There are other things to think about before you buy a pet:

  • Are you ready for the commitment? 
    Dogs need regular walks, and animals in general need lots of looking after.
  • Can you afford it? 
    Animals can be expensive. This includes initial fees, vaccinations, food, insurance and vets' bills.
  • Is your home ready? 
    Think about where the pet will sleep, eat and play.
  • Could you be allergic? 
    Do some research into your medical history.
  • Buying from a dog breeder? 
    Check if they are on the Kennel Club Register. Make sure the breeder can enter into a legal contract with you when you buy a dog.
  • Rehoming a rescued cat or dog? 
    Check if the seller is a member of the Association of Dogs and Cat Homes.
  • Buying from a pet shop? 
    Ask to see its licence.

One in four new dog owners who bought a puppy during lockdown did so without researching it first – 27% actually paid for their new pet without seeing it.

This can be dangerous. Animals may have been illegally imported into the country. Animals may not have come from reputable breeders and may be unwell or have health issues as a result. Sick or injured pets can cost a fortune in veterinary bills.

Make sure you do your research up front. There are plenty of resources online. For example, if you are thinking about buying a dog, visit the website of the British Kennel Club. It offers expert advice on buying from a reputable breeder and things to think carefully about before getting a dog.