Dogs and Animal Welfare

Buying a puppy

Image; Silhouettes of puppies

Deciding whether to get a puppy or dog is a big decision.

It is advisable, before purchasing a puppy, to give it proper thought and to carry out some research. 

Anyone who decides to get a dog becomes responsible for that animal and will need to know about the legal requirements of owning a dog.

The Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA) have created a very useful leaflet and information on buying and caring for a puppy.

They set out various decisions that should be made and provide information on:

  • the importance of research, before deciding to buy a puppy/dog
  • finding the right dog breed
  • deciding where to get your new puppy/dog
  • finding a healthy, happy dog
  • collecting your new dog and bringing it home
  • helping your new dog settle-in to its new home
  • understanding dog behaviour

It goes on to note your legal obligations as an owner which include aspects such as:

  • licensing the dog
  • keeping the dog under proper control
  • meeting the welfare needs of the dog

DAERA's Buying and Caring for a puppy leaflet

Paws for Thought

If you are thinking about getting a dog, #PawsforThought and give it some proper consideration.

Things to consider:

  • ​Do you really know where your dog is coming from? Can you be sure that the dog isn’t from an illegal breeder or been stolen?
  • If you decide to get a dog, consider rehoming an unwanted dog first.
  • If you decide to buy a puppy, make sure to buy it from a reputable /licensed breeder who has made sure the puppy has had a good start in life.
  • Once you have made the decision to buy a puppy, only buy one aged 8 weeks or more and make sure to see the puppy with its mother at its home.
  • Never buy a dog or a pup that is delivered to you.
  • Dogs must be microchipped at 8 weeks old, and dog owners are responsible for contacting the local council and licensing their dog.
  • Dog owners are responsible for keeping the dog under proper control, and for meeting the welfare needs of their dog.

For more info on OPERATION PAWS FOR THOUGHT visit the DAERA website.

You can also download the DAERA's Paws for Thought leaflet directly from their website.

You may also wish to read guidance on the dangers of dogs being left in hot cars.