BVA warns puppy purchasers to ask key questions

BVA warns puppy purchasers to ask key questions

The British Veterinary Association (BVA) is encouraging anyone considering buying a puppy to always ask five important questions first to make sure they get a healthy, happy puppy from a responsible breeder. The warning comes as vets report seeing puppies with serious health and welfare issues directly linked to the poor conditions and irresponsible way they are bred, reared or sold.

BVA’s recent Voice of the Veterinary Profession survey shows that irresponsible breeding or sourcing of animals is the top animal health and welfare concern for vets in the UK, with over half (55%) vets in clinical practice citing it as the most pressing issue.

Responsible breeders will always be happy to answer any questions and will also ask prospective owners questions in turn to make sure the puppy is going to a suitable home.

BVA recommends asking these five key questions of any puppy breeder or seller:

  1. Did you breed the puppies yourself?
  2. Have you started to house train and socialise the puppy?
  3. Were both the puppy’s parents screened for testable inherited diseases?
  4. Will the puppy be microchipped and given their first vaccinations before homing?
  5. Has the puppy or its parents had any health problems?

British Veterinary Association Junior Vice President Dr. Elizabeth Mullineaux said: “While there are lots of responsible breeders, there are many unscrupulous individuals cashing in and not prioritising the welfare of the animals above making money. Sadly, vets frequently see puppies that have been bred in poor conditions or bought without a proper understanding of their welfare needs, leading to health or behavioural issues. That is why anyone looking to get a dog should find out how the puppies have been reared and cared for in the first few weeks of their lives. Use The Puppy Contract to help ensure you are buying a healthy, happy and well-socialised puppy from a responsible breeder.

The Puppy Contract is a free, one-stop guide developed by the RSPCA and BVA’s charity the Animal Welfare Foundation. It gives prospective puppy owners all the information they need at their fingertips, including all the right questions to ask the breeder about important aspects of the puppy’s care, such as socialisation, vaccination, microchipping and health tests. It also provides a legally binding contract of sale between buyer and breeder.

The Puppy Contract is available at: