What is a pet purchase contract? A pet purchase contract guarantees your furry friend's pedigree, registration, and health records. You can purchase a pet without such a guarantee, but it's safe to say both buyer and seller are better off having one. For example, a pet purchase contract can protect the seller from being accused of not informing the purchaser of any pertinent details related to the adoption.

In essence, a pet purchase contract protects both the purchaser and the seller. It states the terms of the agreement from the price of the adoption to the promise to care for the dog's health checks, vaccinations, registration, and more.

Down the road, the purchaser can't accuse the seller of withholding information, and the seller can't turn around and ask for more money. A pet purchase contract also overrides any previous agreements and lays the foundation for a respectable business agreement.

Put It In Writing

If you adopt a dog from a breeder, make sure they're providing you with a written agreement. Specify the terms on either side. In truth, you may not even realize what is being asked of you until you sit down together and hash it all out.

The terms of the agreement will vary, according to your intentions. If you're looking to adopt a purebred, that information needs to be outlined in the agreement. If you want to adopt a rescue, and you're not technically making a purchase, you still want to make sure you've reviewed all the pertinent details that'll allow you to go on to raise a happy and healthy dog.

No matter what, the terms of the contract, buyer, seller, and (if applicable) the breeder must be defined. Any contract must outline the individual role of each party. Don't forget the nitty-gritty details: the parties' names, addresses, telephone numbers, and contact details must be included.

Don't Let Mixed Opinions Sway You

Mixed opinions abound when it comes to pet purchase contracts. Some people believe that since a contract can be nullified, it's a waste of time. Don't let this fool you. Contracts are also another way of protecting the health and welfare of the dog.

A signed contract indicates accepted responsibility for the protection of the dog. The American Kennel Club, for example, suggests clear written agreements that outline the obligations of each party.

Although contracts can vary, there are some basic elements you'll want to see in the pet agreement:

  • The seller has done everything possible to maintain the medical care of the dog.
  • The health of the dog is not to be compromised, under any circumstances.
  • The purchaser must schedule appointments for vaccinations.
  • The purchaser will keep the dog as a household pet, providing adequate shelter, medical care, water, food, and affection.
  • The dog have a fenced-in yard or some other means of healthy exercise.
  • A collar and microchip will be provided.
  • The dog will not take up permanent residence with anyone other than the purchaser.

Puppy Sale Contracts

Unfortunately, the perfect puppy sale contract has yet to be created. Breeders and buyers insert all different kinds of clauses. A puppy with champion parents will come with different terms than a family puppy in a regular household.

In some cases, every puppy in a new litter will require a new contract. The Kennel Club has devised a fairly detailed puppy contract that can be used as a template.

Separation of Parties

A pet purchase contract is also ideal for a couple that is separating or roommates who are going their separate ways. A well-devised agreement will determine how the dog will be cared for.

In the contract, the term "parties" should be used to refer to the pet owners. For couples who are divorcing, they may want to negotiate a visitation schedule and outline who will be responsible for any future costs related to the care of the dog.

For roommates who are going their separate ways, say one of the new rental properties doesn't allow dogs. In that case, it should be outlined that the party who remains in a living arrangement that allows dogs will maintain custody of the pet.

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