The internet is a convenient way to research a particular pet. Once you have found the pet you are looking for and you are satisfied that you know what you want, the next logical step is to look online for that particular breed of animal that you are interested in. However, there are many pitfalls to buying pets online. It is important that you understand these pitfalls and avoid them wherever possible in order to safely and reasonably purchase a pet online.

First and foremost, you must beware of the puppy mill.
These are breeders that breed for profit rather than quality. Their pets may not be of the highest quality, or the best cared for. There are many problems with buying from a puppy mill, and they are best avoided. However, it can be difficult for a novice to tell the difference between a puppy mill and a real breeder, especially if they have a great website.

Make a Phone call
The first thing you should do when you find a seller of the breed you want to buy is call them to get their association number. Any legitimate breeder will be a member of a breed association. They should be able to provide you with their number. You should then call the association to have the number checked out and make sure it is legitimate. If for any reason a seller will not provide you with their accredited association number, they are likely a puppy mill and should be avoided at all costs. This is the most important step in buying a pet online.

If at all possible, you should visit the breeder in person after researching your purpose. Make sure that the puppies and their parents are well cared for and given sufficient space to thrive. If you are unable to do this, it makes the first step of checking the association number that much more important.

Another way you can tell that you are buying from a reputable breeder is that they will provide you with health certifications. Purebred animals should come with health certificates that explain what if any hereditary diseases the parents may have, as well as any health conditions that have been passed on to the puppy. You should check to make sure that these documents are real and not forged, and you should make sure you receive them. A puppy mill may promise such documentation but rarely produces it.

Be wary of scams from Africa and Asia.
People will often place listings for puppies for sale and appear to be legitimate. You then are asked to place money in an overseas account, and you never hear from them again. You can avoid such scams by following the steps outlined above for making sure you don’t buy from a puppy mill. The same thing applies to avoid scams.

One of the ways you can get your pet online is through animal rescues. These are great because they are not in it for the profit, and you are certain to get all of the information about the animal, including health issues. The only thing about this avenue is that you may not be able to get any information about the puppy’s parents, and you may not be able to get the dog registered with any kennel clubs as a result.

Another way that you can get a pet online is by looking at classified ads. Often people who cannot care for their pet any longer put up ads to get them to a good home. This is a great way to get your pet, but you need to be wary. You will want to make sure that you ask for the information of the breeder or rescue the pet came from, any health records, and the name of the vet.