Checklist for buying a pet online

Don't buy a pet directly online without seeing it first.

When buying a pet online, pay attention to at least the following:

1. Is the seller's full name and contact information visible in the sales announcement?
2. Are there any misspellings, peculiar expressions, or strange words in the sales announcement? This may be a sign that the website has been translated by a translation machine.
3. Find information about other buyers' experiences with the seller. In addition to the name, try searching with the seller's contact information, such as the email address.
4. Verify the seller's identity before making a purchase decision. If you are not sure who you are buying from, DO NOT buy!
5. Is the seller in a hurry to sell the pet? Always be precautious about urgent deals. Before making a purchase, require to see the pet at least twice at home environment during a longer period of time (for example during the following month).
6. What does the seller tell you about the origin of the pet? Was the pet born in Finland or imported from abroad?
7. If the seller says the pet was born in Finland, has it been taken to a veterinarian for a health examination or vaccinations? Are there any documents proving these appointments?
8. If you are buying a puppy, have you seen the puppy's mother? Does the mother's breed and traits match the puppy for sale? Is the mother looking good and healthy? Where are the rest of the puppies of the same litter?
9. How shall the purchase price be paid? Claim to make a bank account payment, no cash payment.

What if the pet for sale online is imported from within the EU?

1. Can the seller present an EU pet passport?
2. Do the details of the EU pet passport match the details of the pet for sale online (age, name, microchip number, date of issue of the passport)?
3. Check with the pet passport whether the pet has been vaccinated with rabies before importation and when. What about echinococcus medication?
4. Can the seller present a TRACES health certificate?

What if the pet for sale online is imported from outside the EU?

1. Has the pet been imported to Finland through veterinary border control? Can the seller present a Common Health Entry Document (CHED) to prove this?
2. As regards the import from certain third countries (for example Ukraine), a rabies antibody certificate is required. Remember that it is not possible at all to legally import and sell pets/dogs less than 7 months from these countries due to import requirements! You can check import requirements by country of origin using a search engine (In Finnish).
3. See requirements for importing pets from third countries here or try a search engine (in Finnish).

Warning signs

1. The sales announcement contains misspellings, strange phrases, or inaccurate information about the seller.
2. A seller calling him/herself a professional breeder does not have his/her own website at all and the puppies are not sold through a breed association's website.
3. The seller is in a hurry to sell the pet.
4. The seller sells a pet of a rare or popular breed without waiting periods or queuing.
5. The pet is sold at significantly lower price than normal.
6. The purchase price is to be paid in cash. The seller does not have a bank account number on which to make a payment.
7. No written bill of sale is drawn up.

Please report to the local or provincial veterinarian in your area if the seller's announcement is suspicious, or the animal you are purchasing doesn't match the seller's information, or the animal becomes ill soon after the purchase.


Page last updated 4/20/2021