The RSPCA’s Top Tips for Getting a Puppy

Puppies are adorable and it's hard not to fall in love with them, but it's important to do a lot of research before getting one of your own. They need a lot of time and attention in the early days, so it's a good idea to prepare as much as possible. We teamed up with the RSPCA to put together these tips to help you make the right decisions when looking for a potential canine companion.

When looking for a puppy

It’s important to be savvy when looking for a puppy – this means doing your homework and asking a lot of questions. When searching for a puppy to buy, it’s a good idea to:

  • See the puppy with its mother in the place it was bred.
  • Check the puppy’s age – a puppy should be at least eight weeks old before leaving its mother.
  • Check vaccination records and any other papers carefully.
  • Ask lots of questions about the mother and observe how she behaves towards you – for example, does she greet you in a calm and friendly manner?

Before getting a puppy

Before you get a puppy, it’s important to think about what being a responsible dog owner involves and whether you’ll be able to meet all your four-legged friend’s needs. Dogs make great companions but keeping one is a long-term commitment. To make sure a puppy is right for you, it’s a good idea to ask yourself the following questions:

  • Do I really want a puppy or could I adopt an adult dog?
  • Can I afford a dog beyond the initial price tag – this means food, toys and vet visits, including emergencies?
  • Is my home safe and secure enough?
  • Will I be able to give them enough attention to prevent them from becoming lonely or bored?
  • Do I have time to train and socialise them?
  • Do I have time to exercise and play with a dog every day?
  • Am I ready to make a 10- to 15-year commitment?

For more information on how to find the right puppy for you, have a look at the Get Puppy Smart Website.

Rescue dogs

Instead of buying a puppy, it’s always worth considering adopting one from your local animal rescue centre. While these will tend to be adult dogs, rather than puppies, you’ll be helping to rehome an animal in need and you’ll know the dog has been receiving all the proper care.

If you’ve decided that a puppy is right for you and can put in the training time, you have a look at our Gumtree guide. We also have lots of bargains on puppy supplies, so you can make sure your home is ready for your new four-legged friend.