Questions To Ask An Online Retailer Before Buying A Dog
1. How Long Have You Been Selling Dogs?
Just as with any career, the more experience a pet retailer has, the more knowledgeable they are likely to be. Your retailer should have a deep understanding of how their dogs are raised and cared for. Be cautious though, years of experience does not always equal responsible selling.
2. Where Did This Dog Come From?
A responsible retailer should be open about where they get their dogs from, and willing to share the breeder who raised the dog to this point. If the dog is from a shelter, the retailer should also be able to share the name of the shelter.
3. How Will You Get The Dog To Me?
If the online retailer isn’t local, then you will want to ask about transportation and how the dog will be safely shipped to you. A seasoned, responsible retailer will have processes in place and should be able to explain exactly how your puppy will travel from them to you.
4. 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 your retailer or breeder has been socializing your dog and can provide you with feedback on how your puppy has reacted to different situations so far.
5. 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. Retailers should have proper records on veterinary testing and treatments and should be able to provide you with the vet’s contact information. Understand what shots your puppy has received and when he will be due for his next vaccine.
6. What Health Guarantees And Reclaiming Policies Do You Provide In Your Contract?
If your puppy becomes severely ill, what will your retailer do? What if you can no longer care for your puppy? Understand your retailer’s reclaiming policy before bringing your dog home.
7. Do You Have Any References?
A responsible, experienced retailer 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 retailer, and check online reviews.
8. Can We Contact You After Taking The Puppy Home?
Your retailer and breeder 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, as they are an expert.
9. What Do You Need To Know About Me?
You should be prepared to answer questions the retailer has about your lifestyle and concerned if they don’t ask any questions about you at all. Reputable retailers will want to ensure their breed suits you, and that you are prepared to raise and care for one of their puppies.
10. When Can I Take The Puppy Home?
Puppies should stay with their litter until they are at least eight weeks old to properly mature and socialize. Your retailer should not place a puppy in a new home until he is between eight and 12 weeks.