There are many important things to consider before buying a puppy. To help we have put together a list for you:

Avoid an impulse purchase: Never buy a puppy on a whim. Do your research into which breed would suit you and think about the lifelong expenses and commitment that the puppy requires.

Finding a breeder: If deciding on a pedigree dog the kennel club assured breeder scheme can provide an up to date list of assured breeders. If a breeder is selling lots of different breeds be wary.

Choosing a puppy: Ideally you should be able to see both parents of the puppy. This may not always be possible but you should at least be able to see the mother. If excuses are made to not be able to see the mother then be cautious. Ensure you see the puppy several times in its breeding environment – both puppy and mother should be happy, bright and inquisitive. Never buy a puppy online without seeing him/her or pick a puppy up from an arranged location when you have not seen the breeding environment.

Puppy paperwork: Always ask to see the health certificates of parents e.g hip scores in Labradors. If you are buying a pedigree dog the parents and puppy should have kennel club certificates.

Arrange a vet check as soon as possible and ask the breeder if you can return the puppy if there is a health concern – this shouldn’t be a problem with most reputable breeders.

Check if the puppy has been wormed, treated for fleas or had any vaccinations. The microchipping of dogs (Scotland) regulations 2016 states that all dogs over 8 weeks old must be microchipped, meaning all puppies should be microchipped before leaving the breeder. If something does not feel right then do not buy the puppy.