WELLBEING: Why You Shouldn’t Buy a Puppy Online

Puppy shoes

The internet has allowed us to do many amazing things, such as get our mitts on a pair of Dolce & Gabbana peep toes with same day delivery, stalk ex-boyfriends from a safe distance and buy a cute and cuddly puppy with a click of the mouse.

Amazing as this prospect is, buying a puppy online doesn’t come without its risks, and unlike a pair of Dolce & Gabbanas, a puppy will outlast any penchant for peep toes. If you are thinking of welcoming a puppy into your life, Dogs Trust 5 top tips for buying a puppy online will help you avoid nasty puppy mills and irresponsible breeders to find your perfect faithful friend.

1. Consider a rescue pup!

Hundreds of dogs find their way to rescue centres across the country every week, either after being found by the dog warden or handed in by their owners. These healthy, loving dogs are all looking for new homes. To see the dogs currently at Dogs Trust looking for home please visit www.dogstrust.org.uk

2. Research before you buy

It sounds obvious but just like with that lime green mohair snood you got in the sale, people’s buying decisions aren’t always rational. Different breeds have different needs and temperaments, so it is super-important to consider which dog will suit your lifestyle before hopping online and clicking away.

3. Always make sure you see a puppy interact with its mother

We can’t stress how important this is.You can also check that the  facilities are clean and the rest of the litter looks fit and healthy. Always make sure the puppy is at least eight weeks old and ready to leave its mother.

4. Always ask for a copy of the dog’s animal records

This should include vaccination certificates and recent worming and flea treatment. If you’re purchasing a pedigree pup, ensure that they have their Kennel Club registration and  that the parents’ hereditary disease is in order.

5. Consider purchasing your puppy from a Kennel Club Accredited breeder

The Kennel Club can point you in the direction of relevant rescue organisations. They also have a ‘Find a Puppy’ service that provides details of approved breeders with puppies available.

Now be wise, go forth and love puppies….

Have you bought a puppy online?

Do you think it’s safe to buy a puppy via the internet?


*Image via www.glamour.com 

Sara is the Founder & Editor of StyleTails. A writer, design-lover and long-time animal-hugger, Sara launched StyleTails in 2012 to inspire people live a more beautiful life with their four-legged friends. Along with her canine sidekick George, a rescue Yorkie with a big attitude, Sara regularly commentates on luxury pet product and lifestyle trends and has been featured in Elle Decoration, BBC Radio, and is also an expert contributor to WGSN, the leading design trend forecaster.


  • Reply April 24, 2013


    Puppies should not be sold online. Many will have been born in atrocious conditions in miserable, filthy puppy farms. Rescue a dog from a reputable charity/rescue centre. If you want a puppy of a specific breed contact the Kennel Club to find out the names of responsible breeders. NEVER buy a puppy unless you’ve seen the litter interacting with the mother. If in doubt, walk away and inform the authorities. Always ask “Where’s Mum?”.

    • Reply April 25, 2013


      Hi Beverley – thanks for your comment. Excellent advice! ST

  • Reply April 24, 2013


    No, I don’t think animals should be sold online or in regular shops. It really takes advantage of impulse buying and encourages puppy farming to keep up with demand.
    Bringing a dog into your family should be a well considered decision, not one you make with a click of a mouse.
    Your tips above are great! xx

    • Reply April 25, 2013


      Hi Serena, totally agreed. As a new puppy owner I can attest to the fact that they are a BIG responsibility…certainly much bigger than any pair of shoes or new frock xx

  • Reply April 26, 2013


    Its astonishing how easy it is to breed and sell dogs. Its totally unregulated and you end up with in bred puppies who are inevitably sick and ill. My dog died age 5 after 2 surgery’s for mast cell tumours, a 3 month stint on chemo, 2 bouts of gastritis, a plasma infusion and other things. Its heart breaking to have an ill dog. She had been a rescue puppy, not a happy start to life, abused, neglected, starving, with a smashed up leg. She had it amputated at 4 months. She then had the most love and happiest life for about 5 years.

    Please don’t buy home bred puppies from Gum Tree or Trade it. Yes they ARE cheaper than buying from an accredited registered breeder… BUY they are not DNA tested form healthy parents. Its a massive gamble and huge risk. No only with your finances (insurance isn’t cheap vet bills end up in the £1000’s) its emotional.

  • Reply July 4, 2013


    The SAD thing is JUSTINE PANNETT (senior campaign manager) from the RSPCA posted the following onto GUMTREES BLOG http://blog.gumtree.com/guest-blog-post-justine-pannett-rspca/ as well as many more positive comments leading new owners to think this is a SAFE way to buy a puppy… 🙁

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