Updated on January 18th, 2021
The dog/puppy bill of sale form is written documentation establishing the transfer of ownership (in regard to a canine) from one individual to another. Specific details pertaining to the transaction are recorded to the agreement along with the seller’s signature. By executing this document, the participants involved are originating proof of the sale that can be referred back to should the exchange ever come into question.
Do I Need a Bill of Sale?
Although it may not be legally demanded to sell or purchase a dog, a bill of sale is always a valuable document to execute, as it acts as a receipt for the transaction. Having evidence of the sale on record works as protection in case you ever have to verify that you own or do not own the animal. Some reasons you may need proof of sale include:
- Dispute – If there is ever a dispute and one party denies the existence of the transaction, a bill of sale is a solid document to present in court.
- Release of Liability – By executing a bill of sale, the previous owner has proof that they have been released of any liability associated with the dog and are no longer legally responsible for the animal.
- Accountability – If one party does not adhere to the provisions set forth within the document, they can be taken to court if they refuse to cooperate with the agreement.
- Tax Purposes – You may use the document as a receipt to refer back to for your tax filings.
How to Sell a Dog/Puppy
Whether you’re a breeder who is trying to make a living selling dogs or you have a pet that you can no longer care for, there are several different approaches you can take to successfully market and sell your animal.
Step 1 – Figuring a Price
The first thing that needs to be determined is the listing price. In order to get an idea of how much the canine is worth, you are going to have to do a market analysis. This means you will need to compare your dog to other similar dogs that are for sale. Scan the classified ad websites to get a general idea of what the market price could be. Some of the factors that determine the value of a dog or puppy would include:
- Breed – Is it a rare or highly demanded breed of dog? Purebred dogs typically go for more money than a mixed dog.
- Age – How old is the animal? Most buyers are interested in purchasing a puppy that they can raise from youth, although some individuals prefer an older dog that is already trained.
- Gender – Is the dog a male or female? Some buyers may prefer one sex over the other. Females tend to sell at a higher price than their male counterparts, but sometimes, depending on the breed, the opposite can occur.
- Size – Is the animal a healthy size for its breed?
- Coat Color – Does the dog have a healthy coat with a unique pattern or markings?
- Health Status – Are there any medical issues concerning the dog? Has it received its proper vaccinations and been spayed or neutered?
- Training – Has the dog received any type of special training?
These are all things that should be taken into consideration when adjusting the price. Keep in mind that there are a lot of dogs available for adoption, so it can be difficult to sell one unless it is a puppy from a quality bloodline.
Step 2 – Advertising
When selling a dog, it is always best to try and find someone you know first. Facebook is a good way to alert friends and family members that you have a pet for sale. Create a post explaining that you are selling your dog and be sure to include a picture, description, and price. If you do not receive any offers, you may expand your range of potential buyers. The most effective way of doing this is to market the animal on a popular ad posting website. Fortunately, there are several sites explicitly devoted to the sale of dogs, puppies, and pets in general. Some of the most prevalent being:
- PuppyFind.com – With a high traffic count, this is a great website for breeders to list their puppies for sale.
- PuppyFinder.com – A popular website where private party sellers, breeders, and rescue groups can post ads for the sale or adoption of a dog/puppy.
- PetClassifieds.us – One of the few classified ad websites available to private party sellers.
- CraigsList.org – Although it may not be specific to the sale of dogs, CraigsList is one of the most popular websites in the country. Under the “Community” section, there is an option labeled “Pets”. There you will be able to create a post and advertise your dog/puppy to the local area.
(Sellers and buyers should use these websites at their own risk, as scams are always a possibility.)
Step 3 – Meeting with the Buyer
When you’re contacted by an interested party, they will typically want to meet in person to examine the dog for themselves. Arrange a meeting in a safe location for a specific time. During the meeting, the potential buyer may inquire about specific information concerning the dog. Be prepared to answer any questions and have all the documentation regarding the animal on hand. It is also important that you screen the individual to ensure your pet is going to a safe, stable environment. Some questions you could ask would be:
- Why do you want a dog?
- Who will be responsible for taking care of the animal on a daily basis?
- Will you be able to provide the dog with all its needs? (vet care, exercise, food, training, grooming, etc.)
- Are there any young children in the household? If so, will they be educated on how to interact with the dog?
You may take it a step further and request references to assure the person is trustworthy. If the buyer is satisfied with the animal and you feel that they are qualified to purchase your pet, it will be time to negotiate the terms of the sale.
(Note: The interested party may request that a veterinarian examine the dog prior to purchase.)
Step 4 – Negotiating the Terms of the Agreement
Now that the buyer has made the decision to purchase the dog, both parties should discuss how the transfer will occur. The first thing that will need to be agreed upon is the payment. Sometimes a buyer will try to get a reduction on the original asking price, it is up to the seller to accept or decline the offer. Also, the seller should stipulate which form of payment is acceptable. Cash is always the safest option for the seller. If the buyer insists on using a check, the seller should arrange to meet at the buyer’s bank for verification. After the funds have been exchanged for the dog, the transaction will be finalized and each party can collect a copy of the completed bill of sale to keep for their records.
How to Write a Dog/Puppy Bill of Sale
Step 1 – Download in Adobe PDF.
Step 2 – Instructions and Checklist – This form comes equipped with a preliminary checklist. Read the checklist to make sure you meet all the requirements.
Step 3 – Bill of Sale Information – The second page does not require any action; however, it does provide you with a brief summary explaining the importance of a bill of sale.
Step 4 – Sale Information – Record the following pertinent details regarding the transaction in the order given below:
- Selling Price (numerically, in dollars)
- Seller’s Full Name
- Seller’s Address
- Buyer’s Full Name
- Buyer’s Address
Step 5 – Dog/Puppy Information – Be prepared to provide the following identifying features pertaining to the dog/puppy:
- D.O.B. (date of birth)
- Sex (male or female)
- Registration Number (if applicable)
- Sire Name (which would be the male parent of the dog being sold)
- Registration Number of Sire (if applicable)
- Dam Name (which would be the female parent of the dog being sold)
- Registration Number of Dam (if applicable)
Step 6 – Warranties – The bill of sale provides a warranty section that contains 2 statements. Check the box of the statement that both parties agree on. If you select the second option, enter the number of days allotted for a veterinary examination into the space provided. If neither of the statements fits your needs, you have a third option that allows you to write in your own terms (if you decide to utilize this option, be sure to check the box to indicate your selection).
Step 7 – Additional Provisions – Contained within the form is an area where you can write in any additional provisions you would like to be included within the document. Simply print or type the additional conditions into the space provided in order to fit the needs of your transaction.
Step 8 – Governing Law – Input the state in which the transaction is taking place, making the agreement governed by and construed in accordance with that specific state.
Step 9 – In Witness Whereof – Insert the date (day, month, year) in which the seller has executed and delivered the bill of sale.
Step 10 – Signature – The last step requires that the seller sign the form on the indicated line, thus finalizing the document.