The UK government Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs has launched a Petfish Campaign to help people understand how to avoid getting caught out by deceitful puppy sellers.
To help, they’ve come up with the super-helpful acronym "SPOT":
S – SELLER
– Do you trust them?
– Are they answering all of your questions well, and are they asking you questions?
– One great tip to check a sellers mobile number is to Google the number, and if that number is being used in multiple adverts across several platforms, often for lots of different breeds, you need to walk away.
P – PARENTS
– There should always be a dog with the puppies, and you have to see this dog and puppies actually interacting. They all need to be interested in each other.
– If you are seeing the puppies before they are old enough to take home, then you should also see the mother feeding her litter.
O – OLD ENOUGH
– Puppies really shouldn’t leave their mom and the rest of the litter until eight weeks of age. They learn a huge amount about how to communicate and be a dog with manners in the 6-8 week period, and missing out on the interaction with their littermates and mother in this time can have a big impact.
– A good breeder understands this and will keep them until 8 weeks, even though their mom is hardly feeding them anymore, they’re pooing everywhere, and big enough to cause trouble! They understand how important this period is.
T – TREATMENT
– Are they vaccinated? Have they been wormed? Can you take a vaccine card that’s been signed and stamped and branded to a veterinary practice? Have they got a microchip?
– This is still not perfect because the cost involved to do these, as opposed to the price that you’re paying for the puppy, is not huge. It can actually give a poor breeder an unwarranted veneer of respectability.
– Equally, not all puppies are vaccinated by the time they are rehomed at 8 weeks of age. This is perfectly fine because a well-bred litter of puppies is still going to have some protection from their mother’s milk. A lot of breeders take the view that you are actually better off starting and finish their vaccine course with your own vet.
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0:00 The challenge of buying a healthy puppy
0:27 the S.P.O.T checklist
1:20 – Parent
2:14 – Old enough
3:31 – Treatment
5:00 – Pre-vaccination importance
5:45 – Scam risks
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