How old do you have to be to buy a dog?

In this article “How old do you have to be to buy a dog?” We will cover in what age you can buy your dog and how to take care of your dog when you bring your dog home. We will also cover the laws of animal welfare in different states of the United States of America.

How old do you have to be to buy a dog?

You should be 16 years old by the law to be able to buy a dog. When you buy a pet from a pet shop you are responsible for the welfare of that pet by the law and if you fail to do your duty the law can take action against you. How old do you have to be to buy a dog? Is the most common question asked by people nowadays as there are welfare issues.

The law also protects you as a consumer. This means that if the pet dies after you buy it then the pet store owner will give you a refund or a replacement.

If you buy from the private pet stores then the rights are often fewer than the government pet store.

Welfare of your dog

When you brought a canine friend home then the next step is how to take care of your pet dog? Here is how you take care of your dog. Make sure you give him a visit in a dog stroller to the outside world and give him the right puppy food.

First, you need to go through the important points of the animal welfare act which is now 10 years old. It says:

  • You should fulfil your pet needs
  • Provide them with enough food and water
  • Protect them from suffering, pain and aggression
  • House them properly

Fail to meet the above criteria, the owner is either fined £20,000 or sent to prison.

Visit a vet

The vet is there to help you with your pet welfare and give you the advice to take care of your pet. If the treatment of the vet is not according to standard criteria and it kills or injuries your dog then you can take legal actions against him or her.

The vet should know about the dog breed such as Indian dog, Goldendoodle or English mastiff breed and then start the therapy.

Installing microchip

Most of the responsible dog owners have installed microchip in their dogs in case they are lost they can locate them. It is another welfare aspect of pets.

86% of the UK dog owners microchip their pet dogs because on April 6, 2016, the government of UK passed a law that it is mandatory for the owner to microchip their dogs who are 8 weeks or over 8 weeks of the age.

If the local police found a dog that is not microchipped then the police will order the owner to microchip his or her dog within 21 days. Fail to do the same, the owner will be fined £500.

How old should a puppy be before selling?

The answer to this question is very simple, it depends upon the state or country you are living in. There are 27 states in the United States of America including the D.C which has their own laws about adopting a puppy. You should know the law about how old you have to be to buy a dog.

The three states( Virginia, D.C, Wisconsin) have the law that the puppy should be at least 8 weeks of age before adoption. The other states have a law that the dog or cat should not be separated from their mothers until they are 8 weeks of age. 

Nevada has a law that states that the retailer, dealer or operator will not separate the puppy from the mother until he or she is 8 weeks of age. After 8 weeks of age, they can be fed by the owner or a caretaker.

The important point to understand is that these laws do not apply to every person. This means that they apply to certain people like dog breeders and kennel operators. 15 out of 28 states have a law against the selling of an underage puppy. 

The remaining 15 states limit the provision to dog breeders and pet shops. Many states focus on the control of the unregulated distribution of puppies from puppy mills and other unfair means of selling.

Most of the states focus on curbing the unlawful selling of underage dogs so for this purpose they apply the law to certain people. The people that are excluded are humane societies or societies of animal welfare because the underage puppies are often left at the doorstep of these societies. 

The people that use the puppies for research purposes are also excluded as they fulfil the welfare requirements of these puppies.

The people that are regulated by the department of agriculture of the United States of America are also excluded under the animal welfare act because these dogs are used for research purposes.

In some states, the movement of underage dogs within the states and between the states is unlawful and therefore you must be old enough to buy a dog.

Violation of the above laws results in a penalty. The penalties are different in different states of America. In California and Nebraska, it is a misdemeanour to sell the underage puppies. In Connecticut, the person that violates the law is fined $1000. In many states, the law only applies to pet dealers, pet breeders and pet stores.

Think of the states or countries that do not have such a law. Would the pet dealers sell underage puppies there? Would the puppy suffer in such states? The answer is not very clear. 

It is clear now that the answer to the question “How old do you have to be to buy a dog?” depends upon the law of the state or the country.

Factors that decide when to send a puppy to a new home

The first factor is the socialization period. The socialization period of the puppy is from 6 to 12 weeks. During this period of the pup life, he learns new things and norms. It is the best time to send the puppy to the new home because he can adjust to his new family very easily.

There is a period of fear during this period which is around 7 to 8 week. It is best to send the puppy in this period so that he feels comfortable and feels secure in his new home. This suggestion is given by dr. Foote.

Dr. Foote also says that the dog breeders should educate the owner of the dog about the socialization of the dog. Most of the families buy a dog for their child and the child doesn’t know how to take care of the dog. The child should be old enough to buy a dog and able to understand the advice of the dog breeder.

The breeder should introduce the dog to leash and collar during the socialization period. The dog should be given positive exposure to sights and things. The dog breeder can help the owner to do so. Please avoid giving negative reinforcement like a punishment during the learning phase of the puppy. A portion of good dog food is a type of positive reinforcement.

A dog breeder named Sheltie breeder Apple says that the dog should not be sent to a new home because it is the period to observe the behaviour of the puppy and it is suitable to train the dog before sending it to a new home. The fear period needs to be critically handled. Crate training is important in puppy development and training.

The dog breeder Sheltie apple said that her dogs are crate trained and she has also given them basic obedience training. She also takes the dogs to visit new places. They are also given exposure to livestock and car rides too.

The dog breeder Sheltie Apple said, “I want to have them started on house-training; be leash trained; have come, sit down, and focus on work. Pups will also have been riding in the car several times a week from 4 weeks on, so no carsickness”.

If the breeder wants to keep a german shepherd puppy with him or her then learning new experiences and a person’s attention.


After reading this article on “how old do you have to be to buy a dog?” the reader will be able to know the laws about dog welfare in different states of America. The reader will also be able to learn about the care of his puppy. The main question of this article is “How old do you have to be to buy a dog?” which we have answered in the article.

Feel free to ask anything about “How old do you have to be to buy a dog?” in the comment section below.

FAQ; How old do you have to be to buy a dog?

Frequently asked questions of “How old do you have to be to buy a dog?” are:

Can you buy a dog at 18?

Yes, First the dog breeder will make sure that you are eligible to keep a dog in your house. This is done when your parents are there. If you are under 18 you cannot sign the contract so the breeder will only allow your parents to sign the contract. It is very important how old you have to be to buy a dog.

Do you have to be 18 to buy a pet at Petsmart?

Yes, you need to be 18 to buy a pet from the PetSmart.They will not allow you to purchase a pet when you are not 18 years of age.

Can a 17-year-old adopt a dog from the Animal League?

No, you should be at least 21 years old to buy a pet from the Animal League. Often the question is asked how old do you have to be to buy a dog? It depends upon the country you are living in. The children grow best when they have a pet dog.

Is owning a dog worth it?

Yes owning a dog is worth it. You can easily fall in love with your dog. Your dog can bring joy and peace to your life. A dog is a man’s best friend and can love you more than he loves himself.

Owning a dog is great but it is also a responsibility. If you do not fulfil your responsibility the animal welfare societies will come after you. It is sometimes important how old you have to be to buy a dog.

Is an 18-month-old dog still a puppy?

The answer to this question is not very clear. A puppy becomes an adult dog between 1 and 2 years of age. But it doesn’t happen that on his first birthday he becomes an adult. The maturation process is different for every dog breed, size and the type of socialization of the dog.

Is 74 too old to get a puppy?

It is never too late to buy a puppy. You need to make sure that after death what happens to your dog. Take good care of your dog and make sure you have someone to keep your dog when you die.


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