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A dog is for life, not just lockdown: how to buy a healthy puppy in a pandemic

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With demand soaring, finding a canine friend for your child can have pitfalls – here’s how to avoid unscrupulous breeders

Read: Visit puppies before buying, charities warn

It was seeing the disappointment on my little girl’s face that hurt the most. “So we’re not going to see the puppies, after all?” she’d say, after hearing yet another phone call to a breeder end badly.

How could I explain, to an eight-year-old, that there are people out there making huge amounts of money, and some are treating their dogs like dirt? That many responsible, licensed dog breeders have closed their waiting lists, following a huge increase in demand during lockdown, while unscrupulous sellers are cashing in on soaring prices?

Before lockdown, a pedigree puppy would typically cost up to £1,500. Now prices for these dogs start at £2,500

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