When you see a cute puppy picture online, it is easy to get drawn into the hype of finding your perfect pet. However, there are several red flags to watch out for when buying puppies.
Ask to visit the breeding facility and meet the mother dog. Reputable breeders will happily show you where the pups are born and raised.
Check the Breed
When you’re shopping for puppies for sale, there are a lot of boxes to tick. Temperament, health testing, parentage, and much more are crucial factors when finding the perfect pup for your life. Unfortunately, not all breeders are created equal, and some unscrupulous sellers take advantage of puppy-seeking consumers.
Unscrupulous puppy sellers hide behind attractive websites and slick catalogs with stock photos of adorable puppies frolicking in fields or napping in wicker baskets. They lure unsuspecting consumers in with a promise of a healthy, beautiful dog and then deliver a sickly specimen that bears little resemblance to the dog they promised.
As cities work to ban the sale of puppies in pet stores, bad breeders are getting more and more creative to circumvent these laws. They’re now registering themselves as “rescues” and advertising their puppies as such, often taking advantage of the public’s love for animals to make a quick profit.
When shopping for a puppy, look for a reputable seller who can answer all your questions satisfactorily. If they’re unwilling to communicate with you in person or over a video call, it’s best to move on to another seller.
Check the Age
Buying a puppy at the wrong age can harm the animal. This is why most responsible breeders will not sell puppies or kittens under a certain age. This is especially true for a puppy under eight weeks old. Puppies under eight weeks are still dependent on their mother and her milk. They need to remain with her and their siblings until they are at this age to have the best chance of a healthy life.
Puppies also learn a lot from their interactions with their siblings. These interactions may seem like playing to the human eye, but they are powerful learning lessons. For example, siblings teach puppies about biting inhibition by yelping when they bite too hard during playtime. They also teach them about safely socializing with humans and other dogs and navigating their environment.
Approximately twenty-seven states and the District of Columbia have laws that regulate how old a puppy must be before it can be sold or adopted. Most of these laws specify that a puppy must be at least eight weeks old before it can be sold or adopted. These laws protect puppies and their mothers from being taken advantage of by unethical breeders and irresponsible pet owners.
Check the Health
Puppies should be healthy and free of genetic diseases. A puppy that seems ill or unhealthy should not be sold. A good breeder will be curious about your questions and willing to meet you in person or do a video call (everyone uses Zoom now!) to ensure you are comfortable with the sale. They should also be able to answer all your questions about the puppies, including their mother, father, and history.
Some unscrupulous sellers use apps to sell their puppies and claim to be reputable breeders, but that’s not always true. These sites are free for sellers to post, and the buyers often pay in cash, making tracking their purchases difficult.
Puppy scammers may also try to pressure you into the sale, claiming that the pups will be unavailable soon or that they’ll be adopted by someone else. This is another sign that you should avoid the seller and look elsewhere for your next pet.
Adding a dog to your family should be an exciting and happy time, not stressful! Be patient and ask many questions to ensure you get a healthy, happy puppy from a reputable breeder. When you’re ready to get a new furry addition, remember to check adoption websites and local shelters. By supporting the adoption process, you’re helping to relieve the burden on commercial breeders and rescue groups.
Check the Price
Purchasing or adopting a puppy can be an emotional experience. When you see a cute pup that seems to be begging to become your best friend, it can be easy to overlook the potential red flags associated with the listing. And that can lead to a costly mistake.
One of the biggest red flags is the price being too good to be true. Reputable breeders will not be able to offer puppies at such low prices. They will require a deposit to ensure that you are serious about your purchase, and they will have additional costs like shipping and vet fees. If a breeder asks for payment in gift cards or through apps, this is another sign that you are dealing with a scammer.
Puppy mills often exploit people looking for a new furry addition to their family by selling them to unsuspecting consumers. These puppies are usually born and raised in factory-like settings where they are treated more as cash commodities than the loving companions that they are meant to be.
If you are considering buying a puppy, please consider adoption instead. Dogs are a huge commitment that will demand your attention and care even in the most inconvenient times. They are not a status symbol or a way to show off wealth.