Some pet shops get their puppies from Department of Agriculture-regulated commercial kennels. Even these puppies, however, are often sickly and unsocialised. In part, this is because commercial kennels tend to breed any number of different breeds at the same site and breed for quantity rather than quality. As a result, their primary concern is not the healthy promotion of a particular breed but the number of sales a specific breed can generate. So, before you go out and buy that puppy in the window, think about the following:
Because so many pet shop puppies are bred in puppy mills, they are not the result of ethical breeding and are often neglected before they even arrive at the shop. Neurological difficulties, visual problems, hip dysplasia, blood diseases, and Canine Parvovirus are only some of the most frequent illnesses and maladies found in pet shop pups.
Lack of Knowledge
A pet shop employee is unlikely to be an expert on a specific breed and perhaps not even knowledgeable about dogs in general. When you buy a puppy from a store, you won’t get any information about that particular breed or any help with any behavioural problems or other issues.
What You See Isn’t Always What You Get
What you saw in the window may have looked like a Chihuahua puppy, but as it matures, while you might see a bit of Chihuahua in there somewhere, it may start looking more like a terrier. If you’re looking for a purebred dog, there’s no assurance that is what you will get.
Questionable pedigree documents
When you buy a puppy from a pet shop and pay for a pedigree dog, it’s quite possible that the pedigree document you receive may not be genuine. Even if the papers are authentic, that doesn’t ensure the puppy is a good example of its breed – you’ll need to establish that with a reputable breeder.
Behavioural issues are not weeded out generationally due to indiscriminate breeding. You’ll also discover that the employees at a pet shop are unlikely to have had any training in dealing with behavioural concerns, so the puppies will continue to do the wrong things, which will eventually become habitual.
Lack of socialisation
Puppies in pet shops are frequently separated from their litters at an early age, often as young as four or five weeks. A puppy should not be removed from a litter until the age of eight weeks, and most reputable breeders recommend waiting until at least ten weeks. The puppy will not develop crucial canine abilities due to his lack of time mingling with his siblings. Similarly, a puppy that humans haven’t handled since they were about three weeks old will not naturally socialise with them.
Housebreaking is more complicated.
Puppies in pet shops have spent their whole lives in cages. They are deprived of the chance to develop the natural canine instinct to eliminate their wastes away from their food dish and bed. This becomes problematic when you start trying to housebreak them.
The Decline of Breed standards
Buying a puppy from a pet shop and then breeding her means you are helping to damage the breed’s standards because puppy mill breeders don’t care about them.
Return at the puppy’s risk:
Most pet retailers provide some form of “money-back guarantee”, which allows you to return the puppy if it has issues. They don’t often inform customers that it will almost certainly be euthanised if a puppy is returned.
Poor Value for money
A puppy might cost anywhere from $500 to $2,000 at a pet shop. This is frequently more than you would pay at a professional breeder who can guarantee a healthy dog and provide ongoing support.
Other options to pet shops
What other options do you have besides buying pups from a pet shop?
- Buy your next dog from a reputable breeder.
- Visit your local animal shelter or breed-specific rescue centre.
Reputable breeders know all about the breeds they represent and can assist with any behavioural or medical difficulties that may arise in the future. These breeders socialise their pups from an early age, breed in positive features while breeding out the negative ones, and can show you your puppy’s parents and background.
Humane Societies, local animal shelters, and breed rescue organisations are all terrific places to start. True, you won’t get to meet your puppy’s parents, but rescued puppies are thoroughly tested for any illnesses or health conditions, socialised by specialists, and trained as young as possible. Remember, if you adopt a cross-bred puppy, you will likely find it to be much healthier than a pedigree dog.
So, the next time you see that cute puppy in the window, don’t wonder about how much it will cost you; take a moment to consider the disadvantages of buying a pet shop puppy. Purchasing a dog from a shop essentially supports the heinous practice of puppy mills.