Business Bulletin: Use due diligence in picking puppy pets at Christmas

A puppy peeks out of its cage in the Walker County Animal Shelter and Adoption Center intake room. Puppies in this room are still too small to join the other dogs in the main area of the shelter, said shelter manager Stephanie McTaggart.

Q. My wife and I disagree on getting a puppy for the kids at Christmas. Does the BBB have suggestions on this issue?

A. If your family is begging for a cute puppy this holiday season, the Better Business Bureau suggests waiting until a less hectic time of year. Pet ownership can be complicated and expensive, and the BBB warns prospective pet owners must be extra cautious of unscrupulous puppy mills and online scammers at this time of year.

BBB also reminds consumers to be aware of the potential for fraud from bogus online pet sellers. A 2017 BBB study of online puppy scams found that nearly 80 percent of pay-per-click advertising in Internet searches for pets may be scams, with consumers in their teens and 20s most susceptible to these scams.