With plenty of time at home, many people may think now is an ideal time to welcome a puppy into the family. Breeders are being advised not to mate their dogs at this time. There are, however, many existing litters of puppies already born and ready to be re-homed now or in the near future, and delaying this could potentially jeopardise their future welfare. In this case, puppy buyers are able to collect their puppy from the breeder’s home, providing social distancing measures can be applied and the pet is at least eight weeks of age. A licensed, responsible, pet transport service may also be used.
Do bear in mind that visits won’t be allowed during this time which makes it more difficult to spot bad and irresponsible breeders. Ensure, if you do buy a pet, that you can have at least one ‘virtual’ visit in which you can see the puppies with their mother, and follow our guidance on buying a pet and questions to ask breeders. All paperwork should be done remotely in advance of drop off, and prior advice given on food and equipment needed.
Another thing to consider is that any puppies going to homes at this time could miss out on many aspects of the vital socialisation period, which enables them to grow into confident, happy and well-rounded individuals. This includes things like getting them used to visitors, other dogs and the general sights and sounds of the outside world. Owning a puppy under normal circumstances can be a huge challenge, and even more so during this current time. New owners will need to do extra training to build confidence and resilience. Read our Puppies in Lockdown advice for help.
Bear in mind it may not be possible to vaccinate or microchip puppies at the moment. Breeders are being asked to consult their vet for advice. If you decide to buy a puppy during lockdown, be sure to discuss this with your breeder before committing to buy, and speak to your own vet about what would happen if your new puppy became unwell during lockdown.