Since laws covering animal cruelty are too lax, you have to be conscious about where you get your puppies, particularly if it’s your first time to own one. Here’s a quick rundown of what you need to know about puppy mills and backyard breeders.
Red Flags of Puppy Mills
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 a tough job. In some cases, people are only able to find out the moment their dogs start showing 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:
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 just so you won’t see the environment of the puppies.
Multiple breeds and litters
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 who’s offering several breeds and even mixes, there’s a good chance he’s running a puppy mill. Aside from breeds, having multiple litters at the same time is also a red flag for a puppy miller.
No vaccinations, medical records and legal papers
Keeping puppies up to date with their vaccinations, check-ups and registration can mean extra expenses on the part of the seller. Puppy millers tend to skip all of these essentials to save money and keep most of the profit to themselves.
Lacks after safe 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 in case you don’t find yourself fit enough to take care of them.
Puppy millers don’t have such contract or commitment 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 registered pet shop isn’t a complete assurance that the puppy came from a legal breeder. Some shops buy puppies from backyard breeders to save on buying cost and earn more profits.
To make sure you don’t fall victim to this trade, here are a few things you can do:
- Ask for the puppy’s legal papers and vaccination record
- Look for its genetic screening card
- Ask the breeder about his experience and breeding plan
- Do a site inspection
- Avoid making transactions in a separate location
- Ask about the breeder’s veterinarian
- Inquire about his ways on providing neurological and social stimulation to the puppies
- Make it a point to meet the puppy’s breeding parents
- If a breeder shows you a copy of his certification, make sure to verify it
If you’re wondering how you can avoid patronizing puppy mills and backyard breeding, one of your best options is to consider adoption.
In most cases, the price of adoption already includes the cost of getting your puppy neutered or spayed. It can also be inclusive of microchipping and the first few vaccinations of the puppy. On top of the great bargain, you can also have less 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.