“How much is that doggy in the window?” The price may be higher than you ever could possibly imagine, and that price does not come in the form of dollars. There is a very dark world that goes on in order to get those cuddly little puppies to the pet store window and it is not you that pays a high price when you buy from such a shop. Instead, it is the dogs themselves that pay: the breeding mothers, the fathers, and the puppies. Do you know how those puppies made it to the pet store? They got there through something called a “puppy mill.” There is a big problem with these mills and understanding that problem will redirect you from the pet stores and to a reputable breeder.
What is a Puppy Mill?
Many people have never heard this term or they have and they do not know what it means. A puppy mill is pretty much just as it sounds. It is a mill. Instead of churning out grains, it churns out puppies. The whole process of the puppy mill has nothing to do with the comfort, health, or mental well-being of the breeding parents or the puppies themselves. Here are some things that people do not know about puppy mills.
- The breeding females are kept in small cages where they can hardly stand or move around.
- The cages are usually stacked one on top of another so that feces and urine falls on the dogs regularly.
- Little or no human contact is provided to the dogs or the puppies.
- The breeding adults are not cared for medically and may suffer from painful and detrimental conditions for months or even years.
- When the breeding adults are deemed no longer usable, they are killed.
- Animals rescued from puppy mills often have lifelong mental and physical damage. They may not even know how to stand up or walk.
Right now, you are probably feeling pretty appalled by this. That puppy may look cute in the pet store window, but you have no idea of whether or not it is healthy. You most certainly will know that the puppies were not properly socialized during their stay at the puppy mill.
Don’t Be Sympathetic
You may now be thinking how sorry you feel for those puppies at the pet store. You probably think that you should actually go and buy one of them to give it a kind and loving home. However, this is exactly the opposite of what you should do. When you buy that puppy, you are not doing something good. You are actually condoning the behavior of the pet store and the puppy mill.
It can be easy to get soft hearted and you may feel that draw, but do not. Instead, choose a reputable breeder from which to buy. Make sure you have chosen someone who is professional and who truly takes care of the dogs they breed. You will be doing something so much better for your pets and the world of pet selling when you do this.
Do Not Believe the Pet Store
It is common practice for a pet store to tell you “oh we only buy from reputable breeders” but this is almost never the case. You can tell a pet store representative is not being honest by asking just one thing: can you tell me the name of the breeder. Because pet stores use third party brokers to get the puppies, they will likely have no idea who the actual breeder is.
There is a big problem with that doggy in the window. That problem is the puppy mill. It is a problem that we should all work to eliminate too by choosing to only work with professional and ethical dog breeders.