Buying a Puppy Safely

With Dogs often an addition to families around Christmas time, the SSPCA has repeated their calls for the public to buy puppies safely after receiving several reports of seriously ill pups sold by suspected illegal dealers.
2 in 5 illegally bred puppies bought online die before their fifth birthday and more than 1 in 6 get sick or die in the first year.

Prices for puppies have almost doubled due to high demand during the Covid-19 pandemic, with some popular breeds now costing over £3,000. The increased demand has encouraged illegal puppy farming – last month alone, the SSPCA launched 78 investigations into reports of puppy farming.

They are worried that further demand for new pets over the Christmas period will benefit cruel dealers who have no interest in animal welfare and are urging potential pup owners to do plenty of research and to be aware of the warning signs of puppy farming.

SSPCA Advice

  • Don’t buy a puppy without seeing paperwork and certificates for vaccinations, microchipping and worming; 
  • Insist on seeing the puppy with it’s mother in the home it was raised in – be suspicious if the seller wants to meet in a car park or public space; 
  • Don’t pay a deposit without seeing the dog in person – be suspicious if the seller tries to rush you into handing over cash.
  • always ensure you have a long term plan to look after the dog. The puppy is not just for Christmas, as the saying goes.

Find more information about how to buy a puppy safely on the campaign website
If you are concerned about the welfare of a puppy you have seen or purchased online, contact the SSPCA on03000 999 999.

If you are aware of someone who may be involved in an unlicensed puppy farm, contact Advice Direct Scotland on 0808 164 6000.

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