We all have visited pet shops and seen those cute puppies that they sell. Sometimes, we cannot stand looking at their sad faces through the small cages in which they spend their entire day. Your kid comes to you and begs you to buy them that puppy. In a way, you feel guilty if you do not buy that cute puppy. By buying the puppy, you feel that you have helped the animal and also made your kid happy. The truth is that you have not helped the other puppy who will replace the one you just bought and will face the same treatment – i.e. mistreatment.
Puppies that end up at pet stores or pet shops are puppies bred by irresponsible breeders. These are breeders who only breed for volume and profit. They have so many puppies that they cannot find a good home for all of them. So what do they do? They sell the puppy to a pet shop for $200, and then the pet shop keeps the puppy until someone comes along and buys the puppy for $2,000. These puppies are usually not properly health checked and they will not let you to see their parents. The puppies are bred by puppy mills whose main goal is to profit, and profit a lot. In order to do that, they have to have many litters a year to sustain their business. They also need to have someone who will buy them after they distribute them to these pet shops. Someone buying the puppy from the pet shop will only help the puppy millers continue with their high-volume breeding.
Puppies that are kept in crates or cages for the first few months of their lives are not socialized properly. They come in contact with a lot of people and see other puppies, but this is not proper socializing. Being behind bars or glass and having people look at you is not something that will make anyone feel relaxed. As a result, many puppies from pet shops have behavior problems when brought home and can suffer from stress and anxiety. They are also harder to housetrain or housebreak. They will eat, poo, and pee in the same place – their crate/cage – because they had nowhere else to do it while living at the pet shop. Housetraining is one of the most important things to teach a puppy. If not taught on time, you will have to clean up mess for the rest of the dog’s life.
Pet shops will usually overprice the puppies because it costs them money to pay for workers, rent, and taking care of the puppies while they are still waiting for a buyer (which can take many months). You will find puppies that are of much better quality directly from responsible breeders and that cost less than a puppy from a pet shop. Even if they tell you at the pet shop that the puppy is purebred, you will never know for sure until the puppy grows up. They might give you some papers saying that the puppy is purebred but on many occasions those papers end up being falsified.
Many puppies bought from pet shops end up with illnesses, genetic problems, and temperament issues later in life. This is because in most cases, the puppy’s parents and the puppy are never checked by a qualified veterinarian who can assess if the parents should be bred at all or not. This leads to many puppies that come from pet shops having health problems, as well as, behavioral problems.
So next time you go to a pet store or pet shop and you see a puppy for sale, remember how that puppy got there and what will happen if you buy him. It may look like you are doing the right thing by saving the cute puppy but in reality you are just continuing the puppy mill cycle. It would be better to go and adopt a cute puppy from the shelter, purebred or not, for $100 than to pay $1,000 and support puppy mills and dog overpopulation.