It’s both amazing and distressing to see how many new puppies come through our doors that have been purchased from on-line sites such as Gumtree and are seriously ill. Often purchases made this way are ‘blind’, where the general health of the pet cannot be seen prior to acquiring them. Selling platforms like this are often used by people wanting to make easy money from breeding dogs where they take little care of the animals, have little human contact, and their main concern is keeping their overheads low. The history of the animal being sold, and it’s parents, are either unknown or untrue.
We see more ill puppies then we do healthy ones when they have been purchased in this way with conditions ranging from a heavy worm infestation to Parvovirus. Unfortunately some people will knowingly sell an unwell pet and often there is just no way of knowing until it is too late.
The sale of pets this way also applies to other animals like cats, rabbits and small furries, although it’s mostly seen with dogs.
It’s not a coincidence that the incidence of puppies being ill is much higher when it’s been purchased from a selling platform rather than a reputable breeder.
There is a number of reasons for this.
A reputable breeder:-
- is registered with The Kennel Club and has paperwork for the Bitch showing she is healthy and well looked after. With some breeds – mainly large dogs – the parent dogs would have needed to show they have good genes to pass onto their offspring.
- Their Bitch would be fully vaccinated and wormed appropriately to prevent passing on diseases to her puppies.
- The puppies stay with their mum until they are of an appropriate age and fully weened. Vital for health and socialisation.
When someone purchases a puppy via Gumtree or equivalent, the above often doesn’t apply. Also, you often won’t see the parents. By seeing the parents you can get a very good idea of how the puppy is likely to turn out with regards to size, behaviour and deformities. You can also make sure your puppy has been looked after in the early stages of it’s life and benefitted from it’s mothers milk for immunity, and check the parents are looked after and well nourished giving the puppies their best start.
If you are considering getting a pet at this time of year please remember that they are for life and not just a present. A huge responsibility comes with owning one so please make sure you take the time to consider the pet in 10-20 years time.
Having said all of the above, owning a dog is a fantastic experience and can be hugely rewarding. Spending a little time at the outset investigating your puppy breeder and asking the right questions before you see the puppy will be repaid in bucketloads over the years ahead.