Are you considering purchasing a puppy? There are a few things that you can look for that will point to an ethical dog breeder. Not every breeder is ethical and not every breeder is able to provide you with a healthy well adjusted puppy.

You have to be careful when you are buying a dog from a breeder. You do not want to purchase a puppy from a puppy mill. You will not only wind up with costly medical bills for your new puppy and you certainly do not want to support an operation where dogs are not being treated ethically.

Unfortunately there is no national standard that dog breeders have to follow so there is no clear cut way to judge a dog breeder. You have to take matters into your own hands to be sure that you are not supporting a breeder that should be put out of business.

Visit the Facility

Before you commit to purchase a puppy go meet the parents! In some cases both the parents may not be available but you should insist on meeting mom. You can tell a lot by how a dog lives. If you see that the area where mom is kept is not clean or seems small than you know you are not in an ethical breeding environment.

Don’t be afraid to ask questions!

Hopefully the breeder that you are considering is asking you a lot of questions! An ethical breeder is going to ask you questions and you will likely have to fill out an application of sorts so that the breeder can get to know about your living situation.

You also want to ask questions. Some things you should be asking are:

  • How old is the mother?
  • How many times has she been bred?
  • Will the puppies leave their home with shot records and a health certificate?
  • Will the puppies be socialized before leaving home?

The age of the mother is important. You want to make sure that the mom is at least two years old. Any dog bred before the age of two is not mature enough to enjoy motherhood and it also points to the quickness in which the breeder is trying to make money of his/her dog.

Asking how many times the dog has been bred is also an important questions. Over breeding a dog is a sure sign of irresponsible breeding.

Asking questions about how the puppies will be treated after they are born is very important because you need to know that you are buying a puppy from a loving environment that has been treated well.

You should find out if the puppies have been wormed and de flea-d.  Its normal for breeders, including ethical ones, to use products like advocat and frontline, but it is worth being aware that many of these products are actually dangerous for long term use. Find out more about this here in is frontline safe for dogs and puppies?

They Know Their Breed

An ethical breeder is someone that knows their breed. They can tell you everything you need to know from A-Z about the breed. They have done their homework and have the experience to make the right recommendations about their breed.  A “backyard breeder” is someone that may or may not treat their dogs ethically they are not quite as bad as the puppy mill breeders but they usually do not have the same knowledge as the professional breeder and usually do not take care of their dogs the way an ethical professional breeder does.

The level of knowledge is what sets ethical professional breeders apart from others. The fact that a breeder has taken the time to really get to know the breed is a huge plus. You might also like to see if they are knowledgable about food and dietry requirements, and some of the best breeders may know about organic foods for your pet, and otheralternative and natural treatments for fleas. So don’t be shy to ask!

Ask Your Vet

A great source of ethical breeders is your local vet. A veterinarian usually will be able to tell you which breeders treat their dogs well because they get to see the dogs regularly!

Buying a puppy is something that is not to be taken lightly so please don’t skimp on your research and due diligence, to ensure you get a happy and healthy puppy that will grow into a strong and happy dog.