It can be easy to fall in love with a puppy online or in person, but before you hand over any cash, you need a puppy health guarantee.
A puppy health guarantee is a contract that outlines the terms and conditions of the sale, including the breeder’s responsibility for the puppy’s health and any potential health issues that may arise.
Understanding Puppy Health Guarantees is crucial before signing a contract. A health guarantee should provide details on the puppy’s health, including information on vaccinations, deworming, and other preventative measures.
It should also outline the breeder’s responsibility for any genetic or hereditary health issues that may arise. Additionally, the contract should specify the timeframe for returning the puppy if any health issues arise and the refund or replacement policy.
It’s your roadmap in the unfortunate instance that your puppy gets sick.
Puppy Health Guarantee: What do You Need to Know?
A Puppy Health Guarantee is a written agreement between the breeder and the buyer that outlines the health conditions and standards the puppy meets at the time of sale. It often includes details about vaccinations, deworming, and screenings for genetic disorders. The guarantee specifies what will happen if the puppy is found to have a health issue within a certain period after purchase, such as offering a replacement puppy or refunding the purchase price.
Here’s everything a puppy health guarantee should cover, as well as some tips about what to do if the breeder doesn’t honor or offer this contract.
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What a Puppy Health Certificate Should Cover
- Puppy’s Name: The name of the puppy, if available.
- Breed: The breed of the puppy.
- Date of Birth: The puppy’s birth date.
- Sex: Whether the puppy is male or female.
- Color and Markings: Description of the puppy’s color and any distinctive markings.
- Microchip Number: If the puppy has been microchipped, the number should be included.
- Sire and Dam Information: Names and possibly registration numbers of the puppy’s parents (sire and dam).
- Licensed Vet’s Name: The name of the veterinarian who examined the puppy.
- Vet Clinic’s Contact Information: Address, phone number, and possibly email.
- Date of Examination: When the puppy was last examined.
- Date of Certificate Issuance: The date the certificate was issued.
- Vaccination Record: A list of all vaccinations the puppy has received, including dates.
- Deworming: Information on treatment for worms and other external parasites.
- Test Results: Any test results for common puppy ailments like giardia, coccidia, and kennel cough.
- Genetic Disorders: Information on any tests conducted for genetic disorders or congenital defects.
- Hips and Elbows: If applicable, OFA or other certification for hips and elbows to rule out dysplasia.
- Infections: Notes on any infections the puppy may have had and treatments administered.
- Allergies: Any known allergies.
- Nutrition: Recommendations for dog food and nutrition.
- Other Observations: Any other health-related observations like hernias, testicles (for males), hypoglycemia, etc.
Financial and Legal Information
- Fees and Expenses: Any fees or expenses related to the puppy’s health care.
- Buyer’s Expense: Information on what expenses are the responsibility of the buyer.
- Date of Sale: When the puppy was or will be sold.
- Proof of Purchase: Some form of proof that the puppy was purchased, often required for warranty or guarantees.
- Return Policy: Information on the return or replacement puppy policy, including days of purchase and conditions like cause of death requiring a necropsy for confirmation.
Certifications and Approvals
- Certification: A statement certifying the health of the puppy.
- Veterinarian’s Signature: The vet’s signature to validate the certificate.
- Seal or Stamp: An official seal or stamp from the vet’s office.
You can use these checkboxes as a checklist to ensure that all necessary information is included in the Puppy Health Certificate.
Genetic Testing to Look for on Your Puppy Health Guarentee
Some breeds should have specific testing for specific diseases. Look for breed specific testing depending on your breed of choice.
- Dalmatians: BAER Testing for congenital deafness.
- German Shepherds: Hip Dysplasia screening, often through OFA or PennHIP methods.
- Golden Retrievers: Tests for Hip Dysplasia and Elbow Dysplasia, as well as genetic tests for Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA).
- Labrador Retrievers: Tests for Hip and Elbow Dysplasia, Exercise Induced Collapse (EIC), and PRA.
- Boxers: Cardiomyopathy and Hip Dysplasia screening.
- Doberman Pinschers: Tests for von Willebrand’s Disease and Dilated Cardiomyopathy.
- Cavalier King Charles Spaniels: Mitral Valve Disease and Syringomyelia screening.
- Bulldogs: Hip Dysplasia and Brachycephalic Syndrome screening.
- Poodles (Standard and Miniature): Tests for Hip Dysplasia, PRA, and von Willebrand’s Disease.
- Collies: Collie Eye Anomaly (CEA) and Multi-Drug Resistance Gene (MDR1) testing.
- Shetland Sheepdogs: CEA and Hip Dysplasia screening.
- Rottweilers: Tests for Hip and Elbow Dysplasia, as well as certain types of cancers.
- Great Danes: Tests for Hip Dysplasia and Dilated Cardiomyopathy.
- Cocker Spaniels: Tests for Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA) and Hip Dysplasia.
- Siberian Huskies: Tests for Hip Dysplasia and certain eye conditions like cataracts.
- Australian Shepherds: Tests for Hip Dysplasia and Hereditary Cataracts, as well as MDR1.
- Bernese Mountain Dogs: Tests for Hip and Elbow Dysplasia, as well as certain types of cancers.
- Newfoundlands: Tests for Hip Dysplasia, Elbow Dysplasia, and Sub-Aortic Stenosis.
- Shar-Peis: Tests for Familial Shar-Pei Fever and Hip Dysplasia.
- Scottish Terriers: Tests for von Willebrand’s Disease and craniomandibular osteopathy (CMO).
Role of a Veterinarian
When you bring your puppy home, it’s important to take them to a veterinarian for a checkup. The veterinarian will examine the puppy and provide you with a health report. The health report should include information about the puppy’s overall health and any health issues that need to be addressed.
If you notice any health issues with your puppy, you should contact the breeder immediately. The breeder may require you to take the puppy to a specific veterinarian for treatment or may offer to pay for the treatment directly.
It’s important to keep all health records and receipts related to your puppy’s health. These records will be useful in case of any health issues covered by the health guarantee.
When it comes to buying a puppy, it’s important to be cautious and aware of scammers. These individuals or groups often use deceptive tactics to take advantage of unsuspecting buyers. Here are some tips to help you spot scammers:
Be Wary of Online Pet Stores
Online pet stores can be a breeding ground for scammers. These stores often offer puppies for sale at lower prices than reputable breeders. However, many of these stores are not legitimate and are simply fronts for scammers.
Look for Red Flags
There are several red flags to look out for when buying a puppy. These include:
- The seller asks for payment via wire transfer or gift cards
- The seller refuses to provide references or a health guarantee
- The seller claims to have multiple breeds available
- The seller offers to ship the puppy without meeting you in person
Do Your Research
Before buying a puppy, do your research on the breeder or seller. Look for reviews and testimonials from previous buyers. Check to see if the seller is a member of any reputable breeder organizations. Ask for references and follow up with them to ensure they are legitimate.
Table: Red Flags to Look Out For
|Payment via wire transfer or gift cards||Scammers often ask for these types of payments because they are difficult to trace|
|Refusal to provide references or a health guarantee||Reputable breeders are happy to provide references and a health guarantee|
|Claims to have multiple breeds available||This is a common tactic used by scammers to lure in unsuspecting buyers|
|Offers to ship the puppy without meeting you in person||This is a red flag because it’s important to meet the puppy and the seller in person before making a purchase|
By being aware of these red flags and doing your research, you can avoid falling victim to puppy scams. Remember, it’s important to take your time and find a reputable breeder or seller who cares about the health and well-being of their puppies.
Puppy Health Guarantee and Spaying/Neutering
Some breeders and pet stores offer a puppy health guarantee that covers certain health conditions for a set period after the puppy is purchased. These guarantees may include provisions related to spaying and neutering. For example, a breeder may guarantee that a puppy will not develop hip dysplasia if it is spayed or neutered before a certain age.
It is important to carefully review the terms of any puppy health guarantee before making a purchase. If the guarantee includes provisions related to spaying or neutering, be sure to understand the potential risks and benefits of these procedures before making a decision.
What to Do When a Breeder Fails to Honor a Puppy Health Certificate: A Comprehensive Guide
The first step in resolving any issue with a breeder who has failed to honor a Puppy Health Certificate is to understand your rights. Before taking any action, thoroughly review the purchase contract and the health certificate. These documents will clarify what was promised by the breeder, whether it’s the overall health of the puppy, conditions for a replacement, or any other remedies that may be available to you.
Building Your Case
If you discover that your new puppy has a health issue that should have been covered by the health certificate, it’s crucial to gather all relevant evidence. This includes all veterinary records, such as diagnoses and test results, as well as any expenses you’ve incurred. Additionally, keep a record of all communications with the breeder. This could be emails, text messages, or even recorded phone calls, as these can serve as proof of commitments or discussions.
Communication is Key
Once you’ve gathered all necessary evidence, the next step is to reach out to the breeder. Initially, a polite but firm approach is often effective.
Clearly outline the problem and ask for a resolution, whether that’s a replacement puppy, a refund, or covering veterinary fees. If the breeder is unresponsive or unwilling to cooperate, escalate the issue by sending a formal written notice.
This should outline the issue, the terms of the contract or health certificate that have been violated, and the action you expect to be taken.
If the breeder continues to be uncooperative, it may be time to consult an attorney who specializes in contract or animal law.
They can guide you on the best course of action, which may include taking the breeder to court. Throughout this process, keep meticulous records of all interactions, attempts at resolution, and incurred expenses, as these will be crucial if legal action becomes necessary.
Reporting and Public Awareness
If all else fails, consider reporting the breeder to relevant authorities. Local or national animal welfare organizations can investigate and take appropriate action.
Filing a complaint with the Better Business Bureau can also contribute to holding the breeder accountable.
As a last resort, you can share your experience on social media platforms or review sites to raise public awareness. However, be cautious and factual in your statements to avoid potential legal repercussions for defamation.
What to Do If a Breeder Doesn’t Offer a Health Certificate: Navigating the Red Flags
When you’re in the process of bringing a new puppy into your life, a health certificate from a reputable breeder is often considered a non-negotiable. This document provides assurance that your new pet is healthy and free from genetic disorders or diseases.
But what should you do if a breeder doesn’t offer a health certificate? This situation can be a significant red flag, but there are steps you can take to protect yourself and your future furry family member.
Investigate the Breeder’s Reputation
The absence of a health certificate could be a sign of a less-than-reputable breeder. Conduct thorough research to understand the breeder’s reputation.
Look for reviews or testimonials, and consider reaching out to previous customers to hear about their experiences.
Ask for Veterinary Records
If a health certificate isn’t available, ask the breeder for any veterinary records or proof of vaccinations and deworming. While this isn’t a substitute for a comprehensive health certificate, it can provide some level of assurance about the puppy’s health status.
Consult Your Veterinarian
Before making any decisions, consult with your veterinarian. Share the information you have, and ask for their professional opinion. They may recommend specific tests or screenings that can be done to ensure the puppy is healthy.
If you’re still interested in proceeding without a health certificate, it may be wise to consult a legal advisor familiar with animal or contract law. They can help you understand your rights and what to include in a purchase agreement to protect yourself.
Consider Other Breeders
If the absence of a health certificate raises too many concerns, it might be best to consider other breeders who provide all the necessary documentation. Remember, a responsible breeder will always be willing to prove the health and well-being of their puppies.
It may also be wise to report the breeder to authorities to ensure they’re complying with laws and treating animals ethically.
What a Good Breeder Offers Besides a Health Certificate
Show Dog Versus Pet Dog
A reputable breeder does more than just provide a health certificate for your new puppy. They often differentiate between “pet quality” and “show quality” pups in their contracts.
Pet-quality puppies are generally sold with limited registration, meaning they can participate in all AKC events except Conformation. These puppies are not intended for breeding and may have spay and neuter clauses in their contracts.
Show-quality puppies, on the other hand, come with different sets of responsibilities and expectations. The breeder might require periodic health screenings, including checks for genetic disorders and congenital defects, as well as OFA certification for hips and elbows to rule out elbow dysplasia.
Contracts may also specify who is responsible for whelping and placing puppies, and may include details about fees, expenses, and other financial arrangements.
Spay and Neuter Clauses
Most contracts for pet-quality dogs require them to be spayed or neutered. The timing for this procedure can vary, and it’s crucial to consult with a licensed vet to align with the breeder’s requirements to be sure it’s the healthiest time for the dog.
Life is unpredictable, and issues like allergies, relocation, or financial problems can arise. Good breeders want to be notified of any change in ownership or if the dog develops any health issues like kennel cough or hypoglycemia.
This clause ensures that the breeder can continue to monitor the well-being of the pups they’ve brought into the world.
Puppy Naming Conventions
When it comes to registration papers, the breeder may require specific naming conventions that include their kennel name. This is often stipulated in the contract, and it’s essential to adhere to these guidelines when filling out AKC registration papers.
The Weird Stuff
Some breeders have unique clauses, like requiring an annual photo of the dog to ensure its well-being. While these may seem odd, they often have a rationale behind them. Always read the contract carefully and discuss any concerns with the breeder.
Purchasing a puppy is a significant commitment that goes beyond the initial purchase price. A good breeder will offer ongoing support and guidance, from providing proof of health certifications to advising on nutrition and vet care. Contracts may also specify conditions for a replacement puppy or refund within a certain number of days of purchase, often requiring a vet diagnosis or even a necropsy to determine the cause of death.
Before signing any contract, make sure you’re comfortable with all its terms. If something feels off, it’s better to reconsider your options. After all, a good breeder is not just selling you a puppy; they’re welcoming you into an extended family of dog lovers.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is included in a typical puppy health guarantee?
A puppy health guarantee is a written agreement between the breeder and buyer that outlines the terms and conditions of the puppy’s health. A typical puppy health guarantee should include information about the puppy’s vaccinations and deworming, as well as any genetic health issues that the puppy may be prone to. It should also specify the length of the health guarantee period, which can vary depending on the breeder.
How long should a puppy health guarantee last?
The length of a puppy health guarantee can vary from breeder to breeder. Some breeders offer a health guarantee that lasts for a few days, while others offer a guarantee that lasts for a few years. It is important to read the health guarantee carefully and understand the terms and conditions before purchasing a puppy.
What is the difference between a genetic health guarantee and a general health guarantee?
A genetic health guarantee covers any genetic health issues that the puppy may be prone to, such as hip dysplasia or heart problems. A general health guarantee covers any health issues that the puppy may have, such as an ear infection or a cold. It is important to understand the difference between the two types of guarantees when purchasing a puppy.
What should I do if my puppy gets sick during the health guarantee period?
If your puppy gets sick during the health guarantee period, you should contact the breeder immediately. The breeder may require you to take the puppy to a specific veterinarian or may offer to cover the cost of veterinary care. It is important to follow the terms and conditions outlined in the health guarantee to ensure that your puppy receives proper care.
What happens if the breeder does not honor the health guarantee?
If the breeder does not honor the health guarantee, you may have legal recourse. It is important to keep all documentation related to the purchase of the puppy, including the health guarantee and any veterinary records. If you have any issues with the breeder, you should contact a lawyer or a local animal welfare organization for assistance.
Is a health guarantee required when buying a puppy from a breeder or pet store?
A health guarantee is not required by law when purchasing a puppy from a breeder or pet store. However, it is recommended that you purchase a puppy from a reputable breeder who offers a health guarantee. A health guarantee can help protect you and your puppy from any health issues that may arise after the purchase.
|Frequently Asked Questions||Answers|
|What is included in a typical puppy health guarantee?||Information about vaccinations, deworming, genetic health issues, and length of guarantee.|
|How long should a puppy health guarantee last?||It can vary from a few days to a few years, depending on the breeder.|
|What is the difference between a genetic health guarantee and a general health guarantee?||A genetic health guarantee covers genetic health issues, while a general health guarantee covers any health issues.|
|What should I do if my puppy gets sick during the health guarantee period?||Contact the breeder immediately and follow the terms and conditions of the health guarantee.|
|What happens if the breeder does not honor the health guarantee?||You may have legal recourse. Keep all documentation related to the purchase.|
|Is a health guarantee required when buying a puppy from a breeder or pet store?||No, but it is recommended to purchase from a reputable breeder who offers a health guarantee.|