Things to Keep in Mind When Buying a Pet Online

Doodles of Oz Reviews

The Internet has made it easier for people who are looking to sell pets. There are many websites dedicated to connecting buyers with sellers, though some have safeguards in place to protect consumers. However, buying a pet online can be a tricky business, so keep this guide in mind when trying to find the perfect pet.

1. The ad

Before making a purchase, you should always do some research on the seller and his or her pet. Scoping out their reviews will give you a sense of how reputable they are and what kind of experience others have had with them. If there is no information listed about them or their pet, this may be for concern, and it would be good to keep looking. Also, if an ad has misspellings (i.e., “littel” instead of “little”), there’s a chance that the person taking care of the animal doesn’t know much English. As you know, there are a lot of Puppy Scams that we will mention later on. This can lead to issues that affect your safety and happiness as a consumer: perhaps the dog was improperly vaccinated or spayed/neutered early on in its life. In rare cases, you may even find that the animal isn’t being looked after very well at all or that they have been abused in some way. If something feels off, then it’s best to look elsewhere.

2. Personalization is a good thing

When selling a pet online, you will generally have the option to add information about your pet and yourself in the ad. It’s important for potential buyers to take advantage of this opportunity because it allows them to get a better sense of whom they’re doing business with and what kind of environment their pet would be going into. For example, if you’re looking at two ads with pets from reputable breeders, but one includes details on how much care was put into training their dog, while the other doesn’t, you’ll probably be more inclined to go with the latter.

You can use this same tactic on sellers themselves by looking at their social media profiles for pictures of them with their pets and writing down how long they’ve had them (i.e., “2 years” is better than “since she was a pup”). When you find someone who seems like the best fit, it’s worthwhile to ask if they would mind putting an ad on your behalf or vice versa. Websites like Craigslist are very public places, so it may be in the seller’s interest to accommodate you in any way possible to get that sale

3. Check out where your pet comes from

All things considered, it’s best not to buy a pet online unless you have done your homework. For example, if someone puts up an ad for what appears to be a very young puppy that they are selling without its mother, then this is probably the result of puppy mills or any other sort of breeding operation where animals are kept in very poor conditions. Besides being extremely lonely and/or uncomfortable, these animals will likely have health defects that need to be dealt with by specialists later down the line; many may even die prematurely because of their mistreatment. If you feel like there has been no real effort made on the seller’s part to provide you with information about where the animal originated (i.e., why they were taken away from their mother so early), it would probably be best to find another pet. And also, make sure that your pets are tested and safe for the new life with you.=

4. Check out how your pet comes

Finding someone who is willing to ship an animal across the country, or even the world, is not unheard of on Craigslist. However, because you can’t see or touch the pet before buying it, there are a few things that you should know before purchasing one online.

First, buying an animal online may seem like a good way to get one for cheap, but this isn’t always the case: shipping costs can often be much more than what was advertised, and sometimes they aren’t covered by sellers at all (in which case you’ll have to pay extra for them).

Secondly, some breeders may take advantage of buyers who are desperate for a pet by selling them sick animals that have been dyed to look healthier than they are. If you’re looking at the ad of someone who seems reputable, try asking them if there’s any way for you to pick up the animal yourself or wait until it’s old enough to be vaccinated before having it shipped. These two options might seem like small inconveniences in comparison to dealing with an online seller long-distance, but they can save you both time and money down the line.

5. Beware of scams

One type of pet that often finds its way onto various sites is puppies. While it can definitely be exciting to find ads with dogs who are just weeks old, there’s a good chance that they’re fake or being sold illegally. To start with, ask the seller for information about their age and where they came from will likely not yield any worthwhile results; there are ways to create fake birth certificates and even dye puppies’ fur so that they appear younger than they actually are. If you notice anything strange about the ad (i.e., several phone numbers), you should probably avoid buying one of these pets because it could be part of an elaborate scam set up by dog smugglers who plan on selling them for much more money elsewhere.

6. Don’t be afraid to say no and consider adopting

For whatever reason, some people who are looking to sell their pets can get pushy when prospective buyers express concern about issues that they have found with the animal in question. While it’s important not to take unsolicited advice from just anyone off of the street, you should listen very carefully to what your potential pet seller has to say if they have anything negative to point out.

For example, if someone is selling a dog who “doesn’t seem like he gets along with other dogs,” then this is probably because said dog had unsavory company in his previous home and would likely benefit from being the only pet in your household so doesn’t feel threatened by another animal. However, if the owner is just trying to get rid of an animal because they’re lazy or irresponsible, then you shouldn’t take their advice into consideration because it could easily be false.

There are several benefits that come with the arrangement of adopting:

  •  You can find out about any health issues in advance, so you won’t have to pay for expensive veterinary visits later on down the line

  •   Since these pets have been neglected by their previous owners, they tend to be much more grateful for any love that you’re willing to give them

  •   Adopting a pet is often cheaper than buying one outright

7. If it sounds too good to be true…

There are lots of ads online that promise to find the perfect pet for you at no cost whatsoever. While these ads could just be honest people who only want to send their pets away if they have a good home waiting for them, there are also scam artists who will try to take your money and abuse your trust. If the ad seems too good to be true, then take it with a grain of salt and look for other sources that might have what you’re looking for.

8. Be an educated consumer

If you want to protect yourself from being scammed or buying a sick pet, then it’s imperative that you know about the different ways in which these scams work, so you can spot them before they happen. Having this knowledge is especially helpful if you find yourself having to go through law enforcement after being taken advantage of because they’ll likely ask questions about your interactions with the seller beforehand.

For example, if someone claims to have found your dog wandering around their town but says that they can’t keep him because he’s “too aggressive,” then it’s probably a good idea to ask them what type of behavior triggered this response from them. If they say something like, “He keeps growling and showing his teeth whenever I try to lower him into the bathtub,” then that’s a sign that you should not be giving this person your money because their story is likely false.

Why should you keep your eyes wide open when buying a pet online?

You should think twice before you order any pet online. You will get a lot of websites that claim to be genuine breeders providing the pets at affordable rates, but then it should be taken care of properly because there are many such sites that sell sick and deformed pets to the customers. Many such cases have been noticed where people bought dogs from such websites and found out later that they were not healthy; some even died in the hands of their new owners due to illness.

What risks come with buying a pet online?

There are many risks that come with buying a pet online. You can’t be 100% sure that pet is having all proper documents and records with them, along with no history of illness in their family tree-thus leading to future problems. Also, most of these sites sell pets at a very low cost, which is again not good for the animals as they will be getting low-quality and expensive food and treatment.

 

Everyone wants a lovely pet, but buying one is not that easy. You have to look for various factors before you go ahead and buy a pet. With the tips we provided above, you will have a good chance of finding the right pet for you, avoiding all the shady business going on online. Good luck!

Tim Hanson (80)

Contributing writer at Preferable Pups!