How to avoid scams when buying a puppy

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Adorable puppies - protect yourself when buying dogsTips to protect yourself from puppy scams

You’ve done your research and know what breed you’re looking for. You might have even fallen in love with a particular puppy, but how can you make sure you protect yourself when buying a dog?

We’ve put together an easy dog buyer’s guide to protecting yourself from puppy scams. Including easy-to-follow tips and warning signs to watch out for.

What you need to know before buying a dog


How to protect yourself from scams when buying a puppy

While Forever Puppy does as much as we can to prevent puppy scammers from using our website, some may still slip through.

To help us stop pet scammers, follow the simple steps below when contacting a dog seller.

Differences between male and female puppies

Visit your puppy in person first11 tips to avoid scammers when you buy a dog

1. Visit your puppy wherever possible!

Most pet scammers will not want you to visit a physical address, so making sure you see a puppy in the flesh goes a long way toward combating them. 

This way you’ll have a physical address, be able to confirm the puppy exists, and see the seller’s environment to make sure it looks good.

Benefits of owning a dog
2. If you can’t visit, ask for a video call.

If you’re buying a puppy across the country and aren’t able to visit, then always ask for a video call.

When you’re on the video call, ask to see the environment and the dog’s mother. It’s also worth asking to see proof of documentation if you’re buying a pedigree dog. 

3. Beware of sellers asking for very large deposits

Asking for a deposit to hold the puppy is common practice. However, if they are asking for a very large amount, you should take extra care.

This can be a warning sign, so take extra care if your seller asks for a big deposit on your puppy.

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4. Always ask to be shown photos of the puppies with their mother

puppies with their motherA reputable puppy breeder will have plenty of photographs or videos of the litter with its mother.

This shows that puppies haven’t been cruelly separated from their mothers. But it also helps show you the temperament that you can expect from your puppy. 

5. Try to always make payments in person

This helps you protect yourself because it means you’re able to collect more information on both the dog and the seller before parting with money. 

You shouldn’t be sending money online without ever having met your puppy or seller in real life. Even if you’re going to be doing a bank transfer. 

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6. Ask plenty of questions!

A reputable and ethical puppy breeder will gladly answer any questions they may have. After all, they’ll want to make sure that the puppy they’ve raised is well looked after. 

Avoiding puppy selling scams7. Always make sure you get copies of the necessary paperwork

Make sure to educate yourself on the rules for selling puppies in the area where the seller is located. For example, a puppy shouldn’t leave their mother until they are at least 8 weeks old.

Some of these regulations will come with paperwork. For example, microchip documentation as well as anything specific for pedigree dog breeds. 

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8. Make sure you always get receipts for all payments

Having proof of all purchases should be a must when you’re purchasing online. So, always ask for receipts for any payments to help protect you from puppy scammers. 

9. Trust your instinct

If something feels off, then listen to your gut. Puppy breeders who are licensed will gladly answer any questions and provide proof of their status.

If you feel like a seller is avoiding discussing a topic or is trying not to provide proof that you’ve asked for, then trust your instinct. 

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10. Ask for ID from your seller

buying a puppy onlineThe Internet is a place where people can pretend to be anybody. Asking to see an ID (like a driving licence or passport) can help prove that your seller’s name is legitimate. 

A puppy scammer will be very unlikely to use their real names. So, if your puppy seller is able and willing to provide identification, then it should add to their credibility. 

11. Do your research and never impulse buy

Always do your research when rehoming, adopting, or buying a puppy. This goes beyond protecting yourself from pet scammers and helps make sure that you know how to care for a dog.

However, knowing the regulations for selling a puppy can also give you plenty of ammunition for checking that a dog seller is legit.

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