Fact Sheet – Pet Shop Puppies
WHY YOU SHOULDN’T BUY THAT PUPPY IN THE WINDOW
Download a PDF copy of this brochure from: FactSheet_petshop_puppies
Pet shops usually buy their puppies from brokers. These brokers get their animals from puppy mills – commercial breeding establishments that mass-produce dogs for resale. Most puppy mills and brokers are
in the Midwest Pennsylvania and New York.
Neither puppy mills nor pet shops properly socialize their puppies. They raise their puppies in tight and often cramped dirty cages – not warm home-enriched environments.
In these conditions they lack the benefits of fresh air, exercise, play with lots of positive human contact – all of basic necessities that every puppy needs to be able to grow into a well-adjusted adult dog.
Unsound puppy mill breeding practices predispose puppies to both painful hereditary medical and
physical afflictions such as: hip dysplasia, luxating patellas (dislocating kneecaps), eye maladies, and
aggressive behavior. Life-threatening genetic conditions, such as liver and heart diseases, autoimmune
disorders, and seizures can also result from careless breeding. Many genetic defects may not show up for
months or even years.
Pet shops usually do not provide information on common genetic disorders prevalent in certain breeds – such as hip dysplasia found in German Shepherds, Labrador Retrievers and Golden Retrievers.
Pet shops do not provide copies of these important health certificates: Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (OFA) on the hips of both parents; the Canine Eye Registration Foundation (CERF) on the eyes of both parents.
Pet shop and puppy mill puppies are often exposed to numerous animals at puppy mills and brokerage
facilities, during transportation by truck, van, or airplane and ultimately at pet shops. Thereby these
puppies are commonly exposed to a variety of illnesses. Moreover, the stress from transportation makes
them even more susceptible to disease.
- Pet shop puppies commonly develop worms and contract upper respiratory infections, ear and eye infections, mange, coccidia or giardia. Some of these maladies can be transmitted to humans.
- Pet shop puppies are prone to parvovirus and distemper. These diseases are highly contagious and usually fatal. Parvovirus symptoms are not immediately detectable, so a puppy with parvo may share a cage with a healthy puppy and spread the disease.
- Pet shops normally place very sick or deformed puppies in isolation – usually a depressing back room.
- These already compromised animals are held in conditions with poor air circulation and their germs are spread throughout the store.
- While some puppies seem healthy in the pet shop, their disease symptoms sometimes do not appear for several weeks when they are already in a new home.
Puppies frequently die or require euthanasia at puppy mills, brokers’ facilities and pet shops.
Pet shops do not screen their buyers. Their business depends on impulse buyers – many pet shops are in
malls – who know very little about dogs. Impulse buyers may not have the proper environment for raising
a puppy. Pet shops rarely ask any of the following necessary questions:
- Will someone be at home during the day?
- Do you live in a house or an apartment?
- Will a dog be allowed indoors, especially at night?
- Do you have a fenced yard?
- Do you have the time required to exercise a dog?
- Do you have children or other animals?
- Do you understand that a dog will be a member of your family for ten years or more?
- Have you had dogs before, and if so, what were your experiences with these dogs?
- Do you have a veterinarian, or do you need a referral?
- Are you prepared to pay for professional grooming if you adopt a dog that needs these services?
Pet shops charge exorbitant prices for puppies – financing is usually available – and earn huge profits
because of substantial markups. For example, an eight-week-old Labrador Retriever from a pet shop can
easily cost around $1,000. If you see a pet shop dog selling for $300 or less, chances are it is more than
three months old and has been sitting in a cage for a least a month.
- Pet shops treat puppies as merchandise that can easily be returned for an exchange or credit toward another dog.
- Most customers, though, become attached to their puppies and will not return them.
- New owners can incur large veterinary bills.
- Most pet shop warranties, however, preclude reimbursement for veterinary expenses unless there is a state lemon law.
Pet shops are anxious to sell animals because they want to sell pertinent supplies. As a rule, they do not
provide the following essential information:
- The significance of spaying or neutering animals
- The benefits of obedience training
- The correct ways to deal with puppy teething
Every year, animal shelters destroy millions of dogs — including purebreds and puppies — and cats.
PLEASE adopt a companion animal from your local shelter, humane society, rescue organization
or veterinarian. In addition, many pet supply stores, such as Petsmart or Petco, sponsor adoption
days. You can also find animals to adopt at www.petfinder.com, www.pet-ark.com and