Special for The Dallas Examiner
National Puppy Day is March 23, and social media users can expect an almost constant stream of puppy pictures to take over their feeds throughout the day. After seeing these images, some people may decide that the time is right to add a furry family member to their household or they’ll use the day to treat their canine companion to some new treats and toys. Regardless of how current or prospective pet owners decide to celebrate National Puppy Day, the Better Business Bureau reminds consumers to be cautious when buying products or pets online and provides some specific pet marketplace issues they may want to consider. consideration.
According to the BBB’s 2022 Scam Tracker Risk Report, pets and pet supplies are among the top products used to perpetrate an online shopping scam. Consumer reports to the BBB demonstrate fraudulent sellers advertising kennels, dog beds, toys, and flea or tick medications. Fraudsters can use a stock photo of a pet available for adoption or purchase, and after an initial payment is made, the buyer begins to experience complications and additional costs arranging transportation. Additional fees typically used include medication, insurance, quarantine or kennel procedures. When the buyer tries to abandon the transaction, some scammers may threaten them with pet abandonment charges.
“Scammers can quickly go from being friendly to aggressive when running a pet scam,” said Heather Massey, vice president of communications for the BBB. “In the beginning, they encourage engagement with beautiful photos and a story revolving around finding a great, loving home for the pet. Eventually, when the buyer starts asking for their money back or tries to walk away from the transaction , the scammer often threatens them with legal action, all in an effort to keep the money flowing into their pockets.
In addition to keeping an eye out for fraudulent online purchases this National Puppy Day, the BBB provides a few additional market issues the organization has noted that use pets as a catalyst:
When a pet runs away from your home or yard, it can be devastating to your family as you worry about their safety and health, especially during extreme weather conditions. Desperate to find their missing pet, many owners are taking to social media asking their community to keep tabs. Unfortunately, scammers take advantage of their calls for help and will contact the owner claiming that they have found their pet, but will only return it in exchange for a reward. Be careful with the amount of information you provide when posting a missing pet, and always try to keep a feature hidden from the post or picture that you can use to verify that the person claiming to have your pet actually has it.
Dog sitter or dog sitter
For busy pet owners, a dog walker or dog walker is a great option to make sure their canine companion is well-groomed when they’re out of town or otherwise unable to exercise their pet on a regular basis. However, it is important to carefully choose an individual or company that specializes in pet care due to the access they are granted to your residence and the trust that is placed in them to keep the pet safe. Be sure to read reviews carefully when considering any of these services, and to safeguard sensitive information or money in your home if the service will be present without you.
Purchase of pet food or treats
Some individuals or small businesses may offer their pet food or treats for sale as a safe and healthy alternative to major brand products. While many of these vendors take great care to ensure that the product is safe for pets to consume, packaging defections that introduce plastic or glass into food can quickly create an emergency and other types of food that the digestive system of your pet are not used to it could make them uncomfortable. Always monitor your pet closely when introducing new food to his diet and carefully inspect the packaging for any signs of damage before giving it to him. Keep in mind that some ingredients that are safe for human consumption, such as xylitol, are dangerous for dogs.
Find a vet
Choosing an ethical and caring veterinarian is a big decision for pet owners who place the well-being of their furry family members in the hands of a stranger. When the need for a veterinarian arises, the pet is often in a vulnerable state and owners place their hope in the expertise of a veterinarian to diagnose and treat the problem. Unfortunately, not all veterinary offices exercise the same level of care in treating their patients, and some pets behave erratically for weeks after being returned to their owner. When looking for a veterinarian, carefully read previous customer reviews on BBB.org and check if or how the company responds to complaints.
To find BBB-accredited groomers, sitters and boarders near you, visit https://www.bbb.org/petscams.