If you're looking for a new pet, then please consider adopting an animal from the RSPCA (or another similar reputable animal rescue organisation). The RSPCA provides shelter to thousands of animals every year that are in need of a good home. All RSPCA animals have undergone health and temperament checks to make sure that they will make great pets and have been vaccinated, wormed, microchipped and desexed as appropriate. RSPCA shelter staff can also give you advice regarding general care (nutrition, exercise, training) of your new pet.
If you don't find the right pet for you at a shelter, your best option is to buy your pet directly from the place where they were born, especially if you are buying a puppy or a kitten. This means you will be able to observe the conditions that the animal has been raised in and the behaviour of related animals, and can make sure that you are purchasing a healthy, responsibly bred and well-cared for pet. You'll also be able to talk to the breeder about the specific requirements of your prospective pet. Responsible breeders will ensure that, as a prospective owner, you are made aware of the long term needs of the animal you want to acquire, including any known health problems or inheritable disorders, before taking them home.
If the breeder is reluctant for you to visit, or wants you to meet the puppy in another place, find another breeder. Puppy farms will often use a house as a ‘shop front’ so you don’t get to see the poor conditions they breed dogs in. Don’t buy a puppy from a pet shop or through an internet or newspaper advertisement without being able to visit its home, as you can’t check out the conditions in which the puppy was bred or know where it came from.
If you're looking for a puppy, please read the article How do I find a good dog breeder (see below).
This website provides general information which must not be relied upon or regarded as a substitute for specific professional advice, including veterinary advice. We make no warranties that the website is accurate or suitable for a person’s unique circumstances and provide the website on the basis that all persons accessing the website responsibly assess the relevance and accuracy of its content.