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Buying a New Puppy?  Here is what you need to know!

Owning a pet is both an expensive and long term commitment and unfortunately there are far too many internet adverts that encourage impulse buying. A photo of a cute cuddly puppy with as little information as possible is geared to encourage impulse buying.

Having a bouncy, happy, playful puppy is a very enjoyable experience however, it is also a big commitment and demanding in time, money and care.  Remember, a puppy will grow into a dog and will be with you for the next 10 to 15 years or more.

The 10 Commandments is an easy 10 step guide to responsible pet ownership

1)  Annual Vaccinations and Health Assessment

2)  Feed the right pet food

3)  Neuter/Spay your pet early

4)  Pet Health Insurance

5)  Prevent fleas and worms

6)  Train your pet well

7)   Microchip Identification

8)  Dental care is vital

9)  Keep slip, fit and mobile – exercise

10) Have fun

The likely lifetime cost of owning a dog ranges from €15,000 to €23,000 depending on the size of the dog. This excludes veterinary costs if your pet becomes sick or injured, so this average cost could be even higher. Whether you are looking for a pug, husky, Jack Russell terrier, or cocker spaniel, you should consider each breeds own requirements and potential veterinary issues. Can you afford the lifetime costs of owning a dog?

Dogs and puppies like all animals, have five essential needs to be healthy and happy;  these are commonly known as ‘The Five Freedoms’. Under the Animal Health & Welfare Act of 2013, and equivalent legislation in Northern Ireland, all owners need to provide these five things for the pets they keep:

  1. Environment – a suitable living environment
  2. Diet – a suitable diet
  3. Behaviour – to be able to behave normally
  4. Companionship – to have appropriate companionship
  5. Health – to be protected from pain, suffering, injury and disease

If you have carefully considered all that is involved in having a pet and decided to get the right puppy for you and your circumstances, here is some suggestions to consider.

Where to get your new puppy?

If you wish to buy a puppy from a breeder, ask your vet if they know any reputable breeders or contact the Irish Kennel Club for advice. They will be able to point you in the right direction for the breed you are looking for from maltese or shi tzus to labradors and beyond. If you decide to buy a dog or puppy, IPAAG (Irish Pet Advertising Advisory Group) recommends the following:

Dog Breeder

Please research before you buy. Different breeds have different requirements and temperaments. Be sure that the dog you are interested in is suitable for your lifestyle and environment.

  • When buying a puppy, you should see the puppy interacting with its mother and check that the facilities are clean and the litter appears alert and healthy. You should be able to handle the puppies freely under supervision. Make sure your puppy is old enough to leave its mother – at least 8 weeks old.
  • If your chosen dog does not originate from the place of purchase, ask where it came from and try to obtain its previous history.
  • Always ask for a copy of its medical records, including microchipping, vaccination certificate and records of worming and flea treatment. For pedigree puppies, ensure that the Irish Kennel Club registration papers and the parents’ hereditary disease screening certificates, where appropriate, are in order.
  • Microchipping is now a legal requirement for all dogs and puppies once they are 12 weeks old. It is also a legal requirement to be in possession of a microchipping certificate and it is important your contact details are kept up-to-date. Failure to do so will be an offence under the Animal Health & Welfare Act 2013. The seller should provide you with details of the microchip. It is the buyer’s responsibility to inform the database operator of the change in owner’s details.
  • If you are looking for a specific breed, consider purchasing from an Irish Kennel Club Breeder. The Irish Kennel Club can also direct you to breed rescue organisations. Check with the Kennel Club that the breeder is an Irish Kennel Club Assured Breeder before purchasing a puppy.
  • If you are unable to find the breed of dog you are looking for, please contact the Irish Kennel Club who will be able to direct you to a responsible breeder.

Online Adverts

There are many puppies sold online for a quick profit and often raised without proper care, love or attention and sold to unsuitable households.  These animals often end up being unwanted, abandoned and destroyed each year – due to behavioral issues or simply because they are just not the right type of puppy or dog for the family.  It is important when getting any new pet that you choose carefully and that it is an informed decision with the entire family.  If you decide to buy a puppy online, check the website complies with IPAAG Minimum Standards.

Rescue Centre

The New Puppy Owners Information Pack:

Thinking of getting a new puppy – what you need to know

The New Puppy Owner

Puppy Hello World – Week 3

Puppy Fun and Games – Week 4

Puppy Curiosity Week 5 – 7

Puppy prepares for a new life – Week 7

Puppy in a New Home – Week 8

Puppy Learning about the World – week 9 to 12

Puppy independence – week 13 to 16

The Puppy Teenager – Puppy Plan and life beyond


The Breeder Information Pack

The Breeders Puppy Plan

Puppy Pre-birth Looking after mom


For further information and advice contact: 

Dogs Trust –

ISPCA & local SPCA’s –

Irish Blue Cross –

Mutts Anonymous Dog Rescue & Adoption

Orchard Greyhound Rescue –

Veterinary Ireland –