If you’re considering getting a new puppy there are a lot of options. One of them is buying from a ‘puppy mill.’ A puppy mill is usually considered to be a substandard breeding facility that produces large numbers of puppies annually. They may supply puppies of many different breeds.
Some of these facilities are licensed by the government and inspected by the USDA. Care and conditions must meet certain criteria. Others fly under the radar and go without inspections. Inspected kennels may produce healthy puppies which receive vaccinations and are then trucked to pet stores at a young age. Kennels which operate without inspections may sell directly to buyers. Since they are operating without inspections it is more likely that the facilities are deficient and the conditions for the dogs are poor. These are the ‘puppy mills’ you sometimes see in videos and on TV in undercover investigations.
If you buy a puppy from one of these poor facilities odds are that the puppy could have begun life with many problems. The puppy is likely to be the victim of breeding from poor quality parents who may exhibit health and genetic problems, dirty conditions, cramped quarters, perhaps no early vaccinations or worming, and the list goes on.
All puppies are adorable, but a puppy’s mother and her health are extremely important. So are his surroundings in the first few weeks life. A puppy who gets off to a bad start in poor puppy mill surroundings can have health or behavioral problems that last the rest of his life. It is possible to buy a healthy dog from these sources but many people buying from puppy mills have bought unhealthy puppies. Some puppies may even die soon after purchase.
Puppies in pet stores may come from several sources including licensed commercial breeders and inferior puppy mills. There may be no way to tell the difference in the pet store. Even looking at the puppy’s registration papers will not tell you what type of breeder or kennel produced the puppy. Purchasing a puppy in a pet store also encourages people to make impulse purchases which is never a good idea where a dog is concerned. That cute little ball of fur may grow up to be a 100 pound pet who can eat you out of house and home.
If you are seeking a new purebred puppy consider going to a reputable breeder. Contact the breed parent club for the breed and they can put you in touch with people who are expecting litters. Reputable breeders perform health testing on their dogs before they choose which dogs to breed to make sure they are fit to breed. Puppies raised in a home environment receive much more socialization, love and personal care than any commercially-raised puppy can ever receive. Reputable breeders also carefully screen potential buyers and guarantee their puppies for health problems in the breed.
Breed parent clubs can also tell you about purebred rescue if you might be interested in a young adult or an older dog. There are nearly always purebred dogs available in rescue looking for great homes.
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