Puppy Mills and Backyard Breeders: Who Are They and Why We Should Stop Them Now

Puppy Mills and Backyard Breeders
Several years ago, spotting puppy mills was easy. Malnourished puppies with aggressive behaviors are sure signs that backyard breeders have bred them to make a living. Unfortunately, the trend has grown tremendously, so even registered pet shops have jumped on the bandwagon. These shops sell puppies produced from irresponsible breeding and unfavorable living conditions.

Since animal cruelty laws are too lax, you must be conscious about where you get your puppies, mainly if it’s your first time owning one. Here’s a quick rundown of what you need to know about puppy mills and backyard breeders.

Red Flags of Puppy Mills

red flags


With a lot of misleading information and deceptive marketing ads, knowing if a puppy is coming from a puppy miller or a responsible breeder can be challenging. Sometimes, people can only find out when their dogs show signs of congenital illnesses and aggressive behaviors.

However, if you are keen enough, there’s a good chance you can spot puppy millers right off the bat. Here are some of the red flags you should keep an eye out for:


how about no

Puppy millers usually do transactions away from their kennel. They can ask for meetups at the park or the parking area of your local store. Even if you insist on seeing the kennel, they’ll likely decline and make excuses so you won’t know the puppies' environment.

Multiple breeds and litters

puppy mill - multiple breeds

Knowledgeable and expert breeders only focus on one or two breeds. This gives them enough time and attention to attend to their puppies’ needs. If you find someone offering several breeds and mixes, there’s a good chance he’s running a puppy mill. Aside from breeds, having multiple litters simultaneously is a red flag for a puppy miller.

No vaccinations, medical records, and legal papers

vaccination for dogs

Keeping puppies up to date with their vaccinations, check-ups, and registration can mean extra expenses for the seller. Puppy millers skip all these essentials to save money and keep most of the profit to themselves.

Lacks after safe commitment

dog breeder commitment

A responsible breeder can require you to sign a contract to make sure the puppy stays safe and healthy under your care. Some breeders may even ask you to return the puppies to them if you don’t find yourself fit enough to care for them.

Puppy millers don’t have such contracts or commitments to their puppies. After selling them, they’ll just walk away and close off any means of communication you have with them.

How To Avoid Puppy Mills

buying a puppy from a petshop

Buying a puppy from a registered pet shop isn’t a complete assurance that the puppy came from a legal breeder. Some shops purchase puppies from backyard breeders to save on buying costs and earn more profits.

To make sure you don’t fall victim to this trade, here are a few things you can do:

  1. Ask for the puppy’s legal papers and vaccination record
  2. Look for its genetic screening card
  3. Ask the breeder about his experience and breeding plan
  4. Do a site inspection
  5. Avoid making transactions in a separate location
  6. Ask about the breeder’s veterinarian
  7. Inquire about his ways of providing neurological and social stimulation to the puppies
  8. Make it a point to meet the puppy’s breeding parents
  9. If a breeder shows you a copy of his certification, make sure to verify it

Consider adoption

adopting a dog

If you’re wondering how to avoid patronizing puppy mills and backyard breeding, one of your best options is to consider adoption.

The adoption price usually includes getting your puppy neutered or spayed. It can also include microchipping and the puppy's first few vaccinations. On top of the grand bargain, you can also have fewer worries since pets from shelters have already been house-trained

Adopting a puppy isn’t only cheaper; it can also help you save lives, too.

Stop Puppy Mills and Backyard Breeders in the Philippines


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