A RISE in the number of sick puppies being sold to animal lovers has prompted a warning from dog welfare experts.
The Kennel Club has witnessed an increase in reports of people being tricked into purchasing a dog with health or behavioral issues.
And, as the cost of living continues to skyrocket, that means many owners can’t afford to keep their four-legged friends.
Mark Beazley, general manager of the Kennel Club, urges potential buyers to make sure they meet their new puppy in person before closing the deal.
He said: “The virtual puppy buying habits that were normalized during lockdown, which allowed sleazy breeders to thrive, have combined in a perfect and terrible storm with the cost of living crisis.
“This means people who were duped are now finding it difficult to care for dogs with health and behavioral issues.
“With the world of breeding and buying puppies becoming increasingly difficult to navigate, it is crucial that potential owners know exactly what to look for when buying a puppy.
“Beware of ads using words that attempt to lure you in with promises of ‘rare’ or ‘exotic’ dogs.
“A good breeder, such as a Kennel Club insured breeder, will always ask questions about your suitability for dog ownership.
“You should see the pup interacting with its mother, where it was raised and bred in real life, so tactics for disguising its true background are on display.”
Research conducted for the Kennel Club suggests that about one in three animal lovers in the region do not meet their puppy in person before buying it.
Mr Beazley added: “Anyone considering a dog, be sure to find a responsible breeder who puts your dog’s well-being before anything else.”
Further guidance is available online at thekennelclub.org.uk/bepuppywise.