You may not be a professional dog breeder, but it doesn’t take a pro to learn how to deal with prospective pet purchasers. If your dog or cat has had an unexpected litter, and you are doing all you can to find a good home for the animal, there are some useful tactics to employ in the process.  A wise pet owner will ask questions of anyone interested in purchasing a dog or cat, to learn as much as they can about the relevant circumstances.  Before you just start taking money from interested parties, ask these questions to determine whether or not someone is going to provide a healthy and safe living situation for the pet.

Questions to Ask

Be aware that too many questions might seem a bit excessive, especially if they compile a long list of facts to find out. How can you do so without coming across as nosy?  First let the person know that you deeply care about the well-being of these animals, and that though they seem like a wonderful person, you just want to be sure it will be the right fit.  Pose the questions in a conversation-like manner.

Instead of going through a long stack of 3 x 5 cards with the list of questions, and taking feverish notes while the person is talking, read the questions before you have the meeting, so you know what information you really want to get from them.  Then simply have a conversation with the person, picking up tid-bits and finding out details as you go along.  Watch how they respond to the questions, and be sure to write down any contact information/reference details they give you.

  • If this is a caller, ask for their name and phone number.
  • Ask what kind of pet they are looking for, what kind of temperament, and why they want a pet in the first place.
  • Ask if they own their home or rent; and if they rent, are pets allowed by their landlord?   (If you are feeling particularly thorough, you can also ask for the number of the landlord or the apartment complex and get the details on what pet ownership restrictions might exist.)
  • Ask how many people they currently live with, and if their family or roommates know about and supports the purchase of this pet.
  • Ask if they have children, what ages they are, if they have had a pet before. Ask what kind of pets they were, and how the children got along with them. Were there ever any conflicts with the kids and the pets?  How did they resolve them?
  • Ask if they have any current animals in the house, or if they have had pets in the past, find out whatever happened to the pets. Ask how they got them, how long the pets lived and how they died.
  • If they have other pets, ask how they plan to integrate this new pet into the home.
  • Ask if they have a vet they trust, and if they plan to spay or neuter the new dog or cat (if you have not done so already).
  • Ask what kind of training they intend to give the pet. (Do not offer any suggestions until the person has shared their thoughts. This will show you much attention the person has given to these considerations, and how dedicated he might be to the animal’s training.)
  • Ask how much space they have to walk the dog, or what parks are in walking distance to their house?
  • Ask how often they work and what kind of time they might be willing to devote to the care, play and training of their future pet.
  • MOST IMPORTANTLY:  Ask for references. Get the names and phone numbers of 2 personal and one professional reference, so you can find out more about the lifestyle and character of this person.