AWF urges vet professionals to use their influence to advise clients against buying pets as Christmas presents.
Every year pets are bought at Christmas but many are discarded soon afterwards once the family realises how much time and cost is needed to fully meet their new pet’s needs. In addition to this, the increase in demand for dogs is feeding the illegal puppy trade, with Dogs Trust reporting 100 dogs being seized recently in one week at UK borders.
Parents with children nagging them for a pet could consider giving a "promise voucher" first and then taking the time in the new year to research what pet is best suited to them and to source it responsibly. For children who dream of having a dog, cat or small furry we highly recommend TV vet Emma Milne’s Pet Detective books. These interactive books are aimed at children and are designed to prepare them for life as a pet owner.
When clients are ready to buy a dog, please advise them to use the Puppy Contract. This will ensure that they are well educated about the kinds of questions they should be asking a breeder. We advise people to walk away from any breeder who refuses to use the Puppy Contract or at least answer the questions in it. It can serve as a deterrent to irresponsible breeders and puppy farmers.
Vet practices can order hard copies of our Puppy Contract Flyer to give to clients.