Posted on February 3, 2012 at 6:33 PM
Buying a pet is a big decision. The Better Business Bureau has several suggestions for anyone in the market for a new animal.
Tips for buying a pet:
· Determine the right breed for you. Take the time to consider what breed of dog is right for you. The AKC recognizes over 160 different breeds of dog, and each of these breeds has its own unique temperament, appearance, activity level and set of needs.
· Consider adoption. Animal shelters have dozens of dogs, many of them purebreds, just waiting for homes. There are also breed specific rescue groups for every breed of dog, including "designer" or "hybrids" like Labradoodles and Puggles.
· Find a responsible breeder. You can find responsible breeders by asking for referrals from your veterinarian or trusted friends, by contacting local breed clubs, or visiting professional dog shows. Go to bbb.org for the BBB Business Review of any dog breeder you are considering.
· Visit the premises. Responsible breeders provide a loving and healthy environment for their canine companions, one that they will be proud to show you. Never buy a puppy without seeing where they and their parents are raised and housed with your own eyes.
· Ask questions. BBB recommends asking the following questions:
1. How long have you been involved with this breed and have you been involved with other breeds?
2. Is there a health guarantee? How long? The guarantee should be for the life of the puppy. Many genetic diseases are not detectable until the dog is more than two years old.
3. Are the parents at least two years old?
4. Will you give us the names of references, including other pet buyers and your veterinarian?
5. At what age do you place animals?
· Avoid buying a puppy online. Due to the many scams online, BBB warns to not purchase a pet from someone out of state. If you cannot meet the breeder and the animal before purchasing it, it is very likely to be a scam. Especially if the so-called breeder or seller asks for money up front and/or payment via wire transfer.
Warning Signs to look for:
1. The breeder does not ask you many questions.
2. The breeder lacks knowledge about the breed.
3. The breeder shows ignorance or denial of genetic defects in the breed.
4. The breeder does not let you observe the baby animals or adults, or let you see the kennels.
5. The animals are not socialized or seem afraid of other animals or humans.
6. The breeder offers to meet you somewhere away from their kennel/home.
for the Humane Society's suggestions on purchasing a puppy.
You can follow investigative reporter Keli Rabon on her Facebook page here