Adopt A Dog – What You Should Know

If you are thinking of adding to your family by getting a new puppy then there are many ways which you can do this. The most obvious is to contact a dog breeder and purchasing your new puppy when they are ready to leave their mum. Another, less common way is to adopt a dog. There are a few reasons why a dog may need adopting, maybe they got left somewhere or handed into a shelter by their owners, maybe they were just a street dog from birth or they may be coming in from abroad. This final option is something we want to discuss with you now, when a dog is moving to the UK there are a few things you need to be aware of.

Dog Population

There are approximately 9 million dogs in the UK. With an average life span of 12 years, this means there need to be approximately 500,000 puppies born each year to keep up with demand. Only around 250,000 puppies are registered with the Kennel Club each year. So where do all the extra puppies come from?

Some of these puppies come from abroad, some from breeders and still others from rescue centers. Puppies coming from abroad are required to have a passport, microchip and rabies vaccination (at 12 weeks old) before traveling. The puppies must also have treatment against tapeworm 1 – 5 days before arriving in the UK. This must be administered by a vet and also recorded in the passport. The passport and microchip are checked at ports during the puppy’s journey. However, some of the puppies being exported either do not have all the requirements or have forged documentation. This can lead to underage puppies being brought into the country which raises the risk of bringing diseases, such as babesiosis and rabies.

Puppy Smuggling

A study undertaken by the Dogs Trust demonstrated how easy it was to smuggle puppies into the UK from Europe. They took a stuffed toy dog through the border 4 times and managed to successfully get through 3 of the 4 times. The one failed attempt was only due to the microchip failing! The Dogs Trust have since performed other studies which showed how easy it is to get forged documentation. Other ways to get around security at the borders include taping a microchip to the top of the carrier the puppies were being transported in and using heavy sedatives to keep puppies quiet when they have not been declared. They also found that heavily pregnant dogs are also being smuggled into the country so that when selling the puppies, they can be seen with the mother.

Adopt A PuppyFamily taking home a dog from the animal shelter

It’s an amazingly kind act to adopt a puppy or adult dog in a troubled situation from another country. It is worthwhile though, checking travel arrangements. Many of these dogs travel long distances in very uncomfortable conditions, with little or no exercise or toilet breaks and insufficient amounts of food and water. Some dogs may also have behavioral issues when they reach their new homes. This may be due to having been a street dog used to making their own decisions and are then taken into a home where they can’t do this. They may also appear healthy, however, if they have been exposed to diseases, they may be carriers which they can then spread to other dogs.

If you are thinking of taking your dog abroad or bringing a dog into the UK from another country, please seek veterinary advice. If you have any questions, then contact us.