Beware the Online Pet “Breeder” – How to Find A New Pet On the Internet


Etobicoke Animal Hospital Shares 2 Ways to Find a Healthy Pet Online

Adding a new puppy or kitten to your family should be a happy time in your life.  While the internet can be a great tool for finding the right puppy or kitten for your family’s lifestyle, be aware it can also be a breeding ground for puppy mills and catteries.  A free ad on the internet means that nowadays anyone can sell animals for profit.

Sadly, misinformed owners become victims to people practicing poor breeding habits.  At our Etobicoke animal hospital, too often we see these pets shortly after purchase.  It is heartbreaking to see an excited new pet owner informed their new found pet is gravely ill with a disease that could have been prevented by simple vaccination.

First: Look for signs of a Reputable Breeder.  These people will openly invite you and your family into their home to see where the puppies or kittens are raised.  They should ask you lots of questions about your own lifestyle, family and living accommodations.  A reputable breeder will really care where their kittens and puppies are going.  They will let you meet the breeding parents, or at least provide lots of information about them.  In some cases certain genetic tests will have been performed on the parents to ensure their health and suitability to be bred.  Also be sure to look for proof that the breeder has pursued preventative care for their puppies or kittens.  Our Etobicoke animal hospital agrees that first vaccines and de-worming are a common practice of responsible breeders!  If the breeder is vague about any of these important pieces of information, be very cautious.

Second: Beware of the Internet Breeder that posts cute photos of many different animals.  They rope people in with photos that tug your heartstrings, but are hiding the true nature of the operation.  Often they charge very high prices for “a pure bred”, that in truth are animals of mixed breed.  Many times these types of people will not allow you to come to their home, but will offer to meet in a public place such as a parking lot.  Even worse some will knowingly sell an unsuspecting new pet owner an animal that is not in good health.  Only for that owner to learn a few days later their pet is sick and in need of expensive veterinary care.  NEVER buy a puppy or kitten with out seeing it first and seeing the conditions it has been raised in.  DEMAND proof of first vaccination or at least one veterinary health check BEFORE sale.

If you are currently looking to add a new pet to your family please contact us and we would be happy to answer any questions you have.  A good resource to find a reputable breeder is the Canadian Kennel Club (www.ckc.ca).  Or better yet, help a pet in need of a home: contact a local shelter or a rescue agency as they are in desperate need of loving families to adopt the pets they have saved.  For example Petfinder.com, or the Etobicoke Humane Society.