The Avalon Guide to Buying a Puppy or Kitten


  • First, be sure that you have the commitment to take on a new pet.  Remember that a dog can live on average 12 years and cats can live 15 years or longer
  • Consider carefully the costs involved – not just purchase price but ongoing costs, including food and veterinary bills
  • Think about your lifestyle when considering a certain pet or breed.  For example, some dogs will require more exercise than others and pets with longer coats may require regular grooming time.  Think about the effect a new pet will have on any pets already living in the household.  For more advice on which pet to choose, contact our qualified Veterinary Nurses for free advice
  • We recommend that you acquire your pet from a responsible breeder or from a reputable rescue centre (for example SSPCA, Dogs Trust, Cats Protection, CatFlap).  To find a breeder of a particular dog or cat breed consider if a Breed Club exists or ask for advice at the veterinary practice.  The Kennel Club runs an Assured Breeder Scheme for dog breeders.  Visit
  • HELP STOP PUPPY FARMING.  Never buy a puppy or kitten from a dealer or pet shop.  Be wary when using newspapers, magazines or unknown websites when searching for a pet
  • Visit the litter before committing to purchasing a puppy or kitten.  Always try to see the puppy or kitten in its home environment with both its mother and littermates.  This allows you to assess how the puppy or kitten has been reared, to see the size and temperament of the mother, and to select a healthy puppy or kitten.  We do not advise taking on a puppy or kitten that is much smaller than its littermates.  While it may look cute, there could be a reason for its small size!
  • Talk to the breeder.  Find out if the puppy or kitten has had any health checks, vaccinations, worming or flea treatments.  Check that there have been no health problems.  Find out the puppy or kitten’s current diet – it is very important to continue this for at least the first week in the pet’s new home.  Ask the breeder for a copy of any paperwork – for example the pet’s pedigree or results of any genetic testing
  • Some breeders are now issuing a contract of sale.  This is in the best interests of both breeder and purchaser and encourages responsible breeding.  Be sure to read any small print and only sign once you are happy
  • Once you have purchased your new puppy or kitten we recommend arranging a FREE puppy or kitten check at the Avalon Veterinary Clinic as soon as possible.  This allows us to give your pet a thorough health check and give you the best advice possible.  Remember to bring any paperwork along to this appointment.