Amidst the many rewards and priceless moments, puppy parenting is a big responsibility.
This includes who or where you purchase your puppy from.
As you consider various sellers, knowing how to avoid a puppy mill could save you and your family much money and heartache.
First, let’s understand why it’s important to avoid a puppy mill.
A Puppy mill is a mass breeding facility with the sole purpose of producing the most puppies at the cheapest cost to make the greatest profit.
The living conditions at puppy mills are deplorable.
Female dogs are housed in small cages and fed sub-standard dog food.
Typically they receive no attention, no exercise, and often sleep in their own waste.
These stressed and malnourished moms are more likely to give birth to ill puppies.
Add uncontrolled breeding between closely related dogs, lack of human contact, lack of exercise, and poor socialization during a puppy’s first weeks and the result is a host of genetic weaknesses, health conditions, and behavioral problems.
So, what can you do to avoid puppy mills? Here are three tips.
1. Avoid Pet Stores to Avoid Puppy Mills
Never buy your puppy from a pet store, no matter how irresistible his adorable face is in the window.
Your purchase fuels the cruel cycle especially among the popular, smaller breeds.
Because smaller dogs eat less while still yielding a sizable profit, smaller breeds are a favorite in such facilities.
If you’re seeking a purebred puppy, those “papers” the pet stores provide don’t mean much.
A breeder must be licensed by the USDA to sell puppies to pet stores.
As a result, your registered or pedigreed dog could still be from a puppy mill.
If you’re able, meeting the parents or at least the mom in person is the best way to confirm lineage.
2. Talk to the Breeder to Avoid Puppy Mills
Get to know the breeder and ask some basic questions.
For example, most breeders focus on one breed, two at the maximum.
If you come across a breeder selling multiple breeds and mixes, consider it a warning.
When asked if they have puppies, a breeder’s response should reference one litter.
If they have multiple litters, it’s likely a puppy mill.
Above all, responsible breeders are also interested in learning about you to ensure each puppy goes to a good home.
If the breeder you speak to is more concerned with money or making deals, walk away.
3. Do the Research to Avoid Puppy Mills
Your best defense against puppy mills is knowledge.
Investigate the seller through online reviews and social media.
Ratings and reports from other pet owners are valuable information.
You can help too by sharing your experience.
Even little details about your interaction with a seller could make a big difference.
It’s how vippuppies.com weeds out shady sellers and potential puppy mills.
Building on community, we connect people who put the puppy’s welfare first.
Every one of us has the power to end puppy mills and it starts with what we’ve listed here.
By not supporting the businesses they sell to, by knowing how to spot warning signs and avoiding puppy mills, by sharing your experiences and reporting mills to others – you can help stop the cycle. In return, we all win.
We all receive happier, healthier puppies in our families for years to come.