Risks of Buying a Pet Online

by Dr Tim Kirby | 3 min read     March 9th, 2021


Never in our history, have we seen such a demand for pets. Why, you may ask? We’ve partnered with Dr Tim Kirby, veterinary surgeon, founder and owner of PetBond for more insights on this and to highlight the risks of buying pets online.

 The Demand for Pets

 The past year has visited many challenges for humans on an unprecedented global scale, and as we drag ourselves from the jaws of COVID-19 we are seeing some amazing human trends and behaviours emerge like never before. None more dramatic than the ground- breaking demand for dogs by all sectors of society, and this trend is evident on a global scale.

What is the human rationale for such a desire for pets during the most challenging chapter of our human existence? Perhaps during challenging times like this, we see the innate beauty of animals and the pure unadulterated honesty they bring to our chaotic existence. Is it the peace, happiness and gratitude their very presence brings to our daily routines which is now made more obvious given the gift of time we have to spend with them as a result of multiple lockdowns? Regardless of the logical rationale for such a demand for pets, the bond between pets & humans has never been as strong.

Owner smiling at dog

Benefits of Owning A Pet

Pets not only make us physically healthy through regular exercise and activity, they also benefit our mental health enormously. It has been scientifically shown that pets reduce stress, anxiety and depression whilst also increasing happiness and our mood. Pets trigger good hormones within us such as oxytocin, and these have enormous benefits on us a whole. Stroking a dog or cat has proven to lower blood pressure, and who doesn’t enjoy talking to their dog after a hard day at work? Pets are without doubt, one of the greatest joys in our society and it is our moral duty to ensure that they are treated with love, respect and care from the earliest moments of their existence.

 Unethical Breeders

 In modern society, the unprecedented demand for pets has created a vacuum where opportunistic people have invaded the space by supplying pets in a wholly unethical and solely profitable manner. The health & welfare of puppies in particular has been sacrificed by such individuals, as the life of a puppy is merely a surrogate for cash.

 Sadly, we see puppies being born and denied the absolutely critical socialisation & health needs which allows them to grow into happy & healthy dogs. This dramatically reduces lifespan of such puppies and denies them the opportunity to enjoy that magical bond with other people and pets. This is human decision making having detrimental consequences for our beloved pets.

 Risks of Buying Online

 With the COVID pandemic, the risks of buying online have been exposed as classified ad websites continue to ignore the basic and intrinsic needs of puppies. The thriving puppy farm industry continues to flourish as ‘anonymous’ and callous breeders supply industrial scale numbers of puppies where the demand is met by un-suspecting pet parents on classified ads websites.

 To help you, here are some signs to watch out for when buying a puppy online:

  • Multiple breeds being advertised by one breeder.
  • A breeder insisting that a puppy is viewed/collected away from its home.
  • People being put under pressure to pay a deposit before even seeing a puppy.

 The lack of traceability & accountability through such online platforms has fuelled a very dark industry for far too long, which is costing thousands of pets their lives each year. Have we lost our moral compass, and should low standards be acceptable in a modern ‘caring’ society? Prospective pet parents should care about the origin of their puppies given the absolute cascade effect this will have on their & their puppy’s life.

Pups in cage

A survey* conducted in 2018 showed that up to 1 in 3 of all puppies bought online either died or became very ill in their first year of life. Worryingly, 1 in 4 people who bought online described their experience as being emotionally & financially traumatic, while 1 in 5 people in hindsight believe they had bought from a puppy farmer. These harrowing statistics underline the current climate where technology and online experiences are being violated when sourcing pets are considered.


 *The Survey was conducted in 2018 by the Kennell Club UK on 2,400 new pet owners.


 PetBond is a safe & trusted online platform where you can source a happy & healthy pet. With peace of mind, you can safely choose from any of PetBond’s approved breeder or rescue centre options. PetBond is run by vets, who care.

 “At Pet- bond, we appreciate the un-paralleled knowledge, insight and care that vets can offer both pets & people as they look to meet in this digital age. We do not see technology as an enemy, it is our best friend in fact.” Dr Tim Kirby, founder of PetBond.

 The online world is part of our modern fabric, and must be embraced with specific tailoring to our needs. PetBond have created a unique network of care where great pets meet great people online.

“The bond you have with your pet is special, and this is why we do what we do.” Dr Tim Kirby

For more information on PetBond visit: https://petbond.ie/

At Allianz, we are delighted to support PetBond by advertising on their site, knowing it is a safe and trusted platform.

Dr Tim Kirby
Veterinary Surgeon, Founder & Director of PetBond