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How to Buy an Animal Using a Sales Contract

If you are considering buying an animal, such as a dog, from a breeder, it is best to get the terms of the sale put down into a sales contract. This helps avoid problems occurring down the road due to simple misunderstandings between you and the breeder.

Sales contracts can be tailored as is necessary to reflect the parties’ mutual promises. Think about the specific things that are important to you in this transaction and try to put it down in writing in a way that both parties can agree on. The list below can help guide you when creating your agreement.


Naturally, you are going to want a fair price, so make sure to do your research before making an offer. Once you agree on a price, you will want to clarify as to what will be included in it. Does the price include vaccinations, spaying, or neutering, or just the animal?


If you care about the animal having a particular pedigree, explain so in the contract. Consider making the final purchase contingent on having the animal examined by an independent third party who can verify the pedigree, health, and other characteristics of the animal. You can also try to require that the seller attach a certificate of the parent’s pedigrees or include the registration numbers of the parents.


The seller should describe the health history of the animal in the agreement, including when and which vaccinations it has received. It is also common for sellers to provide a guarantee that the animal is healthy besides those health issues listed. This may seem odd, but this will reduce the risk of the seller hiding a known health condition and may even provide protection in the event that the seller was unaware. Consider adding a clause that says you can return the animal or have the seller pay your bills if a vet finds an expensive health problem within a month of purchase.

Other Seller Guarantees

Include any other guarantees made by the seller. For instance:

  • Is the animal supposed to be trained for a particular purpose? Perhaps you are buying a show dog and need it to have some basic training already to prove that it can learn commands.
  • Are there other qualities that the seller is guaranteeing, such as size or temperament?


If it is important to you that the animal be registered, indicate:

  • whether or not the seller will be sending you an application for registration,
  • when you will receive it, and
  • the type of registration to be applied for.

Finalizing Your Agreement

After you have finished completing your sales contract, have both parties sign it and make sure that each gets a copy of the signed agreement. It is a good idea for the parties to talk a few days after the buyer receives the animal to make sure everything is going well and resolve any issues that have popped up.