Paws for Thought

Date published: 14 January 2021

Last updated: 22 November 2022

For more info on buying and getting a puppy, click here.
More info on licensing a puppy can be found at Dog licensing and microchipping |

Buying a puppy from a breeder

  • A person who breeds puppies on a commercial basis, must first obtain a licence from their local district council.

More info on council licensing of dog breeding establishments, click here.

Reputable breeders - How and why to avoid the puppy farm

  • A reputable breeder cares about the welfare of their animals. Breeding dogs will have lived in good conditions, and will have had happy lives. Puppies will have been given the best start in life.
  • Other breeders and puppy farmers will have kept their animals in poor conditions, and will not care about the animals’ health and happiness.
  • Puppy farmers will continually breed from a female animal until she can’t physically have any more puppies. They will not make sure the puppies have had a good start in life. 
  • Puppies from puppy farms are more likely to develop illnesses and have long-term problems with their behaviour, later in life.
  • A puppy farm isn’t always obvious, but you can look out for signs.
    More information on how to spot a puppy farm, click here.
  • A reputable breeder will be keen to let you see the puppy at its home, and with its mother and family. A puppy farmer might suggest meeting you in a car park, and they might have an excuse for not letting you see the puppy with its mother.
  • Reputable breeders care about the health and happiness of their animals. They will be keen to let you see the puppy at home and with its mother. They will be able to answer any questions you have, and they will be able to show you medical records, including vaccinations, etc. 

Puppy smuggling

  • Trading in pups may be viewed as a lucrative, low risk venture, attracting unlicensed breeders who have little regard for welfare standards. 
  • The Covid-10 pandemic has resulted in an increased demand for puppies & this has created a very lucrative market for puppy smugglers/traffickers.
  • Puppy smugglers and traffickers transport the puppies in poor conditions. Puppies are mis-sold to people who think they have purchased a pup from a reputable breeder. So please #PawsForThought and consider where your puppy is coming from.

Paws for Thought Newsletters

    Back to top