Getting your first puppy can be a magical time. If you are looking for a particular breed such as a pug or a french bulldog, then you’ve probably chosen to buy a puppy from a breeder. Though a breeder might be able to give you more information about the puppy’s health and its parents, you still need to remember to ask the right questions. Unfortunately, there are still irresponsible breeders out there. Before you start purchasing a whole lot of different accessories to keep your dog safe, such as a GPS tracker, be sure that the furry ball of joy that you take home will grow to become a healthy sociable dog with this list of questions to ask when buying a puppy.
What To Ask About The Parents
A good breeder will also be the pet owner of the puppy’s mum and dad. The apple usually doesn’t fall far from the tree so it’s a good idea to ask to meet the parents.
Ask to meet the pups with both parents to see their pack dynamic. Young puppies will learn a lot about how to socialize with other dogs and humans during their first weeks. This is why it’s important to know that both parents have given their litter a good example of being friendly to both other dogs and humans.
While meeting the parents, you can ask the breeder about mum and dad’s health conditions. A good breeder is meant to disclose any hereditary health issues that might be passed on to your pupper. A responsible breeder will have proof that both parents are in good health and the puppies are not at increased risk of any genetic diseases. Ask the breeder for proof of vaccinations, too. A breeder will have the required paperwork to prove both parents are fit to breed.
What To Ask About Mum
Mum is a very important indicator of a puppy’s general health. The mother’s age, how often she’s had litters and her general health are all factors to consider when buying a puppy.
Mum should be at least over a year old before she gives birth to the first litter. On the other hand, an older dog is at more risk of pregnancy difficulties and difficult birth.
Ask the breeder how old she is and how many litters she has had. Each litter puts a toll on the mother so don’t buy from a breeder that pushes the dog too far.
What To Ask About the Lineage
Another thing to ask about is their lineage. There are two questions you should ask about the puppy’s family tree.
The first question to ask is how inbred the puppies are. Dogs that have some of the same parents on both sides of the family are more likely to have hereditary health conditions. Parents that are unrelated are preferable.
The second question is whether there has been any cross-breeding. Though a purebred puppy carries more prestige, and usually a higher price tag also, dogs that are of a mixed breed are generally healthier. This is because each breed will have health conditions that it’s more genetically inclined to. By cross-breeding, the mix of breeds lessens the susceptibility of genetically predisposed conditions.
What To Ask About Diet
Depending on when you are allowed to bring home your puppy, you might want to check on the pup’s diet. Puppies need their mother’s milk for the first few weeks of their life. Ask your breeder about weaning and whether the pups have started eating solid food.
For the first four to six weeks, a puppy should be nursed by its mother. Make sure that the breeder has not weaned the puppies too early. Aside from their digestive system needing the mother’s milk, nursing is also an important social practice for the pups.
From about four weeks, the puppy can start the weaning process. Weaning is a gradual process and shouldn’t happen overnight. Ask the breeder about the weaning period. Usually, pups should have completely switched over to solid food at eight weeks of age.
Eight weeks is when many breeders let you take the puppy home. Before you do so, ask the breeder which dog food they have been eating. Dogs don’t do well with sudden changes in their diet so let there be a gradual transition if you wish to change the dog food. Also, make sure that the breeder fed them complete and quality dog food so you know that your pup isn’t likely to have any nutrient deficiencies.
What To Ask About Puppy Health
Puppies still have a less developed immune system so it is important that your breeder has taken special care of their health. Ask about any preventative treatments, vet checks, and vaccinations that are necessary for a healthy puppy.
Ask your breeder whether the puppies have been treated for worms, parasites, and fleas and which medicine they were given for this. A puppy’s immune system is more susceptible to environmental factors. Roundworms for example are common in pups. Also, check that the mother has been treated for all these things because some diseases can be passed on during pregnancy and nursing.
Ask your breeder whether the puppies have been checked by a vet and if they have had any vaccinations. Puppy vaccinations should start around seven weeks and will usually be completed for around 16 weeks. Depending on when you pick up your puppy, ask which shots little Rover has had and which ones you need to follow up with.
Choosing the right puppy for you is an important process. Having a dog is a commitment that could last up to twenty years so make sure you get it right from the start. These questions on what to ask when buying a puppy should help you get started on the right track. Checking carefully on the pup’s and the parent’s health and traits will help you find the right loyal furry companion.