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One in 10 dog owners (10%) said they had bought their puppy from a newspaper advert or online without seeing the puppy first. According to the Kennel Club, one fifth of pups (19%) purchased online without first being seen by their new owner go on to develop serious gastro-intestinal problems and 15% develop the potentially deadly parvovirus.
It also advises people to buy from a Kennel Club assured breeder, who are inspected by the Kennel Club and have to follow the organisation's breeding guidelines. Almost one in five puppies bought via social media or the internet die before they are six months old according to new research. The Kennel Club’s research shows sickly puppies which may be infected with diseases such as Canine Parvovirus are being bought online by unwitting owners. Caroline Kisko, Kennel Club Secretary, said: “More and more people are buying puppies from sources, such as the internet, which are often used by puppy farmers.

Worryingly, the research reveals that the problem is likely to get worse as mail order pups bought over the internet are the second most common way for 18-24 year olds to buy a puppy (31 percent buy in this way). One third of people who bought their puppy online, over social media or in pet shops failed to experience ‘overall good health’.
Almost one in five puppies bought via social media or the internet die before six months old. 12 per cent of puppies bought online or on social media end up with serious health problems that require expensive on-going veterinary treatment from a young age. 94 per cent of puppies bought direct from a breeder were reported as having good overall health. There is currently very little regulation over dog breeders in the country so the Kennel Club established the Kennel Club Assured Breeder Scheme in 2004, which now has UKAS recognition, to ensure that its members always follow responsible steps when breeding and selling puppies.

Whilst there is nothing wrong with initially finding a puppy online, it is essential to then see the breeder and ensure that they are doing all of the right things.
There is nothing wrong with sourcing a puppy online but people need to be aware of what they should then expect from the breeder. There are fears that unscrupulous puppy farmers breed dogs purely for profit, without taking any of the responsible steps that they should to protect the breeding dogs’ and puppies’ health and welfare. This research clearly shows that too many people are failing to do this, and the consequences can be seen in the shocking number of puppies that are becoming sick or dying.

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