Checklist

Questions To Ask A Pet Store Retailer Before Buying A Dog

1. Where Did These Puppies Come From? Is That A Licensed USDA Breeder?

Unfortunately, because pet stores serve as the middleman between you and the breeder, you likely won’t be seeing where the puppy came from or the conditions he was raised in. It’s important to ask this question to ensure that the breeders the pet store is buying from are responsible and certified by the USDA. If the pet store cannot provide you with the puppy’s breeder, it’s best to walk away.

2. How Have The Puppies Been Socialized?

It is crucial for a puppy’s development that he is introduced to other dogs, animals, objects, and humans in the first 5-16 weeks of age. This period will permanently shape your puppy’s future personality and how he will react to different environments as an adult. Be sure the breeder who raised your dog has taken the proper steps to start socializing your dog, and the pet store can provide you with feedback on how your puppy has reacted to different situations thus far.

3. Is The Puppy Up-To-Date On Vaccinations And Has He Been Dewormed?

You should be sure that your potential puppy has visited a veterinarian to receive his shots and be dewormed before taking him home. Pet stores should have proper records on veterinary testing and treatments and should be able to provide you with the vet’s contact information as well as the puppy’s health records. Understand what shots your puppy has received and when he will be due for his next vaccine.

4. What Health Guarantees And Reclaiming Policies Do You Provide In Your Contract?

If your puppy becomes severely ill, what will the pet store do? Know which inherited diseases afflict your puppy’s particular breed and be sure the pet store has tested your puppy and confirmed he is disease-free. What if you can no longer care for your puppy? Understand your pet store’s reclaiming policy before bringing your dog home.

5. Do You Have Any References?

A responsible, trustworthy pet store will have a list of previous customers and veterinarians that can speak to their reliability. Call the previous customers and be sure they had a positive experience with the pet store, and that their puppy was well cared for while there.

6. Can We Contact You After Taking The Puppy Home?

The pet store staff should be able and willing to offer you guidance as you are raising your new puppy. Be sure that they are available to contact with questions or concerns about your dog or the breed in general.

7. What Do You Need To Know About Me?

You should be prepared to answer questions the staff has about your lifestyle and concerned if they don’t ask any questions about you at all. Reputable retailers will want to ensure the dog suits you, and that you are prepared to raise and care for one of their puppies.

8. What Happens To The Puppies You Don't Sell?

Responsible pet stores will have policies and procedures in place on how to properly find a home for puppies that don’t sell in their stores. How a pet store handles this question will help determine if they are the right source to purchase your dog from.