Everything you should know before getting a puppy

Have you considered everything in this guide?

Getting a new puppy is an exciting and wonderful experience, however, before becoming a dog owner, there are a few things to think about before you can welcome a new pup into your life. We’ve pulled this guide together to help you make sure you’re making the right choice for not only you, but a dog too. 

Things to consider before getting a puppy

There are quite a few different things to think about before you even start looking for puppies, as tempting as those cute photos can be! Here is a summary:


Can you afford dog ownership? Not only does this include the fee for your new dog but also the ongoing upkeep of a dog. This includes: microchipping, neutering, vaccinations, flea and worming treatments, food, grooming and bedding etc. 

This handy handy dog cost calculator tool is a great place to start.


Do you have enough spare time to spend with a dog? Although dogs can learn to cope with being at home alone, research has found that this is when ‘bad habits’ or stress related disorders can happen. It is also vital that you have enough time to provide them with as much exercise as they need. 


Is your home dog friendly? Do you have enough room for a dog? Will your neighbours mind if there would be potential dog barking? Ideally you’ll need a secure garden or grass space for toilet breaks - which will be quite frequent in the puppy months! 


Once you’ve considered how much space and time you have to dedicate to a new pup, this can influence the breed you should be looking for. Working and sporting breeds, like gundogs, hounds, etc, need a lot more exercise than others. 

There’s a lot to research when choosing a dog and our breed guides are a great place to kick off your reading. And, don’t forget, there is always the option to borrow a local dog first to test the waters!

How to find a puppy?

The first thing to mention here is Lucy’s Law. The UK government states:

“Lucy’s Law" means that anyone wanting to get a new puppy or kitten in England must now buy direct from a breeder, or consider adopting from a rescue centre instead”

This law has been introduced to stop puppy farming and third-party sellers. Licensed breeders are now required to show puppies interacting with their mother in their place of birth, and businesses that are selling puppies without a licence can receive an unlimited fine and/or even time in prison. 

However, deceitful sellers are still out there, and this is why the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs have created their Petfished campaign. To ensure you find a puppy from a trusted and reliable breeder, make sure you follow their helpful tips and advice. 

  1. Buy from a trustworthy source
  2. Check the puppy is over 8 weeks old
  3. Search the seller’s details online
  4. Meet the puppy at their home
  5. Ask key questions using this checklist.

Find your local vet

Finally, and most importantly, before you bring your new puppy home we suggest deciding on your local vet, as you’ll need to make an appointment with them to check over your puppy. If there are any health problems you will be able to contact the breeder right away. 

With careful consideration, planning and care your puppy will give you many years of happiness and enjoyment. If you have any questions or concerns there are some pawsome resources available by all the major organisations associated with puppies’ welfare, including The Kennel Club, the Animal Welfare Foundation and the RSPCA.

Join BorrowMyDoggy

BorrowMyDoggy connects dog owners with local volunteer borrowers for walks, holiday care and dog sitting. It’s simple, affordable and safe.

All members take our safety checks before connecting and membership includes access to a 24/7 Vet line and accident and third-party liability insurance.

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