Puppy Buying Advice

Getting a puppy or dog is a big decision. It is advisable to think carefully and to carry out some research prior to purchasing a puppy. Once you have decided that a puppy is right for you, then we would offer the following advice which has been collated from various sources such as the Dogs Trust and RSPCA.

If you have any concerns about an advertisement, a puppy you have viewed, a puppy you purchased or would like further information, please contact us on 01932 838383 (option 4) or aal@runnymede.gov.uk

You can check if a breeder is licenced on the Icon for pdf Animal Activities Licensing Public Register [121.95KB].

Signs of a responsible breeders

A responsible breeder will:A responsible breeder won't:
Spend time chatting to you on the phone and will arrange a time for you to visit to meet their puppies, along with their mum and siblings, in the place where they were born and raised.Rush you into parting with cash in exchange for a puppy.

Be happy to show you their local authority licence if they are breeding and selling pets as a business.

Try to fob you off by saying that the mother is at the vets, asleep or out for a walk. If mum isn't there, then the puppy wasn't bred there.

Be happy to have more than one meeting to ensure you and the puppy are compatible.

Offer to deliver a puppy to you or meet you somewhere random like a car park.
Be happy to answer all your questions and ask you just as many to make sure their puppies are going to a good home.Say "it's normal for the breed" about any health issues like snoring - all puppies should be born with the best chance of living happy, healthy lives whatever breed they are.

Not mate a Bitch:

  • aged less than 12 months;
  • more than once in a 12 months period;
  • after more than six litters of puppies in total.
Use Kennel Club Registration (or any other registration) as a guarantee of quality or health and happiness.
Provide genuine paperwork/certificates for puppy vaccinations, microchipping (which is a legal requirement), worming and results for health tests where relevant.Have various types of puppies for sale.

Do's and Don'ts when viewing a puppy

Make sure you see mum and puppy togetherMeet anywhere that isn't the puppies home
Visit your potential new puppy more than onceBuy a puppy from anyone who can supply various breeds on demand
Get all your puppies paperwork before going home including vaccinations and ensuring your puppy is microchippedBuy a puppy that looks too young/small or underweight
Walk away if you are at all unsureFeel pressured to buy a puppy
Report suspicious sellers or breeders

Buy a puppy that you suspect has been illegally imported

Take your puppy to your own vet for a health check as soon as possible



Dogs and puppies over the age of eight weeks must be micro-chipped and have registered their microchip details on one of the authorised databases. These databases are run by private companies, and not by the government or the council.

When buying a puppy it must be microchipped by the breeder and they should also pass on correct microchip paperwork to the new owner when the puppy goes home unless they have a certificate signed by a vet to prove that the puppy could not be chipped for health reasons.

If a breeder has not microchipped and registered the puppy before you take them home, and cannot give you evidence to show the reason for the delay, walk away.

Once you have received the paperwork from the breeder please ensure you update the registered keeper details with the database company.

Other sources of Advice


National Animal Welfare Trust

Dogs Trust

Puppy Contract