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Puppy buying guidance

Before you buy a puppy

Owning a puppy or dog is a big commitment and before you buy one, here are a few things to consider:

  • What are you looking for in a dog?  Is the dog needed as a guard dog, lapdog, rescue dog etc.
  • Do you have time and the means to walk, train, groom, feed, provide veterinary care and play with the dog?
The law says you must look after your animal by making sure it:

  • has a proper diet, including fresh water
  • has somewhere suitable to live
  • is kept with or away from other animals, depending on its needs
  • is allowed to express itself and behave normally
  • is protected from, and treated for, illness and injury

Things you should check when buying a puppy

If you decide you want to buy a puppy, here are some things you should always check to give you a sense of the health of the puppy and anything you may need to be prepared for in the future:

  • Did the owners breed the puppy?
  • Are the puppies kept where they were bred?
  • How many puppies were in the litter?
  • Have the puppies or their mother had any health problems and/or have they visited the vet?
  • Have the puppies been treated for worms or other parasites?
  • Have, or will, the puppies be given their first vaccinations before they go to their new homes?
  • Have the dog’s parents been screened for any inherited problems known to be a problem in that breed?
  • Do the puppies have any form of identification, such as microchips, or tags with owner's contact details?
  • Did you see the mother with the litter?
Find out more about the RSPCA’s puppy contract and a “puppy information pack”. 

Contact us
Dog control
028 9027 0230
Dog Wardens
Ground Floor
Cecil Ward Building
4-10 Linenhall Street
Belfast
BT2 8BP