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Get Puppy Smart

Getting a puppy is a big and long term commitment, and so requires a lot of thought. That’s why we’ve created this page to give you lots of advice and tips about what to look for.

Make sure to watch the videos below or on our get puppy smart YouTube channel for more information and advice.

Thinking about buying a puppy

Buying a puppy isn't as straight forward as you might think and as the owner of a dog you’re required under the Animal Welfare Act to care for them properly. They need lots of time and commitment, and they’re also going to cost you a lot of money.

Remember, they could require your care for 15 years or more.

Which type of puppy is right for you?

When deciding what type of puppy is best for you, the first thing to think about is your home and lifestyle. Both will have an effect on the size and type of dog you can care for properly.

Crossbreed or pedigree?

You also need to decide if you want a crossbreed or a pedigree puppy. Crossbreeds can be cheaper to buy and insure, but if you’re set on a pedigree, pick your litter carefully. Many breeds are prone to inherited diseases (PDF 72KB), and try to avoid puppies with exaggerated features (PDF 76KB) which may affect their health.

Where should you get your puppy?

We would recommend adopting from a rescue centre, however if you do buy a puppy always get your puppy directly from the person who bred it. If buying from a breeder always visit the animal at least once in the place it was bred and make sure you see it with its mum.

Also call the breeder before your visit with a list of prepared questions.

Meeting the puppy

When you meet the puppies, there are some important things to check:

  • Make sure the puppies mum is healthy.
  • Look for clues that the puppy was actually born there.
  • Ask to see certificates of screening for problem diseases, vaccination and microchipping records.
  • Check for any signs of illness.

When it comes to picking your puppy, try and look for the happy interactive puppy. Spend plenty of time with the dog and don't feel rushed, they'll be your responsibility for many years to come. Don't buy on the first visit.

You’ve chosen your puppy

When you’ve chosen your puppy, you now need to get everything ready at home. You should also find a vet and book them in for a check up.

You'll need to make sure you guide and train them to develop into happy and much loved companions. This is just the beginning of the exciting adventure of dog ownership.