These are the four red flags to watch for when looking for a pet online
You’ve decided that you want a new pet, and you need to do some research. You turn to the Internet, which is where we go to browse before we buy.
We have to ensure that the animals sold and bought online are treated with respect and care. They need to be socialized, given the right environment, and receive the necessary health care.
How can you be sure that the animals you see advertised on the Internet are from responsible breeders? If you’re not going to go to your local animal shelter or rescue to look for a pet that needs a second chance in the first place, it’s vital to be aware of the warning signs for online pet ads.
When searching online for a pet, you should be aware of four red flags.
The first thing you need to know is that it’s never a good idea to buy an animal online unless you have met the animal in person.
It is vital to meet your new pet in person before you bring it home. You can check out their environment and ensure they are not from a puppy mill.
You could be inadvertently supporting puppy farms and poor breeding practices if you purchase a pet online without first meeting the seller. You could also fall victim to scams, resulting in emotional (and even financial!) harm. Heartbreak.
Keep an eye out for these red flags in ads that could indicate something wrong.
- “Six-week old puppy” or “Six-week kitten”. No trustworthy seller will rehome an infant puppy or kitten younger than eight weeks. They won’t have been fully weaned, and their immune system will be weak. Sellers who care about the welfare of their animals will not offer to transport very young animals over long distances. This can cause dehydration, which makes them more susceptible to diseases. Wait until kittens and puppies are at least eight weeks old before bringing them home.
- Can be arranged for delivery. No reputable breeder would part with an animal without first meeting the new owner. Reputable breeders will meet with new owners to ask questions and ensure that their kittens or puppies go to the right homes. It would be best if you also met the breeder to see the animal and meet its mother.
- Parents DNA tested – on the surface, this seems like a good thing. It doesn’t matter if the disease tested is not known to be linked with the breed unless there is proof of DNA tests. Breeders should also be able to tell you their plans for the results of those tests (e.g., Breeding dogs with these diseases or conditions is not recommended. Researching the breed thoroughly, including talking to your vet, will help you determine what kind of tests to look for.
- Limited Information: Be concerned if you don’t know, for instance, if the animal has been microchipped, sexed, or how it was bred. A seller’s lack of information could be a sign of a scammer who is hoping that you won’t notice.