Puppies for sale in your area

When you're buying a puppy, it's vital to know you're buying a healthy, happy animal from a good breeder. Farms across Europe are breeding puppies at alarming rates, in appalling conditions, and transporting them to homes in the UK to sell. These normal-looking homes are a shopfront for unscrupulous puppy dealing rings who want to sell you a puppy who's likely to be sick and traumatised. But what are the signs to look out for?

How to spot online adverts from puppy dealers

Dealers use the internet to their advantage when it comes to advertising and selling farmed puppies. 87% of puppy trade calls we get are about animals bought over the internet.

If you're looking to buy a puppy, make sure you read adverts carefully and look out for these telltale signs that something may be amiss:

  • Same contact number on more than one advert - try Googling the number to see if it has been used on any other puppy adverts.
  • Descriptions may have been copied and pasted and used on more than one advert - try Googling the text and see if it's been used before, word-for-word.
  • Words like 'miniature' and 'teacup' can be a sign of dealers trying to capitalise on popular terms.
  • Photos of the puppies may have been used on other adverts - right click on the photo, select 'search Google for image' and see if it has been used on other ads.
  • Vaccinated early - if the advert says a puppy has been vaccinated, check how old he or she is. A puppy cannot be vaccinated before they're four to six weeks old. If someone's advertising a three-week-old vaccinated puppy, they're lying.
  • Pet passport? - if the puppy is advertised as having a passport, it has most probably been imported.
  • Are they really Kennel Club registered? - we've seen dealers claim they're Kennel Club registered to help them look legitimate, but be wary of this. Ask for original documents and check with the Kennel Club before buying a puppy.
  • Promises of 'free insurance' and 'puppy packs' - these don't mean the advert is from a legitimate breeder.

If you see a suspicious advert, please report it to us so that we can investigate. For more information, see our puppy trade campaign.

Finding a good puppy breeder

While looking out for these signs can help you identify a bad breeder's advert, there's still more you can do to ensure you aren't funding the cruel puppy trade and to ensure you'e buying a healthy, happy puppy.

Follow our top tips to finding a good puppy breeder, which includes questions to ask the breeder and things to look out for when meeting your puppy.

Could you rehome a rescued dog?

Don't forget, you can also rehome a dog from us. Every year, we rehome thousands of dogs and each one comes microchipped, neutered and with a complete health check. You can even filter the dogs in our care by breed, age and more.

Start your search today - you never know who you'll meet and fall in love with.

Before you go...

Our priority will always be helping animals in need. To do that, we rely on the kindness of people just like you to help our hard-working team continue the life-saving work that they do 24-hours a day.

From our animal rescue operations to offering advice just like this, helping to make sure animal owners are equipped to give their beloved pets the best life they can - we couldn't do it without you.

It costs around £670,000 to run just one of our animal centres each year and it's here that we work around the clock to care for our rescue animals and prepare them for their new home.

As a charity, we rely on your generous donations (no matter how small) to help run our centres and support our mission to create a world that's kinder to all animals. What we're saying is - every day, our animals rely on the kindness of humans to make a difference.

Your spare change could mean a huge change to an animal in our care. Taking a minute to donate really could mean a lifetime of happiness for an animal in need...

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