Most of us probably don’t consider it, but selling a puppy is a serious business. Like any other, you should have contracts in place to protect yourself from legal problems that might arise from the sale to an unhappy customer. Contracts spell out all of the expectations of both parties and greatly reduces the risk of arguments. However, nobody likes to deal with legal matters, and creating contracts sounds time consuming and difficult. Some people also worry that a customer might look elsewhere to avoid a contract.
We found most people will sign a contract as long as it’s fair, and there is no harm using a sales template that you can modify to suit your needs to create the document. We’ve assembled several different kinds for you to try out as you need, and they are all suitable for 2021, so keep reading to learn more about the contract templates that are right for you.
What Is a Puppy Contract?
Contracts spell out clearly what one party expects from another over a specific period. It’s more common to see them presented by the seller to legally bind the purchaser to a promise that they won’t breed the animal, get it the proper training, won’t miss any vet visits, etc. These contracts are usually to protect the seller’s business and for the health of the dog. Buyers can also have contracts to ensure the breeder uses healthy parents, performs genetic testing, treats the dogs humanely, etc., to make sure they get a healthy dog that doesn’t come from the mill.
What Should I Expect to See in a Puppy Contract?
The contract should answer all of your legal questions. How much the dog costs, any steps you are required to take, and if you can breed the dog. If it’s not in the contract, it’s not legally binding, so if there is no mention of breeding, you are free to breed.
Most contracts will state all contact information, the dog’s date of birth, breed, and provide a health guarantee. Some health guarantees will require you to return the puppy, so look for contracts that will offer you a second puppy if the first one is unhealthy because you will not want to give up your pet. There will also likely be stipulations about what happens if you become financially unable to care for the dog or are found to be mistreating it.
5 Puppy Contract Templates
1. Animalso Puppy Sales Contract
The Animalso Puppy Sales Contract is a perfect example of a complete and well-thought-out contract that protects the buyer and seller from any legal disputes. Almost everything is covered, and you can also add and remove questions as you see fit. You can change this and any other contract template to suit your specific needs, but this is one of our favorites since it is so complete.
2. Animalso Puppy Sales Contract and Agreement
The Animolso Puppy Sales Contract and Agreement is similar to the last version but is much simpler. Though it is not complex, it has all of the most important points like a health guarantee and also outlines the buyer’s agreement, and outlines what will happen if the buyer needs to get rid of the dog. We believe this contract is suitable for most people.
3. Health Guarantee
The Health Guarantee contract template does exactly what the name suggests. It helps you create a contract that outlines the health of the puppy you intend to purchase or sell. It’s on the simpler side, and you may need an additional contract or modify this one to include any other stipulations you might have, but this will make sure your new puppy is healthy.
4. Spay and Neuter Contract
Sellers will often provide buyers with a Spay and Neuter contract not only to prevent you from breeding the dog against their wishes but to protect the health of the dog. Many dogs can get more aggressive when the heat cycle kicks in and will engage in erratic behavior that can get them into trouble or put them in danger. Some dogs can also be more susceptible to cancer and other health problems later in life if their reproductive organs are kept intact.
5. Puppy Sales Receipt
The Puppy Sales receipt is one of the simpler contracts you can use, and its primary purpose is proof of purchase. It also provides a health guarantee and promises to release AKC registration papers once the pet is spayed or neutered. It also covers accepted payment types and down payments.
What Should I Know About Dog Breeding Before I Sign?
If you are a dog breeder, you will need to have a solid understanding of the breeds you are working with as well as a good knowledge of genetics if you are going to be selling the puppies and providing health guarantees. Each breed has its quirks, and you will need to know how to recognize them in the parents to selectively breed healthy animals.
If you are the buyer, you should know enough about the breed to know you are getting the right dog. Learning more about breeding can help you choose a high-quality breeder and avoid puppy mills.
Do I Need a Contract for a Puppy Deposit?
Since we live in America, you are free to purchase a puppy or deposit down without a contract. However, if the deal goes south, there will be little you could do legally to get your money back, so only take this course of action if it’s someone you can put your trust in to live up to the terms of a verbal agreement. If you have ever put a down payment on a washing machine, television, or other devices, you have had to sign a contract, which is essentially an agreement, so you should expect to do the same thing when purchasing a puppy.
If you are selling the puppy, we recommend using the agreement contract in all cases to protect you and your business from potential lawsuits.
What Should I Do If I’m Concerned About a Breeder?
If you have solid proof that someone is mistreating animals or operating a puppy mill, we highly recommend calling the authorities immediately and finding another place to purchase your dog. You should not attempt to interfere because doing so can put you in harm’s way both physically and financially. Standing up to a puppy mill operator can result in a lawsuit. Most authorities will allow you to report anonymously and look into the problem for you.
We highly recommend using the puppy contracts that we have provided any time you are buying or selling a puppy. These contracts will spell everything out clearly, so there are no accidents. You can also add or remove things from the template as you need to better cater to your needs. If you are signing a contract that someone else provides, we recommend taking the time to read it over carefully not to miss anything in the fine print.
Most contracts will specify the cost as well as the time and type of payment. It should offer a health guarantee, including what the seller will do if there are any health problems. Finally, the contract should stipulate rules about breeding and getting the dog spayed or neutered and whether it is a show quality dog or meant as a pet. If the opposing side refuses to sign, then there is a good chance you weren’t going to be satisfied with your purchase, so it’s better to move on.
We hope you have enjoyed learning more about the legal side of purchasing or selling your puppies and found the answers you need. If we have helped you feel safer about your next transaction, please share these five puppy contract templates on Facebook and Twitter.
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Featured Image Credit: LightField Studios, Shutterstock
- What Is a Puppy Contract?
- What Should I Expect to See in a Puppy Contract?
- 5 Puppy Contract Templates
- What Should I Know About Dog Breeding Before I Sign?
- Do I Need a Contract for a Puppy Deposit?
- What Should I Do If I’m Concerned About a Breeder?