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The Puppy Diaries - buying a new puppy

Thursday, May 05, 2016

If you have ever owned a puppy, you’ll know they're great fun but also a lot of hard work.

The most recent edition to the Highcroft family is Roxy the Labrador puppy who belongs to our vet, Jenny. You may have seen her on our Facebook page or being cuddled constantly by the staff at the hospital (we never get tired of puppy cuddles).

To touch upon some important information about owning a new puppy, and to keep you up to date with Roxy’s progress, we are starting a regular blog series called ‘The Puppy Diaries’.  Enjoy!

Buying a new puppy

Which dog breed is right for you?

If you are thinking about buying a new puppy, first consider which breed is right for you. Your lifestyle is a major factor to consider – can you give them the amount of exercise they require? What type of house do you live in? Can you afford to feed and insure that particular breed?

Once you have decided which breed of dog is most suitable for you, it’s important to know exactly where your new puppy is coming from and to see them in their home environment. Once Jenny had decided that a Labrador was the breed for her, she did lots of research before finding Roxy’s breeder.

Meet mum

Roxy was brought up in a home environment with her mum, Elsa, and her grandparents.  Roxy had 4 sisters and 2 brothers in her litter, so Elsa had been kept very busy! It is vital that you get the opportunity to meet the mum to see if she is healthy and has a good temperament.

Roxy had lots of visitors as a young pup, including all of the breeder’s grandchildren, so she was really comfortable around people when Jenny met her. Jenny visited Roxy when she was both 4 weeks old and 6 weeks old, before finally taking her home at 8 weeks.

Jenny was also lucky enough to get photo updates of Roxy’s progress from the moment she was born until she picked her up, which made the wait a little easier.

Health testing – hip and elbow scoring

Certain breeds of dog are more likely to develop particular health problems, so before you get a puppy, make sure you do your homework. Find out if there are any common health problems associated with the breed, and make sure your puppy’ parents aren't affected by these conditions.

Labradors unfortunately are quite prone to getting problems with their joints, so the British Veterinary Association and Kennel Club introduced hip and elbow scoring schemes to encourage breeding from healthy dogs. Roxy’s mum and dad had really good hip and elbow scores, which means that Roxy is less at risk of hip and elbow dysplasia. 

Feel free to speak to our veterinary nurses for advice if you’re thinking about buying a new puppy.

Next time…

We find out how Roxy got on during her first night in her new home and how Jenny prepared the house for her new family member.


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