Puppy Health Guarantee – What It Is & Why You Need It

Puppy Health Guarantee – What It Is & Why You Need It

When buying a new puppy from a professional breeder, buyers should always ask for a puppy health guarantee if it is not automatically provided.

These important documents not only assure budding owners of the trustworthiness of a breeder and the treatment of the dogs in their care but also spares them a lot of heartbreak and expensive vet bills in the future. So what is a puppy health guarantee and why do you need one? Let’s go!

What is a Puppy Health Guarantee

Health guarantees are a document of guarantee that the puppy for sale is free of any genetic health conditions. It should also state that they have received all of the essential vaccinations. As well as an overall health check by a vet. It may also include an agreement from the buyer to the breeder of their promise to look after the puppy.

Breeders usually declare their guarantees on their websites and are easily accessible. Just ask the breeder if you can’t find it. Always ask for a written or printed, signed copy of it to keep for yourself, just in case. If they don’t offer one, ask for one or find a different breeder. If you’ve already fallen in love with the dog, take them to be check over by a vet as soon as you can.

What Happens if the Puppy Gets Ill

Some contracts offer owners reimbursement from breeders for their vet bills should the dog become sick, or test positive for something they’re supposed to be free from or protected against. This requires full determination and proof from a vet. Depending on the breeder, there may be a time limit on this. Sometimes as short as 48 hours – so always read your contracts thoroughly and have new dogs checked out by a vet as soon as possible.

Some breeders offer something similar to an item warranty contract. This is where owners of dogs that do fall ill can be refunded or receive a healthy replacement. We do not, however, encourage anybody who would treat a dog like a product to become an owner. Or a breeder! This kind of contract provides a loophole that could allow breeders to neglect true health checks and should be avoided.

importance of puppy health guarantees
Health guarantees are important because nobody wants to bring home a sick puppy.

Why Do You Need a Puppy Health Guarantee

Whilst they are not a legal requirement, they are highly recommended and advisable to have. A good health guarantee contract is the sign of a trustworthy and credible breeder. It assures budding owners of the treatment of the dogs in their care.

It also spares puppies from inheriting a condition. Depending on the seriousness of which could lead to years of pain, stress, anxiety, and misery for the dogs. Not to mention heartache for the owners and their families.

Puppy health guarantees can also ensure that if your dog does develop a genetic condition, you will receive financial assistance in paying the vet bills to treat it.

What Should A Puppy Health Guarantee Cover

All contracts are different as there is no law defining what a health guarantee should include. So, again, be sure to always read through the contract! That said, these are the things that are typically and should be included in puppy health contracts.

Vaccinations

In most states, puppies legally cannot be sold until they are eight weeks of age or older. By that time, they should have been vaccinated. The health guarantee should explicitly state every jab that they have had.

Puppies should receive a vaccination against canine parvovirus, distemper, leptospirosis, and infectious canine hepatitis that require booster shots every year. Vaccination records should include serial numbers and certificates to prove they have taken place.

Check-Ups

The health guarantee should also declare that the puppy has undergone a health check-up and veterinary documentation to prove it. That said, it’s still best to have them check by your own vet for peace of mind.

Most guarantees also state that if your vet picks up on something that theirs did not, they may have to reimburse you for the fees that will follow to fix it.

Genetic & Breed-Specific Conditions

The guarantee should declare that the dog is free of any genetic conditions, and veterinary documentation to prove it. Dogs with serious health conditions that can pass on to their offspring should not be intentionally bred. Veterinary testing such as blood tests can check whether the breeding dogs have certain conditions in their DNA. That said, not all conditions can be prevented and some are more serious than others.

The most common genetic conditions in dogs include hip dysplasia, bladder stones, epilepsy, heart disease, degenerative myelopathy, and brachycephalic syndrome. Certain breeds are more susceptible to certain conditions, such as German Shepherds and hip dysplasia. Be sure to research the breed of dog you’re buying and look out for the relevant conditions on the health guarantee!

Can Puppy Health Guarantees Be Faked

Unfortunately, scammers can fake health guarantee paperwork. It is not hard to do these days because of the internet. To avoid this, always buy from highly-rated breeders with positive reviews and a trustworthy reputation, and visit the puppy in person before making a purchase. This will let you know that the dog is real, healthy, and the conditions that they are living in.

puppy health guarantee from breeders
Most responsible breeders offer a puppy health guarantee.

Puppy Health Guarantees – FAQs

Why do you need a health guarantee?

A good health guarantee contract is the sign of a trustworthy breeder and assures buyers of the treatment of the dogs in their care. It also prevents puppies from inheriting a condition, and owners from buying a puppy with poor health. Guarantees may also ensure the owners of financial assistance should the dog fall ill.

What is included in a puppy health guarantee?

All contracts are different as there is no law defining what a health guarantee should have, but the main contents typically include documentation that the dogs are free of any genetic conditions and proof that they have received all of the essential vaccinations as well as an overall health check by a vet. It may also include an agreement from the buyer to the breeder of their promise to look after the puppy.

The most common genetic diseases and conditions in dogs include hip dysplasia, bladder stones, epilepsy, heart disease, degenerative myelopathy, and brachycephalic syndrome.

Be sure to do your research about the breed of dog you are looking to buy, as certain breeds are more susceptible to getting certain conditions, such as German Shepherds and hip dysplasia. The pups should also receive vaccinations against canine parvovirus, distemper, leptospirosis, and infectious canine hepatitis.

Who benefits from a puppy health guarantee?

If the contract is good – it should benefit the owners, breeders, and the dogs. That said, never sign contracts with loopholes that allow for neglectful treatment, such as ones that say if the dog is ill, you can just swap it for another.

Is it okay not to have a puppy health guarantee?

Although it is not a legal requirement, it is widely recommended and advisable to have a health guarantee for puppies. It prevents a lot of heartache and expensive vet bills from coming your way, as well as an unhealthy and unhappy puppy.

How long do health guarantees last?

This is dependent on the dog’s breed and potential conditions. It may last a year, it may last until the dog is much older. For example, if one of the conditions mentioned on the contract is something that wouldn’t show signs or develop until adulthood, the contract will have to last until then.

What happens if my puppy gets ill?

Some contracts allow owners to be reimbursed by breeders for their vet bills should the dog become sick from something they’re supposed to be free from or test positive for something they were meant to be protected against. Depending on the breeder, there may be a time limit on this, so always read your contracts properly.

Some breeders offer something similar to an item warranty contract, where owners of sick puppies can be refunded or receive a healthy replacement. This kind of contract should be avoided as it provides a loophole that could allow breeders to neglect true health checks and treats dogs disposably.

How can I access the store’s puppy health guarantee?

Guarantees are usually declared by breeders on their websites and are easily accessible, but ask the breeders if you can’t find it and always ask for a written or printed and signed copy of it to keep for yourself, just in case. If they don’t offer one, ask for one or find a different breeder. If you’ve already fallen in love with the dog, take them to be checked out by a vet as soon as you can.

What are other documents I should get when buying a puppy?

When buying from a professional registered breeder, expect to receive registration papers that contain your dog’s unique number, proof of lineage (especially for pedigree dogs), health check and veterinary documentation, and a contract of sale.

Can puppy health guarantees be fake?

Unfortunately, health guarantee paperwork can be faked by scammers. To avoid this, always buy from highly-rated breeders with positive reviews and a trustworthy reputation, and visit the puppy in person before making any purchases.

For pet owners, nothing is more important than the health and happiness of our four-legged friends. If you’re a first-time owner looking for a new puppy, always buy from a reputable breeder and ask for a puppy health guarantee.