What could be more charming than surprising the kids with a puppy under the Christmas tree? However, with emotions high and priorities stretched, giving a puppy as a present during the holidays can be stressful for both you and the new pet, according to Better Business Bureau serving Northern Colorado and Wyoming.
Although puppies are an exciting new addition to any family, many animal experts recommend against introducing a new pet, especially a young one, into the family during the holiday hustle and bustle. If you have your heart set on surprising the family, present a “gift voucher” for the dog and pick one out together after the holidays.
Regardless of when you acquire your new best friend, BBB and the American Kennel Club offer the following advice:
Don’t fall victim to puppy scammers. Because of the emotional investment in buying or adopting a puppy, scammers look to take advantage of unsuspecting consumers. Make sure to ask around for a breeder, rescue group or shelter referral. Always check out the business’s BBB Business Review at bbb.org.
Never send money without first checking a breeder or shelter’s credentials. If you find a puppy online, do not send money without speaking to the breeder or shelter and checking references and credentials first. Ask if the breeder is a member of an American Kennel Club-affiliated club and contact the club to verify membership.
Don’t support puppy mills. Insist on visiting the breeding facility before the purchase and bring your puppy home personally. When you have a puppy shipped from another area, you don’t know how that puppy has been treated, how healthy or young it is, or whether or not the puppy exists at all.
Don't be fooled by a well-designed website. Unscrupulous scammers often create professional-looking but fraudulent websites designed to lure potential buyers in with cute puppy pictures.
If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Beware of scammers who offer to rehome their purebred puppy in exchange for transportation or vaccination fees. If a free purebred puppy sounds too good to be true, it usually is. Scammers will continually ask for more money for unexpected – and fraudulent – costs.
Start With Trust. For more consumer and holiday tips, visit wynco.bbb.org or call 970-484-1348 or 800-564-0371.