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How to Market Puppies on Facebook without Getting Thrown in Facebook Jail

Updated: Feb 29

Or worse—having your account or group deleted.


Common sense disclaimer: As with everything else on this blog, it’s critical to seek the advice of a qualified veterinarian, preferably one that is board certified in theriogenology (reproductive science) for reproductive matters. This website, its blog, and its courses are NOT designed nor intended to replace the need for a qualified veterinarian, but instead to help educate people to to work optimally with their veterinarians. All recommendations should be reviewed with qualified professionals, such as a board certified reproductive veterinarian, prior to implementation in a breeding program. Always seek the advice of your veterinarian. Readers assume all risks associated with use of material on this site. More here.



[For more information about this and other marketing topics, please join our Facebook Group "Marketing 101 for Responsible Dog Breeders." And please know I'm not the only one who sees the irony in having a Facebook group listed in a post that talks about the problems of marketing on the platform.]

If it hasn't happened to you, chances are, it's happened to someone else you know.


Unfortunately, Facebook is such an important social media platform that we can't just tell Facebook to sod off and go somewhere else. There really isn't anywhere else that is comparable.


But there ARE solutions.


Disclaimer—Post at Your Own Risk

Before we get into any of the real marketing topics, I want to talk about selling puppies on Facebook since most of us have been hit so hard by them lately.


First, I want to make it clear that:


  1. Facebook is in charge, not me. So they can do whatever they want despite what I say here. They can change their policies. They can delete whatever they want despite their policies. Nothing I say here is a guarantee.

  2. This is my opinion only. If you take action based on what I say here please know I can't be responsible. Please see #1 as to why.


Ok, the real info now.


The truth of the matter is that you CAN still advertise puppies on Facebook.

However, there are restrictions.


There are also animal rights extremists reporting pages and posts, so even if you are following the rules you may get reported and you MUST challenge the report and succeed to avoid Facebook jail or deletions.


HOW TO POST PUPPIES FOR SALE ON FACEBOOK

The Basics


MARKETPLACE OR IN BUY/SELL GROUPS—NO.

You are NOT (no, neon, non, nyet) allowed to sell puppies in the Marketplace or in buy/sell groups. Or in Facebook page shops or Instagram shops. BEWARE! Facebook will often automatically change your post to a Marketplace post if they think you are selling something. Do NOT click to post if they do this. You will get dinged! https://www.facebook.com/policies/commerce/prohibited_content/animals




YOUR PERSONAL PAGE—NO.

Facebook does NOT allow sales BETWEEN PRIVATE INDIVIDUALS.


Not allowed: "Content that attempts to sell live animals between private individuals." This policy is here https://www.facebook.com/communitystandards/recentupdates/regulated_goods/


So you can NOT sell puppies from your personal page. This is where most people get reported.


As of this writing, Facebook states on their reporting policy that animal sales are NOT allowed between individuals but ARE allowed by "businesses that sell other animals from a storefront or website." Shelters are also allowed to place animals.





YOUR BUSINESS PAGE—YES.

Facebook DOES allow animal sales if posted by a business.


However, Facebook itself gets to decide if you are in fact a legitimate business.


So it may be more than just having a business page.


This is where things get vague and sketchy and where you have to decide your own level or risk tolerance.


The more you appear like a legit business, the less likely you will be to have problems. But you also need to make sure that you actually are legit--they can and do check on these things.


What I've done that allows me to (so far) advertise puppies on Facebook on my business page and in paid boosts and ads without problems is to:


  1. Include in my page name that I'm an LLC

  2. Have an established presence. This includes an established website, a Google Business listing, Google reviews, Facebook reviews, and everything else you can think of that will back up the fact that you are a legitimate business.

  3. Have my Facebook business page verified. This took me WEEKS. I sent them my LLC formation papers, state sales tax license, IRS documents, and about 10 other documents. They gave me a really hard time, but my business is legit and I kept at it. If you aren't legit, you may not want to try this because if they decide you are NOT a legit business they could give you some trouble. If you have a business line that is a land line registered to your business, they sometimes verify just by calling that number. I only use a cell, so this wasn't an option for me. Here is a list of documents Facebook will accept for verification. They initially refused me time and time again. I went through about half a dozen rounds with them. I supplied them with the documents they asked for and kept getting rejected for some reason. But I kept at it and finally after weeks of this they Verified me. They were sure to tell me they could change their minds any time they wanted, but, hey, at this point I'll take what I can get.

  4. To veryify your page you must include a phone number and address. You can choose to HIDE your address, which I did.

So far, people seem to be able to use their personal page to SHARE posts that are made on business pages. But never, never, ever, post about puppies from a personal profile. It's too much like Social Media Russian Roulette.


Good luck and Godspeed! Again, remember this is al at your own risk. Facebook is a scary place for anyone working with animals these days!


[For more information about this and other marketing topics, please join our Facebook Group "Marketing 101 for Responsible Dog Breeders." And please know I'm not the only one who sees the irony in having a Facebook group listed in a post that talks about the problems of marketing on the platform.]

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