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Here's How to Buy a Healthy Puppy - Research & Tips

Getting a puppy can be one of the most rewarding experiences, but it's crucial to ensure you're bringing home a healthy one. After all, you want your new buddy to be a happy and vibrant addition to your life.

But how do you make sure you're buying a healthy puppy? First things first - do your research. 

Acquiring a Health Puppy Starts with Due Diligence

Whether you're considering a specific breed or just browsing, it's essential to understand what to look for in a healthy pup. Look into breed-specific health concerns, common issues, and any red flags to watch out for.

three grey and white puppies sleeping next to each other on a blue blanket

Where should someone be looking for a "Healthy Puppy?" Find a reputable dog breeder or adoption center & avoid purchasing puppies from pet stores, as they often source their animals from puppy mills, which prioritize profit over the well-being of the animals. Instead, look for breeders who prioritize health and temperament over quantity.

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When you visit a breeder or adoption center, pay close attention to the environment. A clean, well-maintained facility is a good sign that the animals are cared for properly. Additionally, take note of how the puppies interact with their surroundings and each other. Healthy puppies should be curious, playful, and energetic.

Getting a Healthy Puppy from a Breeder

When you are looking into a potential breeder try to find some telltale signs of responsibility. Not all breeders are created equal. Don’t trust everything you read on the internet. Make sure that when you select the breeder from whom to adopt your dog, they’re not hiding anything in the fine print.

A health guarantee from is an important part of protecting your new puppy. It ensures that you will be able to get a refund or replacement for your pup if he or she becomes ill within a certain time frame. Someone who isn't confident in their pups health will not want to give this kind of guarantee. 

Ask your potential breeder any questions about common health concerns in your prospective dog breed, such as hip dysplasia or respiratory issues. Breeders will run extensive tests on parents and pairs to try and ensure as minimal health issues from arising as possible. 

Remember that breeding is a science and a good breeder has done their homework. Ask the breeder or adoption center plenty of questions. Inquire about the puppy's health history, including vaccinations, deworming, and any potential genetic issues. A responsible breeder will be transparent and willing to provide documentation to support their claims.

Related information about buying a puppy:

Get to Know Your Puppy Before You Buy Them

Don't forget to spend some one-on-one time with the puppy you're interested in. Observe their behavior closely; do they seem alert and responsive? Are their eyes bright and clear? A healthy puppy should be active and engaged, with a shiny coat and a healthy appetite.

If possible, request to meet the puppy's parents or see pictures of them. Genetics play a significant role in a puppy's health and temperament, so it's essential to get a sense of their lineage. Look for signs of good breeding, such as well-adjusted parents with no obvious health or temperament problems. Most breeders are going to be happy to share the genetic and personality history of a puppy's lineage.

small white and brown puppy in bath tub

One prevalent health issue in dogs is obesity. Just like in humans, obesity in dogs can lead to a host of other health problems, including diabetes, heart disease, joint issues, and decreased lifespan. It's essential to monitor a dog's diet and exercise to maintain a healthy weight and prevent obesity-related complications. If a breeder is over feeding their own animals, it can be a potential sign of less than healthy puppies.

Another common concern is dental health. Believe it or not, dental problems are one of the most frequently diagnosed health issues in dogs. Poor dental hygiene can lead to gum disease, tooth decay, and even systemic infections if bacteria from the mouth enters the bloodstream. Regular dental care, including brushing a dog's teeth and providing dental chews or toys, can help prevent these issues.

Skin problems are also a prevalent issue among dogs, particularly those with allergies or sensitivities. Allergies to environmental factors like pollen or food ingredients can manifest as skin irritation, itching, redness, and hair loss. 

Additionally, parasites such as fleas, ticks, and mites can cause skin problems and discomfort for your pup. Keeping a dog's skin clean, providing regular grooming, and using flea and tick preventatives can help mitigate these issues.

Buying a Healthy Puppy Includes Looking for Visual Cues

If a breeder has their adult dogs looking good, then they probably feel good too. And that can translate into their puppies' health too.

There are common visual cues that let you know a puppy is in good health. Healthy puppies have good body on them. They should neither be excessively thin nor overweight. A well-fed puppy will have a rounded belly but not appear bloated or distended. You should be able to feel their ribs without pressing too firmly, indicating a healthy weight.

The eyes, ears, and nose of healthy puppies should be free of discharge or redness. Ears should be clean and odor-free, with no signs of inflammation or excessive wax buildup. The nose should be moist and cool to the touch, without any discharge or crustiness.

A healthy puppy will have a hearty appetite and eagerly consume their food without any signs of reluctance or aversion. They should have normal bowel movements that are well-formed and consistent in texture and color. Diarrhea, constipation, or abnormalities in stool should be promptly addressed by a veterinarian.

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In conclusion, buying a healthy puppy is all about doing your homework, asking the right questions, and trusting your instincts. Puppies should exhibit playful behavior and be in good physical shape.

Pay attention to these common signs of puppy health issues, as well as in their parents. Always get a health guarantee from the breeder. Doing your homework, knowing what to look for & what to ask about can save you a lot of headache and heartbreak in the future.

Jenna and the JLDD Team

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