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Buying pets legally

Time to read: 8 mins

There has been an influx of pets purchased during lockdown. Whether you have purchased a pet or are thinking of getting one there are some checks to be done according to government regulations before doing so. These are done to make sure your new pet has been purchased from a reputable breeder or rehoming centre. Whether adopting or buying a pet it needs to be done legally and legitimately. You are entitled to know your pet’s history and family lineage.

Puppies and kittens should stay with their mother until about 8-9 weeks old, but some breeders may insist the puppies can only be adopted around 12 weeks old. This is dependent on the breeder. If the puppies or kittens are taken from their mothers too early, it could lead to behavioural issues.

Imported pets

Some pets are imported to the UK. This can be done legally or illegally. Some puppies and kittens are bred in poor conditions and are bought to the UK for money making purposes. These pets can be dangerous to the public as well as the animals themselves. The transportation conditions could be dangerous or dirty. This could harm the pet’s well-being or cause them to contract diseases that are potentially contagious for other animals.

If a puppy or kitten has been taken from their mother too early, it could affect their development and cause behavioural issues. If you buy a pet from outside of the UK and they were imported legally they should have a passport or a certificate from a verified vet stating the animal is fit to travel.

Buying pets online

When buying a pet online it is important you see the litter with their mother to ensure they have been bred correctly. Licensed dog breeders are required to show the mother with the litter. This not only gives you peace of mind because you know your soon to be pet is being taken care of. It is also a way for you to know the breed you are looking and paying for is what you are getting as it gives you an idea of what the puppies will look like when they are older and if the proposed mother is the actual mother of the puppies. When looking at the litter the animals should be alert, engaged and living in a safe and comfortable environment. This will show they have been cared for correctly. Some unqualified or untrustworthy breeders could give misleading information about the breed, lineage or the medical history of your potential pet. If you have any doubts about the pet that you are buying, ask your vet and they should be able to answer your questions and give you advice on what to do going forward.

Avoiding “puppy or kitten farms”

Otherwise known as factories or mills, these are mass breeding schemes where puppies and kittens are bred in poor conditions. The intention of these farms is more often than not to purely make a profit. These places have caused a huge animal welfare issue in the UK. It is widely thought that the best way to stop these farms is not to purchase any animals from them and reduce the incentive to keep them operating.

Some of the tell-tell signs of a puppy farm, in conjunction to the sings mentioned above are:

  • The “breeders” continuously advertise different litters of multiple kinds of breeds
  • The puppies or parents are visibly ill or are in bad health
  • There are no health checks or documentation to back the medical examinations up
  • The facilities are in poor conditions or you are not allowed to see them at all

No matter if your pet is pedigree or has been re-homed, they deserve the best life you could give them. Have a look at our range of cover levels to find one that suits you best.

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