Top Tips: Things to Look for When Buying a Puppy - Zach's Pet Shop

Considering adding a furry friend to your life?

Exciting times ahead! In my blog, "Things to Look for When Buying a Puppy," we dive deep into the crucial factors you need to consider. 

From assessing your lifestyle to breed-specific insights, we cover it all. Discover the importance of responsible breeding, the perks of health-conscious choices, and why ethical practices matter. 

Let’s make sure your new companion isn't just cute but also the perfect fit. Ready to discover the things to look for when buying a puppy? Let’s get started!

Table Of Contents:

Understanding Your Lifestyle and Home Environment

Buying a puppy is a big life decision! It isn't just about picking the cutest one. It's about making sure your lifestyle matches with the needs of your new best friend.

Lifestyle Assessment

Puppies need attention, time and energy. So ask yourself: "Do I have enough time to give?" If you're working long hours or travel frequently for work, it might be challenging to care for a pup properly.

Analysing your daily routines is crucial before bringing home a new puppy. Think about whether you prefer staying at home reading books on weekends or love hiking trails? Are early morning walks feasible within your schedule?

You'll find some dog breeds are couch potatoes while others can't sit still.

By understanding what kind of activities you enjoy doing most days, it becomes easier selecting which breed will best suit those habits.

Adequate Space At Home

The place you live should be taken into account when considering if a puppy is the right fit for your lifestyle. 

A small apartment may not be suitable for larger breeds that require more space to roam around.

Similarly, if you live in an area where there's no easy access to parks or outdoor spaces, consider how this could impact your potential pup’s exercise routine.

Choosing the Right Breed

Each dog breed has unique needs, temperaments and activity levels. Before choosing a breed, consider how these traits align with your lifestyle.

Breed Characteristics

For weekend adventurers, consider breeds with high energy levels. These include border collies, golden retrievers and German shepherds.

For those who prefer a laid-back lifestyle, breeds such as bulldogs or cavalier King Charles may be more suitable.

If you live in an apartment with limited space, smaller dog breeds like French bulldogs, toy poodles and shih tzus make good pets.

The Role of Size in Choosing Breeds

A dog's size also plays a significant role when selecting the right breed. Larger dogs need more space to move around comfortably whereas smaller ones can adapt better to apartment living conditions.

Larger dogs may also require more food intake and exercise compared to small pups, meaning they cost more and take up more of your free time.

Breed-Specific Health Concerns

Certain breeds may have predispositions towards specific health issues because of genetic factors.

The American Kennel Club notes dalmatians are prone to deafness, Cocker spaniels could potentially suffer from allergies, and labradors are prone to elbow dysplasia.

So getting clued up about potential health risks linked with certain breeds can help prevent future heartache and allow you to sign up for the appropriate pet insurance premiums.

Ian's Tip: 

Vaccinations protect pups from diseases. Your dog breeder should give you a vaccination record card that lists all jabs given till date. It’s best to check this against the RSPCA's recommended vaccination schedule for puppies. 

Checking the Puppy's Background

Being well-informed about your pup's background will equip you to give them the loving home they deserve. 

Knowing Your Pup’s Heritage

Family history can predict a lot about a dog's temperament. For instance, if the puppy is from a line of working dogs then he is likely to be energetic and unsuitable for living in an apartment.

Puppy Parents' Health Requirements

A good breeder will disclose any health conditions the dog's parents have experienced, as it is likely the puppy will experience them too. 

Breeder Reputations Matter

Buying from reputable breeders means supporting those who put animal well-being first and minimises the risk of you getting scammed.

The Importance of Genetic Testing

If possible, get genetic testing done before bringing home your new pet. This will let you know if the pup carries genes for any inherited disorders common in its breed.

Previous Living Conditions

Take note of where your puppy lived before meeting you. Did they have room for play? Were they well cared-for? These factors can significantly influence a puppy’s development and future behaviour. 

Take note of where your puppy lived before meeting you


Meeting the Puppy in Person

Take the time to meet your potential puppy before purchasing and run through this puppy checklist:

Puppy's Response to Humans

The puppy’s reaction towards humans is a key indicator of their socialisation skills and temperament. A well-socialised puppy will generally approach people without hesitation.

Behavioural Observations

Pay attention to general behaviour patterns—does it respond when called? Is it eager for belly rubs?

During its puppy phase, it's a red flag if a dog seems lethargic, scared or aggressive.

Finding Your Perfect Pup Match

Meet your puppy to gauge if there is a connection and that you both are compatible. This is something that cannot be established through a mobile phone call or photographs.

Importance of Responsible Breeding

If you're eager to purchase a pup, it's vital to understand the significance of responsible breeding. It impacts the health and well-being of your future fur mate.

Responsible breeders prioritise health over looks. They make sure that pups aren't just adorable but also have fewer genetic issues because they understand how vital this is for a dog’s long-term health. 

The Health Perks

Puppies from responsible breeders are generally healthier than those from backyard breeders or puppy farming.

Avoid buying from puppy farmers! These bad breeders prioritise profits over vet visits and reducing genetic issues.

You might be wondering: How do I know if my breeder is reliable? 

A trustworthy breeder runs a family business and will gladly share information about their breeding practices and answer any questions you might have about potential genetic conditions or other health needs.

They will provide their mobile phone number on their website and will be happy to chat with you. A healthy puppy means less worry for you and more fun times ahead.

Better Behavioural Traits

Puppies bred from responsible owners aren't just physically healthier - they often display better behavioural traits too. This can lead to an easier time training them, resulting in happier human-puppy relationships.

Responsible breeders raise puppies with love right from birth so when they finally get into your arms, they’re used to being around people and tend to be more sociable animals overall.

Ethical Practices Matter

Last but definitely not least - supporting responsible breeding promotes ethical treatment of dogs across Australia. The RSPCA has long campaigned for ethical breeding practices to prevent animal suffering.

If you're aiming to be a part of the answer rather than the issue, selecting puppies from responsible breeders is an important action. It's about giving dogs the life they deserve while getting an awesome mate who will fill your days with joy.

Ian's Tip: 

When buying a puppy, prioritise puppy-proofing your home by securing potential hazards. Invest in quality gear, including food bowls and toys. Ensure a nutritious diet for growth and prioritise early socialisation for a well-rounded furry family member.

FAQs in Relation to Things to Look for When Buying a Puppy

What should I look for in a puppy?

A pup's personality should be lively, curious and responsive. Healthy dogs trust humans!

Make sure they've got clear eyes, clean ears and a shiny coat. Its a good idea to ask about vaccinations and genetic testing.

What to avoid when choosing a puppy?

Avoid pups who are overly shy or aggressive. Steer clear of breeders unwilling to share information about the parents or health records. Remember, healthy puppies come from responsible breeders.

Which puppy should I pick from the litter?

Pick one that suits your lifestyle - not just the cutest. Observe their behaviour with litter mates; balanced playfulness is usually a good sign.

What do I need to buy before picking up my puppy?

Puppies require quality dog food, water and food bowls, toys, a collar and leash, bedding, pet insurance, and puppy school.  

Ian's Wrap

Getting a puppy is thrilling, but there's a lot to consider. From understanding your lifestyle and home environment to choosing the right breed - it’s not just cute faces.

Things to look for when buying a puppy include temperament, family history, health, vaccination records and even meeting them in person! It gives you an impression of how they'd suit your lifestyle.

Remember, responsible breeding is important. You want that little one raised well before becoming part of your family!

We’ve got you sorted with getting ready too – quality supplies can make all the difference once you bring them home. To give them the best start in life, buy quality puppy products from Zach's Pet Shop here.


Pet Expert - Ian Hamblin

About Ian

Ian Hamblin is a renowned pet enthusiast and the driving force behind Zach's Pet Shop, a trusted name in the Australian pet industry.
With an impressive track record of nearly 15 years, Ian has been supplying high-quality pet products to Australians, earning their trust and loyalty.

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