100 Questions to Ask When Buying a Puppy

If you’re excited about bringing a furry bundle of joy into your home, hold on to your leash! Buying a puppy is not just about those cuddles and playtimes—it’s a big step that comes with a whole lot of responsibilities.

As you embark on this paw-some journey, it’s essential to arm yourself with the right questions to ask before picking your new best friend. This will help ensure that the puppy you bring home is healthy, happy, and the perfect fit for your lifestyle. Ready? Let’s fetch some answers!

Breeder Background

  1. How long have you been breeding puppies?
  2. What breeds do you specialize in?
  3. Can you provide references from previous buyers?
  4. How can I meet the puppy’s parents?
  5. Are your breeding facilities open for a visit?
  6. What are your motivations for breeding?
  7. How do you ensure that the breeding dogs are healthy?
  8. Are there any breed-specific genetic conditions you test for?
  9. Can you show me the puppy’s pedigree?
  10. How many litters do you raise each year?
  11. How do you socialize your puppies?
  12. What type of diet do you feed your breeding dogs and puppies?
  13. Do you provide any after-sale support or health guarantees?
  14. Have you had any major health issues with your litter in the past?
  15. How do you handle the return of a puppy if it’s needed?
  16. Have your breeding dogs been involved in dog shows or competitions, and if so, what have they achieved?
  17. What are your views on spaying or neutering?
  18. What registration papers and documentation will come with the puppy?
  19. How do you ensure the puppies are going to good homes?
  20. Are you affiliated with any breed clubs or associations?

Health and Vaccinations

  1. What vaccinations has the puppy received?
  2. Has the puppy been dewormed, and if so, when?
  3. Can you provide a health certificate from a veterinarian?
  4. Have the puppies been checked for any congenital disabilities?
  5. Are there medical records available for the puppy?
  6. What type of health screening has the puppy undergone?
  7. How do I continue the puppy’s vaccination schedule?
  8. What flea and tick prevention has been used?
  9. Have the puppies been microchipped?
  10. What are signs of illness I should watch for in the puppy?
  11. How do you manage the health and welfare of the puppies in your care?
  12. Are there any current or past health issues in the puppy’s lineage?
  13. How often are the puppies examined by a vet?
  14. What is your protocol if a puppy becomes ill under your care?
  15. Can you explain the common health problems of this breed?
  16. How can I maintain the health and welfare of the puppy?
  17. What emergency situations should I be prepared for with a new puppy?
  18. How should I introduce the puppy to a new vet?
  19. What diet has the puppy been on, and what do you recommend moving forward?
  20. Have the puppies been tested for parasites, and what were the results?

Behavior and Socialization

  1. What socialization experiences has the puppy had?
  2. Has the puppy been exposed to children or other pets?
  3. What temperament traits have you noticed in the puppy?
  4. How do you handle behavior training and discipline?
  5. Can you describe the typical personality of this breed?
  6. How does the puppy behave around strangers?
  7. What type of play does the puppy enjoy?
  8. What training has the puppy received so far?
  9. How does the puppy respond to commands or cues?
  10. Can you provide guidance on continued socialization?
  11. What methods do you recommend for house training?
  12. Has the puppy exhibited any signs of anxiety or aggression?
  13. How is the puppy’s sleeping routine established?
  14. How active is the puppy, and what exercise does it require?
  15. What is the best way to introduce the puppy to a new environment?
  16. How do you suggest new owners build a bond with their puppy?
  17. Are there particular challenges of this breed’s behavior that a new owner should know?
  18. How does the puppy respond to being handled or groomed?
  19. What are effective ways to mentally stimulate this breed?
  20. What should I do if the puppy exhibits undesirable behaviors?

Homecoming Preparation

  1. What should I have ready at home for the puppy’s arrival?
  2. What kind of crate do you recommend for house training?
  3. How can I puppy-proof my home?
  4. What is the best way to transition the puppy to a new diet?
  5. How should I structure the first few days with the puppy?
  6. Can you provide a schedule of the puppy’s current routine?
  7. What toys and chews do you recommend for this breed?
  8. How can I make the car ride home comfortable for the puppy?
  9. What are the best options for puppy training classes?
  10. What sleeping arrangements work best for a new puppy?
  11. How can I introduce the puppy to other pets in the home?
  12. What is the ideal feeding schedule for the puppy?
  13. Can you advise on choosing the right type of leash and collar?
  14. What grooming supplies will I need for the puppy?
  15. How much alone time can the puppy tolerate right now?
  16. What methods do you recommend for calming a puppy in a new environment?
  17. What adjustments must I make to my routine when the puppy arrives?
  18. How can I safely socialize the puppy with the outside world?
  19. What should I consider when selecting a vet for the puppy?
  20. Can you provide information on insurance for the puppy?

Costs and Budgeting

  1. What is the purchase price of the puppy?
  2. Are there additional costs for registration or pedigree papers?
  3. What are the expected initial medical expenses for a new puppy?
  4. How much should I budget for ongoing veterinary care?
  5. What are the costs associated with spaying or neutering?
  6. Can you break down the cost of necessary supplies for the puppy?
  7. What is the estimated monthly cost of feeding the puppy?
  8. How much should I set aside for emergency veterinary expenses?
  9. What is the average cost of training classes?
  10. How much can I expect to spend on toys and treats regularly?
  11. What grooming expenses should I anticipate for this breed?
  12. Are there breed-specific expenses I should be aware of?
  13. Can you provide an estimate of yearly vaccinations and check-ups?
  14. What is the typical cost of pet insurance for this breed?
  15. How much are puppy socialization classes or daycare?
  16. What are the financial considerations for traveling with a puppy?
  17. How will the size of the adult dog affect future costs?
  18. What unexpected costs have other puppy owners encountered?
  19. Should I consider setting up a savings plan for the puppy’s future needs?
  20. How do expenses vary between different breeds if I am considering options?

Frequently Asked Questions

What should I look for when choosing a breeder?

It’s important to look for a breeder who is transparent, has a good reputation, and demonstrates a responsible approach to breeding. Ideally, they should perform health screenings, provide a clean and nurturing environment, and show genuine care for the welfare of their dogs and puppies.

How can I socialize my puppy safely?

Safe socialization includes exposing your puppy to various people, animals, environments, and noises in a controlled and calm manner. Ensure your puppy has completed the necessary vaccinations before interacting with other dogs or visiting high-traffic areas.

How do I prepare my home for a new puppy?

Puppy-proof your home by removing hazardous items and securing loose cables. Set up a safe, comfortable space with bedding, a water bowl, toys, and a crate if you’re crate training. 

Having a routine in place for feeding, potty breaks, and playtime can also help ease your puppy’s transition.

What to watch out for when buying puppies?

When buying puppies, it is important to watch out for signs of poor health and possible genetic problems. Look for clear eyes and ears, a clean and shiny coat, and a healthy weight, among other things. It’s also important to ask the breeder about the puppy’s parents and possible health problems in the bloodline.

Also, make sure you only buy from reputable breeders who care about the health and welfare of their puppies. Avoid buying from pet stores or online sellers who may not have properly cared for the puppies.

Final Thoughts

You’re now equipped with the crucial questions to ask when buying a puppy, setting the stage for a lifelong friendship filled with tail wags and wet-nosed kisses.

Remember, owning a puppy is a loving commitment that requires patience, time, and financial readiness. With your checklist in paw, you’ll be able to find a fur-ever friend who is just as ready for you as you are for them. Here’s to the beginning of an extraordinary journey with your new pup!

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Robby is a multimedia editor at Enlightio with a journalism and communications background. When she's not working, Robby transforms into an introverted art lover who indulges in her love for sports, learning new things, and sipping her favorite soda. She also enjoys unwinding with feel-good movies, books, and video games. She's also a proud pet parent to her beloved dog, Dustin.