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Buying a puppy

Tips on buying dogs in Ireland

Over the last few years, there has been an explosion in the market for buying dogs in Ireland. People can still get dogs from animal shelters around the country, but for people who want dogs with a pedigree, typically it means buying from a breeder. As with any industry there are scrupulous people, and sadly the dog industry is no different. We have seen the emergence of illegal breeding of dogs in Ireland. These are places that have poor conditions for the dogs and inbreeding can also occur. Dogs.ie does not condone this type of breeding.

What is a puppy farm ?

There are numerous definitions of what a puppy farm is, but it’s not something that’s defined in Irish law. Puppy farms are often described as places where dogs are bred in terrible conditions, don’t have enough space, heat or access to clean water or food. They can also be called backyard breeders or puppy mills.

Puppy farms operate outside the watch of a licensing authorities and welfare charities like the ISPCA. There are 3 types of breeders on dogs.ie:

Just because someone is in one of these categories doesn’t mean they will have the dog’s best interest or yours in mind. This is very much a buyer be ware situation. You want to make sure the dog you are buying is healthy and has been given the best care and start in life. You also want to make sure that the mothers health and conditions are also equally as good.

Making sure your puppy is healthy

Normally it’s easy to spot when a dog is coming from poor conditions and bad breeders.  These dogs tend to me more shy, often malnourished and smaller for their age. Looking at the condition of their coat should tell you how healthy these puppies are. Signs of abuse, like scratches, open wounds, or infected scars are things that should set off alarm bells. The conditions of where the dogs are reared is also important.

To report abuse you can contact the ISPCA’s National Animal Cruelty Helpline on 1890 515515 or you can use their complaint form https://www.ispca.ie/cruelty_complaint

You should talk to the seller to find out how knowledgeable they are about the breed, how long they have kept dogs, how often they breed or sell dogs. Just because you see a microchip form and a vaccination form, doesn’t mean that a seller has taken care of the dog in other ways.

What age should a dog be before take them from their mother

Puppies must be at least 8 weeks old before you separate them from their mothers by law. It is important that you don’t get a puppy before the age of 2 months, as in these days and weeks the puppy will learn important things from its mother. They learn social interaction between other dogs, hierarchy and how to play. Puppies also receive important nourishment and antibodies from their mothers via milk. From about 8 weeks puppies should be removed from their litter mates and should start to have human interaction. It is also advisable that you introduce puppies to young kids, but only in a supervised manner. Exposing puppies to the outdoors, loud noises and other stimulus will help them grow into more stable adult dog.

Updated on February 7, 2024

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