July 18, 2008, Newsletter Issue #4: Be Safe as You Buy a Puppy Online

Tip of the Week

In an ideal world, there would be no scammers and all breeders would be honest and ethical. Unfortunately, the world is not ideal, which means you will need to be safe as you buy a puppy online. There are some simple things you can do to be sure you are getting the puppy you are paying for.

When you pick out a puppy, ask the breeder to make a short video of the puppy interacting with its littermates and parents. If the breeder doesn't have a video camera, ask if he or she can use a digital camera to make the video. Many newer cameras offer this option. If not, ask for some pictures of the whole family. Some people recommend asking the breeder to include a specific object in any photos to be sure they were taken recently and the breeder does have a litter of puppies ready to go. Ask that the breeder’s vet fax a copy of the health certificate directly to you as soon as the puppy gets its paperwork filled out. The health certificate will include information about the puppy’s breed and coloring as well as guaranteeing that the puppy has had vaccines.

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Sheri Ann Richerson