Puppies are irresistible, but it’s increasingly more important to consider where they come from. Unfortunately, pet stores and online ads mask a truly horrid truth. Puppy mills, large-scale commercial breeding facilities, are notorious for keeping dogs in horrid conditions, forcefully breeding them for financial gain.
Without attention to wellness or careful breeding, a pet unwittingly adopted from a puppy mill can have serious health conditions that are most often concealed by their cuteness.
Know the Score
Most prospective pet owners don’t realize that the adorable puppies at the pet store, or advertised online or in newspapers, actually have questionable heredity. In fact, puppies are so persuasively cute, questions of lineage may not even come up while signing on the dotted line.
Animals bred in puppy mills come from parents that are typically caged their entire lives, neglected, and denied veterinary care.
What’s worse, is that without regard for careful breeding methods (that is, removing medically compromised dogs from the breeding pool), puppies can be born with hereditary defects, such as heart disease, respiratory disorders, hip dysplasia, deafness, and more. Contagious diseases like parvovirus may be present.
Because of the inhumane conditions puppies adopted from puppy mills may develop behavioral problems stemming from early fear, stress, and pain.
Don’t Support a Puppy Mill
Online or newspaper ads can be extremely misleading and consumers accidentally perpetuate this terrible cycle. A large majority of puppy mill dogs end up for sale in pet stores. Because most health conditions may not surface until they are grown, it’s critical to spot puppy mills and make them obsolete.
- Don’t fall for “designer” breeds or trending hybrids.
- Puppies younger than 6 weeks old belong with their mothers.
- Puppy mills are often across state lines, and have no qualms about shipping a puppy to anyone that pays.
- Puppy mills do not require an interview or in-person meeting, and they will not agree to showing a puppy’s parents or environment.
Remember, a puppy mill shows no interest in the wellbeing of their organization’s “product”. On the other hand, a responsible breeding outfit will closely vet a prospective owner and will follow through with ongoing communication throughout the animal’s lifetime.
Bringing a new puppy home is a huge decision. To find a healthy puppy, animal shelters and rescues are great resources. Likewise, it is reasonable to support a responsible, reputable breeding organization if a specific breed is sought after.
We can all affect change if people unanimously decide to stop giving money to puppy mills. Instead, opt for an ethical breeder or shop around at local shelters or rescue organizations.
If we can assist you further with questions related to inhumane breeding facilities (and how to spot a puppy mill online), Oakhurst Veterinary Hospital is always here for you.