Top 12 Questions You Should Ask a Dog Breeder Before Buying a New Puppy

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The man and big group of a beagle puppies

1Are the puppies’ parents “certified”?

Certain breeds of dog are regularly in danger for hereditary conditions, for example, hip issues, heart issues and eye issues. A large portion of these illnesses are inherited from the puppy’s parents, which means these illnesses are passed from parent to puppy. Most (reputable) dog breeders will have their dogs assessed and tried for these various hereditary diseases and will get “certification” from a registered veterinary that the puppies are free of disease and illness. Research the breed you are considering and get to know the most common issues that breed has or what types of genetic problems that breed is prone to.

2How big are the parents of the puppy?

Knowing the size of the puppy’s parents is a good baseline for you to access, as it’s a good measure of how big your puppy will be. Ask, yourself – Is that the size dog you want?

3Ask the breeder – Can I meet the puppy’s parents?

When this is possible, meeting the puppy’s parents will give you a first-hand idea if the parents appear to be in good health and have an overall good temperament. While talking to the breed, watch the puppy’s parents. How are they interacting with you, with each other, do they appear to be shy, aggressive, or well adjusted? All of these are key things to play close attention to prior to buying a new puppy from a breeder.

4What has the breeder done to help socialize the puppy’s prior to purchasing?

Ask questions like – Have the pup(s) been exposed and socialized around other dogs? Other people, children? Early socialization is critical in puppies ranging from 6 – 16 weeks old. The appropriate amount of socialization for the puppy early-on in life is critical. With this socialization the pups learn how to interact with other puppy’s and other dogs of various ages, sizes. As, well as other people. A properly socialized pup will give you the best opportunity at buying and owning a well-adjusted dog in the future.

5What vaccines has the puppy had, what puppy shots are still left to be gotten and has the puppy had any veterinarian visits?

It’s very important to know if the new puppy you are consider has had its needed vaccinations on time and what shots are the puppy still due to have. If the puppy has had veterinarian visits, ask to see the records, also. The more information you have the better.

6Have the puppies been dewormed?

All puppies are born with worms. So routine deworming is recommended and should’ve been done by the dog breeder or kennel prior to your purchase.

7How has the puppy litters health been overall? Have any of the puppies in that litter been sick?

If so, what was the diagnosis, how were they treated, when were they treated, and what were the signs the puppies showed when sick.

8What is the breeders or kennels guarantee? Does the breeder offer any sort of guarantees with their puppies?

In the event of something serious happening such as, severe illness or death, what is the breeder willing to do to help remedy the situation? Granted this is a very tough topic to address. But, it’s better to have details up-front and in the open before you buy a new puppy. Having all the details and everything laid out in the open will greatly give you peace of mind.

9Get recommendations and first-hand testimonials from past and present buyers of the breeder?

Such a great idea and precautionary task that many folks over-look when considering the purchase of a new puppy. We always suggest that new buyers ask the breeder for a couple references of folks that have bought a puppy within the past year or even more recently. Get their names and numbers and make sure to CALL them! Talk naturally and casually. Asking questions with regards to the breeder’s fairness during and after the sale, ask if the buyer is currently happy with their new puppy, and if they have experienced any issues with the puppy since their purchase. If so, how was the problem handled. All this type of background information is very helpful in making your purchase decision. As a side-note you can even ask if the breeder belongs to any breed clubs. If they do you can ask for references there, as well.

10Contracts, Contracts. Does the Breeder offer any contracts?

Some dog breeders require the buyer to sign a breeder’s contract. If this is the case with the puppy you wish to buy. You’ll want to ask the breeder for a copy of contact. This way you can read it over and ask any questions you might have prior to any final sales. Most mindful and professional breeders will gladly provide you a copy of their breeder contact and will even openly discuss its contents with you. These contacts often have stipulations within them such as, the breeder might require you to have the pup spay or neuter by a certain age, etc. So, its best to be aware of these conditions before you buy.

11What is the pup’s family history?

Asking questions about the pup’s family history can better prepare you for its future. Ask the breeder if he/she has information about the puppy’s blood line. For example, ask questions about how long the dogs have typically lived and what they have they died from. Make sure to write down any and all the details you gather and learn from this conversation. The information you gather now can prove invaluable, as your new puppy gets older.

12What are the current diet and feeding habits that the breeder has the puppy on?

Make sure to ask the breeder what type of pet food are they currently feeding the puppy. You’ll want to know this information, as you’ll want to continue the same diet feeding the puppy the same brand and food source for a week or so at home while offering and introducing a new diet and pet foods of your choice gradually. This way you’ll hopefully mitigate any risk of gastrointestinal issues due to rapidly changing the puppy’s diet.

Parting Food for Thought

Make sure to get your questions answered and be certain that you feel very comfortable with the breeder’s responses. So, that you can begin the process of enjoying your new puppy.

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