If you are considering advertising an animal on Preloved, you want the reassurance of knowing that anyone who gets in touch to offer it a new home will give it all the love, care and attention that it needs throughout its lifetime.
As an advertiser you need to make sure that any potential buyer, along with their lifestyle, will be well-suited to their new pet.
Home to Home
Invite any potential buyers to your home so that they can see the animal with its mother. This will also give you the chance to meet them face-to-face and allow you to get a clearer picture of what they are like and how they interact with animals.
If possible, it is a good idea to ask a potential buyer if you can visit their home to make sure it will be suitable for the animal. Once it has the necessary vaccinations, perhaps you could consider taking the animal along to meet any other pets the new owner may have. However, if you cannot travel to their home, make sure you have assurances that it will be suitable for their new pet. Ask them what kind of property they live in, whether or not it has a garden, do they have other animals. You need to feel confident and happy that the animal is going to the home you would want it to have.
The Price is Right
If you are thinking about advertising any pets and animals on Preloved, we would advise against advertising them as free to a good home. To find out more about the potential pitfalls of giving an animal away, please click here.
Happy and Healthy
Ensure that the animal has the required vaccinations and health checks in place, along with any records to support this. A newborn puppy will need to be wormed after its first fortnight, and worming should be repeated every two weeks. At six to nine weeks it will need its first vaccination. Similarly, keep a diet sheet for a buyer to take with them that shows the food that you have been feeding the animal.
Remember, most animals need to remain with their mothers until they are able to feed themselves. For example, a puppy will generally be old enough to leave its mother at eight weeks, so keeping a puppy chart with the birth date will ensure that you are fully up to date with when your puppy is ready to be re-homed.
Young animals are naturally inquisitive about their surroundings, so when you are taking time to interact and socialise with them make sure you encourage the new owner to do the same and tell them about the experiences the animal has had so far.
It All Adds Up
If a would-be buyer has never owned an animal before, you should make sure that they are fully aware of the costs involved in pet ownership. For example, the regular cost of feeding a dog, worming, flea treatment and insurance, coupled with the occasional veterinary bills can soon add up.
Any animal demands a commitment in terms of time. Whether that is taking a dog for a walk to give it the necessary exercise, cleaning out a rabbit’s pen or playing with a kitten, so ask any would-be owner about their work/life balance so that you are confident they have time in their lives to give an animal the care and attention it will need. You could also ask about any support structure they have in place during times when they are absent. According to theRSPCA one-fifth of people who bought a puppy during the last two years no longer have their dog.
Think about Neutering
It’s worthwhile talking to a new pet owner about the possibility of getting their animal neutered, which is a commonplace procedure that prevents unwanted births in the future and can also have positive health and behavioural impacts.
Make sure your advertisement includes as much detailed information as possible about the animal, along with any distinct requirements it needs from a new home, its temperament, details about its parents, its breed, sex, medical history and whether it would be suited to a home with children, etc. It is also a good idea to upload a good selection of up-to-date images that clearly show any buyer what the animal looks like.
The Write Stuff
As a seller you might consider the option of preparing a written agreement for the new owner to sign. This could include such assurances that the new owner will continue to provide adequate food, water, shelter, kind treatment and veterinary care for the animal and that it will be housed indoors as a member of the family or companion. You might also add a statement from the new owner that, should they no longer be able to keep the animal and provide the above care and attention you, as the prior owner will have first refusal to reclaim the animal at no charge.
If you would like further advice on the wording of an agreement, you should consider approaching such registration authorities as The Kennel Club or the Governing Council of the Cat Fancy who can provide sample contracts to members.