8 Reasons Why You Should Never Buy a Puppy from a Pet Store
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.
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
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
How To Photograph Your Dog
One of the reasons I made Sheltie Planet is because I have an abundance of Sheltie photos I wanted to share. I love taking pictures of Howard and Piper and being able to capture them in a way that frames that moment forever. Today I'd like to share some general pet photography tips based on what I've learnt using my digital point-and-shoot camera. I hope this helps you get the most out of your pet photography and creates some great images that you will treasure forever.
The Top 10 Most Intelligent Dog Breeds
Dogs can be smart in different ways: a breed with an acute and wellhoned ability to work will be quick to learn how to do its job. Other breeds may be so eager to please their people that they're attentive and highly trainable. But intelligence alone doesn't make a good pet. Owners need to be willing to put in the work to channel a dog's inherent intelligence - and a good owner will understand a dog's natural traits to bring out his natural smarts.