About Pet Store Puppies

What is so wrong with buying a puppy at a pet store?

 

I got my puppy at a pet store and he is great!

Is there a chance you have a nice pet, yes...... but surely not as high as if you went with a quality breeder that cares about every life they make.

Everyone knows of someone who has a pet store dog that turned out to be a terrific pet but there are many more which do not and end up returned, abandoned, in a shelter, or sick and a constant heartache for their new family. 

Stores operate for profit. Period! If they don't make profit, they close. In order to make profit they have to sell and the more they sell, the more profit they make. Almost all puppies sold in pet stores come from puppy mills where the adults are usually kept in small cramped cages, they are bred until no longer needed and then disposed of, they usually get substandard medical care.

As for the puppies, they aren't properly socialized during the important growth stages to ensure a healthy well rounded dog, the odds of health problems increase as they are bred solely for money and the health testing of the sire and dam would cut into profits, if there is a warranty, it is usually limited in what it covers, and there is no personal relationship developed with a breeder when things go wrong.

The notes below outline some of the issues you may be facing now or in the future with a pet store puppy.

 

DISADVANTAGES of a Pet Store Puppy WHY DOES THIS MATTER
  • Parents are likely poorly bred
  • Poor parents produce poor offspring; quality gets poorer with each generation.
  • Parents are not well raised
  • They are breeding machines not part of a family
  • Parents live in poor conditions may be  in cramped unsanitary quarters
  • May be in poor health and have diseases that may be passed along to their puppies
  • Parents are not CKC registered
  • Registration is the assurance that a dog is purebred
  •  
  • Moms are bred too early
  • Moms may be bred as early as 6 to 9 months of age when they are still puppies themselves and unable to properly care for puppies
  • Moms are bred too often
  • Mothers do not get a chance to fully recover before being bred again, litters may not be as healthy or have as strong an immune system as from a healthy Mom which may lead to more illness and disease

 

  • Parents are not health tested
  • There are many conditions in dogs that are genetic and heritable. Without health testing, you have no idea what is in the background and what may have been inherited from the parents. What if both parents have cataracts or luxating patellas. Odds are very high that your puppy will be affected as well.  Health testing greatly minimizes this.
  • Parents are not carefully selected
  • Any male and any female can make puppies, but that does not mean they are the best match for each other.
  • Potential temperament issues
  • Temperament issues tend to get passed on. A timid Mom bred to a timid Dad will likely produce even more timid puppies.
  • No pedigree information
  • You don’t know any background on your puppy
  • No CKC registration papers
  • no assurance a puppy is purebred
  • Extra charge for registration papers
  • Commercial breeders know that few pet owners will want to pay more for papers. It may be an attempt to hide the fact that parents are non registered, and that puppies cannot be registered even if you want to.
  • Puppies taken away from their Moms too soon
  • Pet stores know that puppies sell the best and fastest to impulse buyers when they are at their cutest and most endearing stages, usually between 8 to 16 weeks. Factoring in shipping and transit time, and any quarantine periods needed, the only way 8 week old puppies can be in a pet store window is if they were removed from their mothers early.
  • Puppies weaned too early
  • The Havanese is a breed that matures slowly. It is quite common for Havanese Moms to nurse their babies till 7-8 weeks of age. Puppies weaned too early may not develop as well as they could otherwise and may miss out on lots of good things from Mom
  • Puppies not raised adequately by their Moms
  • Mom is not only there for nourishment, she also provides the puppies with all sorts of training and lessons which are a lost opportunity if the puppies don't get that time with her.
  • Puppies are not socialized
  • improperly or non socialized may lack many social skills, be harder to train, have temperament issues and may develop behaviour problems
  • Puppies have not started housebreaking
  • The longer a puppy is allowed to soil his bed or crate , the harder he may be to housebreak, in some cases almost impossible
  • Puppies don’t always go to the right home
  • Pet stores will sell anyone a puppy if they have the money. Puppies are not carefully matched with their families to ensure the best match possible in the way of temperament and lifestyle
  • You don’t get to see the parents
  • Parents are a pretty good reflection of what the puppies will be like in many ways both in personality and physically. Meeting the parents gives a good idea of what to expect.
  • You don’t get to meet the breeder
  • The breeder should be your source of information about the breed and about the parents and about the specific puppies. Who do you call?
  • You don’t get to see where or how the puppy was raised
  • It’s easy to imagine your puppy was born and raised  in a warm kitchen with love and attention ... but in the case of a mill puppy, it is likelier to have been  a small cage in a dark, dirty, bug infested barn
  • Limited resources
  • Pet store may be able to answer basic questions about general pet care and sell you beds, and toys and food, but can’t help with more important questions or concerns or with breed specific information. May refer you to a book but they won’t put you in contact with the breeder. Then what?
  • No commitment
  • commitment ends when they get their money and you get your puppy
  • Vicious circle
  • Each puppy bought from a pet store means that more dogs will end up in puppy mills living in poor conditions, more poor quality puppies will be produced, more dogs with problems will be born, and more dogs will end up in rescue situations and the more the breed will suffer.
  • Pass the buck
  • When no one takes responsibility, it is more and more work for the reputable breeders and breed clubs to clean up the mess that others have created. Halting the problem is the best solution.

Things may be great now, but what about in 3 months, a year or 5 years? One of the disadvantages of purchasing a puppy from a pet store may be exactly the situation you've found yourself in right now; that brought you here... Searching for advice and help.

Responsible breeders have a commitment to each and every puppy that they sell and that commitment is for the lifetime of the puppy.

Caring breeders screen their puppy buyers to find out whether each home is suitable. Caring breeders provide lifetime support for their puppy buyers, answering questions about anything from nutrition to grooming to behaviour. Caring breeders provide a support system.  We want to know where the puppies we've so carefully bred will spend their entire lives ... consequently; caring breeders would never, ever consider selling their puppies to a pet store.

Breed clubs and reputable breeders care about the breed first not about money.  They care about the future of the breed, and strive to preserve it and protect it. Knowing the poor breeding practices behind pet store puppies, and the detriment those have to the dogs in particular and the breed in general is the main reason why buying from pet stores is so strongly discouraged.