Safely Purchase a Puppy Online: How-To

jesika jesika · Updated January 16, 2024

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Are you thinking about adding a puppy to your home? Puppies can be an adorable, loving addition to your family.

In the age of technology, buying a puppy online is becoming more popular. While this makes it much easier to find the perfect canine companion, it is also important to be aware of various scams you could encounter.

There are many questions to ask when buying a puppy online such as, how to buy a puppy from a distance or better yet, how to buy a puppy out of state?

This guide will tell you all you need to know about how to buy a puppy online and will also tell you how to avoid puppy buying scams, and how to make sure a breeder is reputable.

Keep reading to learn more!

Finding a Reputable Breeder

Before buying a puppy, it’s important that you find a reputable breeder. While there are many wonderful breeders, there has also been an increase in online scams among the breeder community.

These scammers can often pose as puppy breeders with fake photos of puppies for sale with the motive to bilk customers out of money.

Other times, some breeders could run puppy mills where dogs are bred in poor conditions and sold with health problems that they do not disclose to the owner, all in the name of making money.

Here are some ways to know if a breeder is reputable:

Verbal Communication

A reputable breeder will have consistent communication when selling you a puppy. This includes phone calls, video chats, or an in-person meeting if the breeder is within visiting distance.

If the breeder only communicates through email and refuses to speak to you on the phone or, better yet, video call, then chances are good they are running a scam.

Suspicious Payment Methods

A reputable breeder will always offer normal payment methods. This includes debit, credit, or PayPal.

If the breeder you’re dealing with only offers non-traceable transactions such as Bitcoin, Western Union, or MoneyGram, they are likely a scam and should be avoided.

Abnormally Low Prices

Many fake breeders will charge ridiculously low prices to draw buyers in. Naturally, the buyer will  think they are receiving a great deal when in reality it is a common scam tactic.

To avoid this, make sure to research the breed of the dog you are looking at and see how much is the usual price. If there is a drastic difference between the usual price and the price offered by the breeder, it is probably a scam.

Fake Puppy Photos

It’s important to be wary of the puppy photos in the breeder’s advertisement. A scammer will usually take a puppy photograph from the internet and use it in the ad.

When communicating with the breeder, make sure to ask for several pictures of the puppy that you’re interested in. Usually, you can tell by the photos if the puppy is real. You can even ask for specific types of shots of the puppy to make sure.

A reputable breeder will be happy to send you photographs of the puppy you’re interested in.

If you’re still suspicious, you may benefit from trying a Google reverse image search to see if the same photograph of the puppy comes up from other websites.


Finally, it’s absolutely necessary that the breeder provides you with your puppy’s documentation. The name and logo of the breeding company should always be on the puppy’s documents.

Likewise, the puppy’s documentation should provide thorough information on the puppy’s identity, history, and any known health issues.

A breeder should also supply something called a health guarantee, which ensures that the breeder will be in charge of covering any costs if the puppy is diagnosed with a health issue after being purchased.

If a breeder refuses to give you a health guarantee, then it’s highly possible that the breeder could be covering up health or genetic issues that the puppy may have.

Transporting Your Puppy

So you’ve managed to find a reputable breeder, the payment has been made, and now the puppy is ready to be transported to its new home. It’s important for your puppy to be safely transported by a great transportation company.

There are quite a few ways that your puppy can be transported. This usually depends on the distance between you and the breeder.

Here are some transportation options you can consider for your new puppy:

Transporting by Plane

Many people choose to have their new puppy transported by plane. This is especially common if the puppy is out of state.

Your puppy will remain in the cargo hold of the airplane during the flight and will be transported to an airport near you.

It’s important to note that airlines often have certain rules for the puppy being shipped based on factors like their size and age. Consider that traveling in a crate in the cargo area of an airline can be very traumatic for a puppy. There are now Air Nannies who will accompany your puppy on flights for a fee.

Transporting by Car

Another option could be to transport your puppy in its carrier by car. This is a common option for those who live close enough to the breeder, but can also work for cross country transports.

CitizenShipper offers a wide selection of reputable and experienced drivers, and you can choose the one who is right for you and your puppy. You can rest assured that your CitizenShipper driver will keep your puppy safe and comfortable, and provide you peace of mind by keeping you updated with the status of the journey and even pics of your pup.

How to Buy a Puppy Online

Now you know everything you need to know about how to safely buy a puppy online. The bottom line is to avoid breeder scams and ensure your puppy is transported safely to your home.

If you’re looking for a highly reputable shipping company, CitizenShipper goes above and beyond to transport pets to their new homes safely—start getting quotes today. If you are a breeder or are interested in becoming a driver for the company, email us today at