Sheltie Planet

8 Reasons Why You Should Never Buy a Puppy from a Pet Store


By Rebecca Turner

Did you know that pet store puppies are the result of a cruel and profit-driven puppy mill trade? Find out the shocking true origins of pet store puppies.

Why You Should Never Buy Pet Store Puppies

Never buy a pet store puppy - you're only supporting puppy mills

Every day, thousands of pet stores throughout the US are selling puppies from puppy mills to unsuspecting animal lovers.

Shocked? So were we. You can read more about what's being done about it at No Pet Store Puppies by the ASPCA.

The horrendous conditions of puppy mills are bad enough. But the reality is that once an animal leaves a puppy mill, their troubles are not over.

Here are 8 reasons why buying a puppy from a pet store is a bad idea.

1. You're Supporting Puppy Mills

Most pet store puppies come from legal and illegal puppy mills

Most pet store puppies come from legal and illegal puppy mills

Every time someone buys a pet store puppy, they are supporting the horrific practices that go on at puppy mills. Rather than saving a puppy; you're encouraging the trade.

The prime motive of a puppy mill is to make money. There are more than 4,000 puppy mills in the US, producing 500,000 puppies per yer. The breeding dogs are kept in poor conditions, and may be malnourished and poorly exercised, not to mention their sorry psychological state. Female dogs are bred every heat cycle until they are worn out and then put to death.

No responsible dog breeder would ever sell their puppies in a pet store. It goes against everything they stand for - including finding the ideal home, keeping track of their puppies as they grow, and learning about any health problems later in life.

2. The Puppy May Be Unhealthy

Puppy Mills Do No Genetic Screening

Puppy mills do zero genetic screening

Not only has the puppy been raised in a cage, alongside many other dogs who may harbour infectious illnesses. But puppy mills spare themselves the expense of genetic screening. The latter is also the case with backyard breeding and unplanned pet breeding.

Genetic screening is an important part of professional dog breeding. Once a genetic illness has been identified in a dog, it will not be used to breed. And this ensures the survival of healthy blood lines and the continuation of the breed.

So your new puppy may have one or more genetic diseases, as well as infectious diseases from the unsanitary conditions of the puppy mill. This leads to greater suffering, a host of expensive vet bills, and possibly even an early death. Why go there?

3. You Can't Meet The Puppy's Parents

When you buy a pet store puppy, you have no opportunity to meet his parents. You won't be able to check his health and temperament, verify that the puppy is a purebreed or crossbreed, see how well his meets the breed standard, or even see what he will look like fully grown. Don't be fooled by AKC papers; these can be easily falsified.

4. The Guarantee is Not Worth The Paper It's Written On

Many pet stores boast a guarantee when they offer puppies for sale. But such a guarantee is rarely worth anything in real terms.

For instance, it's not uncommon for a family to get attached to their gorgeous new puppy, only for him to develop a disease when he's still young, costing hundreds of dollars to treat. When the family takes the puppy back to the pet store to claim reimbursement as per the guarantee, the pet store merely offers to trade puppies instead. The sickening truth means euthanizing your beloved new dog and offering you a replacement - that may not even be any healthier.

Another tactic used by pet stores is to claim that your puppy will grow out of a condition. That is, until their guarantee has expired and they have no responsibility to help you pay the vet bills.

Professional breeders specialize in one or two dog breeds

Professional breeders specialize in one or two dog breeds

5. Pet Stores Lack Specialized Breed Knowledge

Pet store owners may know very little about the dog breed they're selling you. They do not dedicate their careers to understanding just one or two breeds, as professional breeders do. They don't care whether the breed of dog is right for you, or if the puppy is going to a good home. They're just making a sale.

Professional breeders have extensive knowledge of all the inherent traits and characteristics of their chosen breed. They can help you decide whether a particular breed is right for you, based on your needs and your lifestyle, for example some dog breeds are much better with children than others. Breeders can even warn you about common health problems and offer an expected life span.

6. Pet Store Puppies Have Poor Toilet Habits

Puppies for sale in pet stores have spent most of their life in a cage. They have been forced to eliminate in the same area they eat and play, which is completely against their nature. Unfortunately, once they start, they will grow up with this tendency, making your housebreaking task much more difficult.

What's more, they will have little or no experience of leash walking or being handled. There is a critical window for breaking in such habits and by depriving the puppy of normal behaviors they may later become traumatized by simple everyday routines.

7. Pet Store Puppies Are Poorly Socialized

Tragically, puppies sold in pet stores have been separated from their moms way too early, causing them to be nervous and shy.

Sheltie puppies for sale in pet shops are separated early from their mom

Pet store puppies are separated from mom way too early

If you see a pet store puppy younger than 7 weeks, then this is certainly the case. What's more, they are unlikely to have been socialized with people, making them all the more fearful of strangers.

It's also typical that pet store puppies have never been inside a house, so when you take them home, everything will be scary to them. These early life lessons teach the puppy to be a nervous dog, which is particularly sad in Shelties who can be shy by nature.

8. Pet Store Puppies Are The Most Expensive

Pet store owners exploit our love of dogs and will charge whatever they can get away with. They are simply businesses out to make a profit. I know of examples where pet stores have charged 100% more for so-called designer dogs than healthy pedigree Shelties.

Final Thoughts

When you're looking for a Sheltie puppy or dog, please avoid the tempation of going to the pet store. You are not saving a puppy - but buying into a cruel industry.

Not only are there many caring and professional Sheltie breeders who can supply you with a puppy, but there are also Sheltie rescue organizations trying to place dogs in loving homes.

And remember, when you adopt a rescue dog, you are more than saving that dog's life. You are also sparing a female dog in a puppy mill from producing yet another litter for a pet store.

About The Author

Rebecca Turner is the creator of Sheltie Planet where she writes about her love of Shetland Sheepdogs, inspired by her two Shelties, Howard and Piper. Learn more about Rebecca. Chat with our online Sheltie community on Facebook, Twitter and our Sheltie Forum.