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A pet for Christmas beware of online shopping

A pet for Christmas can be wonderful! The holidays are a good time of the year for families to settle in your new furry friend. But, don’t be hasty and fall for images of cute puppies and kittens for sale on the Internet.  Take a ‘paws’ and do your homework first.  We cover the risks of online pet shopping you need to know about.

Online pet shopping has increased rapidly in the last 5 years and taken over from pet shops as the most convenient way to buy puppies and kittens.  The problem with online pet shopping is that it is too easy. Shoppers need to be aware of the risks before they click on ‘buy now’.  Without realising it, you could be buying a pet from an unethical puppy or kitten ‘breeder’ that uses online trading sites as a front for their cruel breeding business.  Animals from puppy farms tend to have more health and behavioural problems from a poor start in life where the animal’s needs are not met.

Tips for getting a pet for Christmas

  1. Ask to visit the breeder in person If they say no, walk away now!  A responsible breeder will invite you to visit their premises to see the breeding conditions and meet the puppy’s parents, be open to questions and give you the pet’s full history.
  2. A pet for Christmas beware of online pet shopping

    A pet for Christmas beware of online pet shopping

    Details on the health statusLook for information about vaccination, health and microchip status on the online advertisement.  Ask the breeder to see the documents.

  3. Breed genetic disordersPoor breeding lines can lead to ongoing health and behavioural problems and high vet bills!  Ask the breeder if the animal is free from known genetic disorders.
  4. Post-purchase supportAsk the breeder if they provide a guarantee and on-going support and information after purchase.
  5. Questions from the breederA responsible breeder will ask you several questions to ensure their animal is going to a good home; and that you will suit the puppy/kitten and it will suit you.
  6. Don’t shop, adopt – Think about adoption via animal rescue organisations. There are thousands of cats and dogs of all ages and breeds that would make wonderful pets. Find out the questions to ask a rehoming organisation.

More about before you get a cat.
Download our FREE eGuide: Before you get a dog – 8 essential tips to get it right.
Download our FREE Fact sheet: Questions to ask a puppy breeder

A pet for Christmas sources

Animals Australia
Dr Susan Hazel, University of Adelaide study May 2014