How to take caution when buying a puppy

Courtesy of the 86th Mission Support Group
Courtesy photo of StockLite/
Courtesy photo of StockLite/

Christmas is approaching, and some people might think a puppy is a nice Christmas present.

Acquiring a new puppy should be a joyous event. However, it is important for buyers to be aware of unscrupulous individuals who sell puppies. Regrettably, some of these puppies become sick or even die shortly after their purchase, resulting in large veterinary bills and heartbroken buyers.

Here are a few helpful hints to increase the likelihood of making the right choice when buying a puppy:

• Purchase your puppy from a local source. Make sure you meet with the seller and write down the seller’s name, full address and phone number. Ask the seller for a list of references that includes previous buyers and other breeders.

• Visit the puppy two or three times before making the purchase. This will allow you to check out the facility more than once and will give you a better understanding of the animal’s actual temperament and health.

• Insist on seeing the mother and also inspect her.

• Examine both the puppy’s and the mother’s vaccination records. If the record is in a foreign language, make sure to ask a local veterinarian’s office what the vaccinations cover. Also, take notes of the vaccination dates and the age of the animal when it was vaccinated, as this will help the vet’s office verify that the animals are on an adequate vaccination schedule.

• Inspect the actual pedigree. Pedigrees should have both the Verband fuer Hundewesen, or VDH, and Federation Cynologique Internationale, or FCI, symbols, and the dogs with these pedigrees must be identified by either an individual tattoo or be microchipped. These identification numbers must appear in the pedigree as well as the numbers from the animal’s ancestors.

Also, remember that if one of the owners in the household is German, the puppy needs to be registered with German authorities.

For further advice, consult with a veterinarian.