June 27, 2008, Newsletter Issue #1: Ask Questions When You Buy a Puppy Online

Tip of the Week

It is so easy to fall in love with a puppy's picture, put down a deposit and wait for your new puppy to arrive. However, just because it is easy to buy a puppy online is no reason to be less careful about making your purchase than you would if you were buying locally. Ask questions and when you have answers to all of them, ask more questions. You don't want to find that you bought an unhealthy puppy because you didn't do your research before you fell in love.

Always ask about genetic problems in the breed. If you want to be sure the parents do not have one of these problems, ask if they were screened and have passing scores.

Find out if the puppies are getting good nutrition. The breeder should be using a good quality food that doesn't list corn meal as the first ingredient. Ideally, the food should not contain any meal and chicken should be the first ingredient in chicken flavored food. Poor nutrition in developing puppies can create lasting problems.Ask about immunizations and vet checks. Your puppy should have a clean bill of health from a veterinarian and should be up to date on shots. Don't forget socialization. It isn't much fun to spend the first four or five weeks of your puppy's new life just trying to convince it to let you pick it up and give it a cuddle. Ask how often the puppies are played with and where they were raised.

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Jerry Mayo