chance of being identified and returned to you if they are lost or stolen.

To the rescue

Before you buy a dog through Gumtree, consider contacting your local animal rescue centre. There are thousands of healthy, loving dogs all over the UK who need a new home.

Our Partners

At Gumtree we take animal welfare very seriously.

We work with a number of animal welfare charities, including the RSPCA, and we are an active member of the Pets Advertising Advisory Group (PAAG). PAAG is made up of animal welfare groups, vets and online classified sites, all working together to promote responsible pet advertising. Our shared goal is that all animals advertised for sale online are advertised legally and ethically.

For more information on PAAG or advice on buying a pet online, you can visit their site:

A fresh start in life

There are thousands of wonderful animals in the UK looking for a new start. A number of charities advertise these pets on Gumtree, but you can also visit PAAG member sites directly.