Puppy Buying Guide

Puppy Buying Guide

Thinking of buying a Puppy?

  • First, be sure that you have the commitment to take on a new pet.  Remember that a dog can live on average 12 years!
  • Consider carefully the costs involved – not just purchase price but ongoing costs, including food, lifelong flea and worming treatments and veterinary bills. Pet insurance is a brilliant way to help pay for any unexpected medical issues.

A Basic list of things you will need to purchase include:

  • Collar and Lead
  • Food and Water Bowls
  • Puppy food
  • Dog Bed
  • Crate (if crate training)
  • Puppy treats
  • Think about your lifestyle when considering a certain pet or breed.  For example, some dogs will require more exercise than others and pets with longer coats may require regular grooming time.  Think about the effect a new pet will have on any pets already living in the household.  For more advice on which pet to choose, contact the clinic for advice
  • We recommend that you acquire your pet from a responsible breeder or from a reputable rescue centre (for example Dog’s Trust, Many Tears, Hope Rescue, RSPCA).  To find a breeder of a particular breed consider if a Breed Club exists or ask for advice at the veterinary practice.  The Kennel Club runs an Assured Breeder Scheme for dog breeders.  Visit www.thekennelclub.org.uk
  • HELP STOP PUPPY FARMING.  Never buy a puppy from a dealer or pet shop.  Be wary when using newspapers, magazines or unknown websites when searching for a pet.
  • Visit the litter before committing to purchasing a puppy.  Always try to see the puppy in its home environment with both its mother and littermates.  This allows you to assess how the puppy has been reared, to see the size and temperament of the mother, and to select a healthy puppy.  We do not advise taking on a puppy that is much smaller than its littermates.  While it may look cute, there could be a reason for its small size!
  • Talk to the breeder.  Find out if the puppy has had any health checks, vaccinations, worming or flea treatments, and if they have, which brands have been used.  Check that there have been no health problems.  Find out the puppy’s current diet – it is very important to continue this for at least the first week in the pet’s new home.  Ask the breeder for a copy of any paperwork – for example the pet’s pedigree or results of any genetic testing
  • Some breeders are now issuing a contract of sale.  This is in the best interests of both breeder and purchaser and encourages responsible breeding.  Be sure to read any small print and only sign once you are happy
  • Once you have purchased your new puppy we recommend arranging a health check at the clinic.  This allows us to give your pet a thorough health check and give you the best advice possible.  Remember to bring any paperwork along to this appointment. 


Commonly Asked Questions:

  • Your puppy can be vaccinated from seven weeks old. They need to have two vaccinations two to four weeks apart.

    The second vaccine can be given no earlier than ten weeks of age. Until your puppy has finished its primary vaccination course it is important that it doesn’t mix with other dogs that are not vaccinated; this usually means keeping your puppy indoors for the first few weeks.

    At Barrmore we offer a “Puppy Pack” which includes both initial vaccines, a worm and flea treatment, a microchip and four weeks free insurance.

     It is also important to vaccinate annually as immunity can start to wane.


  • It is important your puppy has enough food to grow and that you feed a diet which is designed for puppies rather than adult dogs, to ensure the right nutrients are present for growth and development. We know there are a lot of options available, so please contact the practice and speak to one of nurses if you would like any advice on which brands are best.


  • We recommend worming your puppy every four weeks until the age of six months, then every three months for life. It’s a good idea to regularly weigh your puppy to ensure you’re giving the correct worming dose. We offer free weight checks with our nurses, who can also administer any treatments at the same time.


  • Depending on the product you use most flea treatments last four – eight weeks. A spot on treatment can be applied to the skin on the back of your puppy’s neck to treat or prevent fleas. Fleas also lay thousands of eggs in carpets, beds, rugs etc. so it is important to treat the environment as well as your pet. Again, it’s a good idea to regularly weigh your puppy to ensure you’re giving the correct dose. We offer free weight checks with our nurses, who can also administer any treatments at the same time.


  • We advise that both male and female dogs should be neutered. Neutering prevents females coming into season and becoming pregnant and can prevent unwanted behaviour in male dogs. Please see our information page on neutering for more details.


  • Insuring your puppy will give you peace of mind that if they have an illness, accident or injury. This will ensure they are offered the best possible care without you having to worry about the cost. Please see our insurance information page for more details.


  • The laws regarding microchipping our dogs are changing. Microchipping of all dogs over the age of 56 days will become a legal requirement in April 2016 in Wales and England.

    A microchip is a tiny device about the size of a grain of rice, which is inserted under the skin in the neck. A microchip is a way of permanently identifying your puppy, so that you can be reunited if they get handed in as a stray or after being injured. Unlike a collar, the microchip cannot be lost.


  • Puppies love to chew, therefore it’s important to get them lots of toys to keep them stimulated. So if you want to protect your socks, your shoes and your sofa, buy a selection of chews for your puppy to test their teeth on instead. Just make sure they’re non-toxic, durable and not too tough for your puppy’s teeth.

If you have any questions or would like more advice, please contact the surgery on 01443 224666