There has been a lot in the press recently about pedigree dog health, including the worrying aspect of imported puppies, many of which are illegally imported.
One of the best ways of tackling these problems is responsible purchasing by potential owners. If there is no financial market for poor health puppies and their importation, then it will dry up.
Things to consider
Responsibly acquiring a puppy (and indeed any pet) will make a significant difference to the health and welfare of the puppy but, importantly, will mean a great start for the family with their puppy. The veterinary practice is without a doubt the best place to advise potential owners on how to be responsible when acquiring a puppy and to provide the education needed to help to make sure that the owner/puppy relationship is one that is enjoyable for all.
Although we all know the huge benefits of dogs within a family, it is also a responsibility. New owners should reflect on the joy of dog ownership, but also the responsibility attached.
PDSA have some useful information to make people think about getting a pet that breaks it down into:
Place – where you live and the environment available for your pet can make a big difference to the type of dog you choose.
Exercise – can you give your new pet enough exercise and the right kind of exercise for its breed and type
Time – to care for your pet and meet all of its needs
Spend – the cost of owning your pet for its lifetime
Knowledge – an understanding of the needs of your potential pet and your responsibilities to it, the wider environment and the community.
Choosing a Pet Responsibly
Something to consider is always whether you should rehome a dog or purchase one from a breeder. Rehoming a dog is often very rewarding as it will give a new chance to a dog. Larger, well-known rehoming centres work very hard to adequately match owners and dogs and offer support to make sure that the experience is a success.
However, some owners may wish to purchase a puppy or a particular breed. In this case, it is vital that potential owners know how to buy responsibly to avoid breeds with known debilitating inherited health problems and to avoid fuelling irresponsible breeding and importation that causes health and welfare misery for thousands of puppies and their parents.
A great way to educate a potential puppy purchaser and help them to purchase responsibly is for them to use the Puppy Contract