10 Considerations Before Buying a Dog From Craigslist

Thinking about getting a dog from Craigslist? Hold your horses! While finding a furry companion online may seem easy and convenient.

However, there are many potential risks and factors you must consider before making such a big decision. Here are 10 important things you should keep in mind before going down this route.

The Popularity of Buying Dogs from Craigslist

Craigslist is one of the world’s largest online marketplaces, where you can buy anything from furniture to cars to pets. The platform connects buyers with sellers in their local area, making it easy to find what they need without having to leave home. This convenience factor is what draws many people to buy dogs from Craigslist. 

Another reason why buying dogs from Craigslist is popular is that it can be more affordable than going through traditional channels such as pet stores or breeders. On Craigslist, you may find puppies or adult dogs at lower prices than you would at a pet store or breeder. 

Some sellers even give away dogs for free! This can be very attractive for those looking to bring home a new furry family member on a tight budget. 

The Importance of Considering Before Buying a Dog from Craigslist

No matter how tempting it may be to purchase a dog off Craigslist quickly and cheaply, it’s important that you take careful consideration before making this huge commitment – both financially and emotionally. The choice affects not only your life but also the life of your new pet — who will rely on you for food, shelter, and love. 

You need to be fully prepared to take on this responsibility before deciding to buy a dog. There are several factors that you will want to take into account before deciding on buying a dog off Craigslist. 

These include things like researching the breed, checking the seller’s reputation, understanding the adoption process, and the financial responsibility that comes with owning a pet. In this article, we will dive into these factors in more detail so that you can make an informed choice when it comes to bringing home your new best friend. 

10 Things to Consider Before Buying a Dog from Craigslist

1. The Dog’s Breed

One of the most important things to consider when buying a dog from Craigslist is the breed. Dogs come in all shapes, sizes, and personalities, so it is crucial to research the breed before making a decision. One thing to keep in mind is that every breed has its own set of characteristics and traits, such as energy level and temperament. 

Researching Temperament

Some breeds are known for being energetic and playful, while others are more laid-back and calm. Some breeds may be prone to aggression or anxiety if not properly socialized or trained. 

It is essential to understand the breed’s personality and temperament before making a decision. This will help you determine if this particular breed will fit into your lifestyle and living situation. 

Researching Energy Level

The energy level of a dog can also play an important role in your decision-making process. Some breeds require a lot of exercise and activity each day, while others may be content with just a walk around the block. This is especially important to consider if you live in an apartment or have limited outdoor space available for your new furry friend. 

Researching Health Issues

It’s also crucial to research any potential health issues that may be associated with certain breeds before making a selection. Some dogs may have genetic predispositions towards specific medical conditions like hip dysplasia or heart disease that could require costly veterinary care down the line. 

By researching these factors carefully before choosing which Craigslist pup you want to take home, you can make sure that both you and your new furry friend are well-matched for one another’s personality types, lifestyle needs, energy levels, health issues – everything! Doing this ensures the best experience for both owner and pet alike so that everyone involved can enjoy a long and happy life together. 

2. Checking The Seller’s Reputation

When looking to buy a dog from Craigslist, it is crucial to research and check the seller’s reputation. While Craigslist has its rating system, it may not give you the whole picture. 

It is important to read through the reviews and ratings provided by previous buyers carefully. This will allow you to better understand the seller’s history, including their communication skills, honesty, and overall reliability. 

In addition to reading reviews on Craigslist, it is also worth asking for references or recommendations from previous buyers of dogs from the seller. This can be especially helpful if you have any specific concerns about the breed or dog that you are interested in buying. 

You can ask questions about their experience with the seller and if they encountered any issues regarding their purchase. This information can help ensure that your dog-buying experience goes as smoothly as possible. 

3. Checking Reviews and Ratings on Dog Craigslist

When checking a seller’s reviews and ratings on Craigslist, it is important to take your time and read through them carefully. Look for patterns in reviews that may indicate potential concerns or red flags such as sellers not answering questions honestly or providing false information about the dog’s health history. If there are negative reviews present, consider reaching out to those who left them personally via email or phone call to gain more insight into their experience with the seller. 

Keep an eye out for positive feedback too! Often these can provide valuable reassurance that you are dealing with an honest and reliable seller. 

It’s important to research the seller’s reputation before you buy a dog from Craigslist. This can help you avoid problems later when you have your new dog at home. Don’t be afraid to ask for references or recommendations from other people in addition to checking the reviews they have online. This extra step can give you extra confidence and help you make a good decision. 

4. The Dog’s Age

When looking to buy a dog from Craigslist, one of the first things you should consider is the age of the dog you want. There are pros and cons to both puppies and adult dogs, so it’s important to weigh them carefully before making your decision. 

Considering if You Want a Puppy or An Adult Dog

Puppies are cute, playful, and full of energy. But they require a lot of attention and training to ensure they grow up to be well-behaved adults. 

Potty training, socialization with other dogs and humans, obedience training – all these tasks come with getting a puppy. Furthermore, puppies need frequent visits to the vet for vaccinations and check-ups. 

However, it can be incredibly rewarding to watch your puppy develop into a well-trained adult dog. On the other hand, adult dogs can already have some training under their belt. 

Older dogs are usually better at controlling their bladder than puppies and have behaviors that are more calm and more relaxed. This can be helpful for people who prefer dogs that are not too active. However, older dogs may have health problems or habits that are hard to change. It’s important to ask for their medical records and history before you decide to adopt them.

Understanding Dog Age Group

The choice between getting an adult dog or a puppy is important for your lifestyle, not just your preference. If you get a puppy, you might have to stay up late at night to teach them how to behave but you can also have fun playing with them in the park to help them learn to socialize (if it’s safe due to COVID restrictions). With an older dog, they already know how to behave around people but they may have some health problems or behaviors that need to be fixed right away.

Whatever age group you choose when buying from Craigslist, think about the long-term commitment you are making to this new furry family member. The age of the dog should be following your lifestyle and capacity to provide for their needs. 

5. The Dog’s Health History

Asking for Medical Records and Vaccination History

Before buying a dog from Craigslist, it’s important to ask the seller for the dog’s medical records and vaccination history. These documents will provide valuable information on the dog’s health and any medical conditions it may have. 

Knowing this information can help you make an informed decision on whether or not to purchase the dog. Medical records can also provide insight into any previous injuries or illnesses that the dog may have had. 

A history of recurring illnesses or surgeries could indicate potential ongoing health issues that will require extra care and attention. Additionally, if the dog has been treated for certain conditions in the past, you can prepare yourself for any potential future treatments that may be necessary. 

Checking for Any Genetic Predispositions to Illnesses

In addition to asking about a dog’s medical history, it is important to research its breed and check for any genetic predispositions to certain illnesses. For example, some breeds are more prone to hip dysplasia or respiratory issues than others. Understanding these predispositions can help you determine if you are prepared to handle potential health issues that may arise in your new pet. 

It is also important to note that purebred dogs are often more prone to certain genetic disorders than mixed breeds. This is due to generations of breeding within a specific gene pool. 

If you’re thinking about getting a particular breed of dog, remember that some breeds may be more likely to develop certain health problems based on their genes. You should try to learn as much as you can about the dog’s health and learn if they’re prone to any diseases. This can help you figure out if the dog will be good for your family and lifestyle. However, not all purebred dogs will have these conditions.

6. Meeting The Dog in Person

Before deciding to bring a furry friend into your life, it’s essential that you meet the dog in person. While pictures and descriptions posted on Craigslist can be tempting, they won’t give you a complete idea of the dog’s personality and behavior. 

Setting up a meeting with the seller will allow you to interact with the dog and see how it responds to different stimuli. During your meeting, observe how the dog interacts with people. 

Does it seem friendly and approachable? Or is it shy, aggressive, or fearful? 

If there are other dogs or pets around, observe their behavior towards them as well. It’s best to pick a neutral location for this meeting, so you can see how the dog behaves in an unfamiliar environment without being influenced by its usual surroundings. 

7. Meeting with The Seller

If possible when setting up a meeting with the seller, ask if you can visit where they keep their dogs before going through formalities like paperwork or payment. This will allow you to observe how the dogs are kept and assess their living conditions. 

Are they clean, well-fed, and taken care of? Are there signs of abuse or neglect? 

You should also take this opportunity to ask any questions about the dog’s history that may not have been included in their Craigslist post. For example, what kind of food does it eat? 

What is its daily routine like? Has it been trained before? 

When buying a dog from Craigslist, there are risks you need to consider. There’s a chance you might get tricked and lose your money, or that the pet might not be healthy or well-behaved. However, if you take some extra precautions before you take the pet home, you can increase your chances of finding a great pet that fits well in your home and your life.

8. Dog Craigslist Adoption Process

Adoption Fees and Requirements

One of the first things to consider when adopting a dog from Craigslist is the cost. Adoption fees vary from seller to seller, but it is important to understand what you are paying for. It is not uncommon for adoption fees to cover medical expenses, such as vaccinations and spaying/neutering, as well as other costs associated with caring for the dog. 

Some sellers may also require a deposit or a down payment before finalizing the adoption. In addition to understanding the fees involved in adopting a dog from Craigslist, it is important to be aware of any other requirements set by the seller. 

This may include completing an application or providing proof of income or residency. Be sure to review all requirements before committing to adopt a dog from Craigslist so you can ensure that you meet all qualifications. 

Finalize The Adoption Process

When adopting a dog from Craigslist, it is important to obtain all the necessary paperwork to finalize the adoption process. This includes documentation of any medical procedures completed on the dog, such as vaccinations and spaying/neutering. 

It may also include proof of ownership and registration papers. Before finalizing the adoption process, be sure that all paperwork has been provided and reviewed thoroughly. 

If any questions or concerns arise during this process, don’t hesitate to ask questions and seek clarification. Remember that buying a dog on Craigslist comes with some risk so make sure you take your time throughout this entire process before making your decision on whether or not it’s worth it for you and your family. 

9. Dog Craigslist Training Needs

Is Training Necessary for Your New Dog?

Not every dog requires training, but it’s essential to determine if your new furry friend does before bringing them home. For instance, puppies need initial training to learn basic commands such as sit, stay, and come. On the other hand, older dogs may require additional specialized training depending on their temperament and behavior. 

A well-trained dog can become an excellent companion in your home. They are more obedient and less likely to engage in destructive behavior such as chewing furniture or digging holes in the yard. 

A trained dog also has fewer issues with aggression toward people or other animals. Therefore, it’s crucial to evaluate your new dog’s personality and behavior before deciding if they require training. 

Checking Local Training and Trainers

After identifying that your new pooch needs some extra help with obedience or socialization skills, you’ll need to research local trainers or facilities that can help you achieve those goals. Start by asking friends or family members for recommendations of trainers they have worked with in the past. 

You can also search for local trainers’ reviews on sites like Yelp or Google Reviews. Consider factors like the trainer’s experience level, credentials, and cost when selecting a trainer. 

Alternatively, you may choose a group training class instead of private sessions with a trainer. Group classes offer opportunities for socialization with other dogs while learning obedience commands together. 

Be sure to research different class options in your area so that you can select the best one for your dog’s needs and personality type. Investing in professional training for your new dog is often a wise decision that will lead to a happier life together long-term! 

10. Financial Responsibility

When it comes to buying a dog from Craigslist, financial responsibility is one of the most important things to consider. Owning a dog can be expensive, and it’s essential to be prepared for the costs that come along with it. 

Some of the expenses you’ll need to consider include food, veterinary care, grooming, training, and supplies. Before buying a dog from Craigslist, take some time to calculate how much you can expect to spend each month on your new pet. 

Think about your budget and whether you can afford the added expenses. Consider setting up an emergency fund specifically for your dog so that you’re prepared for unexpected costs like emergency vet visits. 

Adopting vs Buying

If buying a dog from Craigslist is too expensive for you, you could think about adopting a dog instead. Many rescue organizations and animal shelters will let you adopt dogs at a lower cost than buying from a breeder or a dog on Craigslist. What’s more, many of these dogs are already spayed or neutered and may have been trained or received medical care before being put up for adoption.


Before buying a dog from Craigslist, there are several crucial factors that you should consider carefully. Doing your research ahead of time will ensure that you find the perfect companion who fits well with your lifestyle and will bring joy into your life. 

Remember to research the breed thoroughly before deciding if it’s right for you. Check the seller’s reputation and meet the dog in person before making any decisions. 

Don’t forget about financial responsibility either – owning a pet can be expensive but worthwhile if planned. With these considerations in mind when looking at dogs on Craigslist, you’re sure to find the perfect furry friend who will become an integral part of your family in no time! 

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