How to buy a puppy sustainably – what all new dog owners need to know


“I’m a huge puppy crate advocate,” he says. “Our dog considers it his private room. This is where she goes for peace. It is not a punishment, quite the contrary. Giving a puppy a foundation is a really healthy thing.

Your dog should be able to stand and lie down comfortably inside his crate, with extra space for bedding and a water bowl. Put him in a quiet place in the house and gradually increase the time he spends there, which can help prevent separation anxiety.

Caroline Wilkinson, animal behaviorist and founder of digital pet coaching service Barket Place, agrees. She suggests that you “try to create a daily structure similar to what you have at work – for example, a morning walk followed by a few hours with you in another room, a midday walk, then an after-work play session. job. ”

To-Do List for New Dog Owners

The Telegraph’s resident vet Pete Wedderburn says: Vets are much more than ‘accident and emergency services’ for dogs. A close and ongoing relationship will help your pet achieve optimal health and longevity. Here is my to-do list for new dog owners.

Take your new pet to the vet as soon as possible. A thorough physical exam can identify hidden health issues (like hernias and heart murmurs). The sooner you discover them, the better, so that quick help can be provided.


Your vet will review any vaccines that have ever been given, advising you on what needs to be done to protect your dog from serious viral and bacterial infections, both as a puppy and later as an adult.

Parasite control

From fleas to lungworms, a complex assortment of parasites can affect your pet, with the added risk of transmitting problems to humans in your household. Your veterinarian is the best source for preventive advice and medication to ensure your dog remains healthy and parasite-free.


There is no ideal way to feed every dog, but there are many possibilities, from traditional kibble to heavily marketed but unscientific grain-free products to raw meat diets. All veterinarians are trained in nutrition. They will give you common sense advice on your pet’s needs.


Veterinary science can do much more now than in the past, but it may come at a high price. Decision-making is much easier if you budget for pet insurance up front, making sure the costs of all the complex procedures needed are covered for you.

Frequently asked questions about buying a new dog

“How much do puppies cost – is £3,000 reasonable?”

Pete Wedderburn gives his advice: “There’s a phrase for people selling puppies at such grossly inflated prices: ‘greeders’. Be prepared to wait months.

Visit the website of the Dog Breeding Reform Group, a charity focused on improving dog breeding in the UK. They will direct you to breed clubs with a puppy coordinator who will know which puppies are in the works. Put your name on a waiting list.

Local game wardens can be a good source, offering friendly, trainable dogs that may be of unregistered pedigrees.

If you also check notice boards and Facebook groups, remember to use the British Veterinary Association / RSPCA Puppy Contract and tick all of its boxes to ensure you get a well-socialized, healthy puppy. healthy and ethically raised.

Improve your chances of being considered for a rescue dog by pointing out that you grew up with hunting dogs and the open spaces on your doorstep; that you have already lined up a coach to help you; that the family read The Perfect Puppy by Gwen Bailey and researched the best ways to introduce your cat to a dog; that you are not married to a pedigree and would consider an older dog.”

“How can we reduce our dog’s separation anxiety? »

Oli Juste, dog trainer and behaviorist, replies, “To help with separation issues, try giving your pup set times during the day when no one is paying attention to him, gradually increasing the time and distance between you. . another room, and finally leave the house. Having access to a food-dispensing toy that you’ve previously played with together will keep him cognitively engaged with something else.

Oli’s podcast is a dog’s best friend.

This guide is kept up to date with the latest advice.

Do you have any advice for those considering adopting a new puppy? Let us know in the comments below.


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