On 31st October 2019, all my childhood dreams came true – we got a puppy!
Buying a puppy can be an extremely exciting time but also a very daunting process. In this blog I will be discussing some of the main questions about buying a puppy but also about the whole experience – including what to expect from your viewing!
There are so many questions you have to ask yourself to make sure you’re getting it 100% right! You need to make sure you’re asking all the right questions and know what to expect going into it!
When we were researching, we found all the answers we wanted about buying or adopting, what breed was best and the key facts about the puppy and breeder in order for it to all be legal, but one thing we didn’t find much information on was what to expect from when you go to view your puppy!
Why did we choose a Labrador?
We had done a lot of research on what breed would suit us. We’ve always wanted a bigger dog and having grown up with my grandparents Labrador and seeing what an amazing breed they are, we decided on a golden Labrador.
Why didn’t we adopt?
I know a lot of people have mixed feeling about buying a puppy compared to adopting, however, and as much as I’d have loved to adopt, there were certain aspects of adopting that weren’t quite right for us but the main issue was that they could have suffered something in their lives that makes them hostile towards children, and my partner and I didn’t want to put off starting a family for 11 years or so. Despite there being other factors that could have been a good fit if we had a family, we weren’t ready to take the risk.
How easy was the whole process?
We have been looking for puppies for around 6 months and, unfortunately, the majority of the time, the puppies would sell so quickly!
The site we would look at was Pets4Homes.co.uk. Here you could filter what pet type, breed and location and see all of the key facts about the puppies, including information on up-to-date vaccinations and if they are kennel club registered.
When we finally found a litter, we contacted the seller and arranged a viewing of the puppies. We viewed them when they were 5 weeks old but weren’t allowed to take them home until they were 8 weeks old.
Puppies must be at least 8 weeks old and fully weaned before they can leave their mothers.
Overall, from arranging a viewing to collecting the puppy, we waiting for around 4 weeks. Our breeder was extremely helpful and answered all of our questions and kept us up dated with pictures whilst we waited until we could collect him.
What to expect when viewing a puppy?
I found there is a tone of information on what you need to know about buying a puppy and the process but hardly anything on what to actually expect from your viewing!
From my experience, we arrived at the breeder’s house who greeted us and led us to the puppies. There were 7 puppies in total (5 dogs and 2 bitches) who were in a pen. As we walked in all of the puppies were really excited and were jumping up to get out attention.
The breeder advised us that the puppies with collars were the ones that were already picked, but she told us we could pick up and cuddle any puppy.
We held a few to see what their temperaments were like and how they reacted to us. We came across Archie quite quickly. He loved cuddles but was also quite playful and no afraid to be handled! After both of us handling him, we decided that he was our potential pup.
We said to the breeder that we love the puppy but had a few questions for her. We asked everything we wanted to and she answered everything for us! We also asked if we could meet the mum and fortune, the dad was also there so we were lucky to meet both. This is so important and you should ALWAYS be able to see the mother.
After all this, we made our decision and asked if we could go ahead and start the process! We paid the deposit and were issued a receipt/ certificate to say we’d reserved our puppy and arranged a date to collect him!
There is so much information on pets4homes about important questions you should ask and a puppy/dog adoption checklist which is so helpful!
Preparing for your new arrival
Once deciding on our puppy and reserving him, we had to start preparing for the arrival.
You need to think of a place where your puppy’s bed will go and where they will sleep. We discussed the use of a crate for training so we bought a large crate for in the house for bed time and a smaller crate for the car.
Other important things to buy before you bring your puppy home are puppy training pads for small accidents whilst you’re toilet training, a comfy bed, blankets, toys, food and water bowl and treats for rewards.
Another thing to consider is if you want to put stair gates up. We have on between out living room and hallway so he has full range of the living room, kitchen and out into the garden.
Finally, you want to make sure that you have some food in ready. Your breeder will most likely give you a week’s worth of food, but it’s best checking and also asking what food they recommend. Now our puppy is home, we are getting used to crying in the night (us as well as the puppy!) and adapting to having a new member of the family in our house! Despite being a lot of hard work, it is one of the best decisions we’ve made and our family feels complete! I can’t wait to watch him grow and share it all with you!
I will be posting our puppy’s first week at home next Sunday along with many updates so stay tuned!
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