5 Reasons to Avoid Buying Pet Store Pets

1. Do You Want To Support Puppy Mills?
For one thing, responsible and ethical breeders would never sell any of their pets to a pet store. You want a responsibly bred pet for many reasons, but health being among one of the top reasons. Poorly bred dogs will cost you lots of pain, tears and money. Pet stores look at pets as merchandise and have do not give a hoot about the integrity of the breed. These puppies almost always end up with early age arthritis, hip dysplasia
(I’ve met dogs under 1 year old with arthritis and hip dysplasia), giardia (a harmful parasite that is difficult to battle), personality disorders, etc. Find out more about puppy mills at the Humane Society’s website.

2. The “Guarantee”

Pet stores will guarantee that they will take your pet back and give you your money back when you discover how terribly ill your new pet is. What they won’t tell you is that they will not take the pet to the veterinarian for care. They won’t “waste” the money. They will pay to have the pet put to sleep, the end.

3. House Training
The puppies in puppy stores are kept in small cages and never see grass, dirt, tile, carpet or anything other than a wire bottomed cage that they use the bathroom on whenever they feel the need. This makes it very difficult to house train these dogs and many of them have bathroom issues for the rest of their lives.

4. What Will Your Pet Look Like When He Grows Up?
When you have to buy a pet because of the breed (I HIGHLY recommend adopting a pet through wonderful agencies such as Georgia Humane Society), if you buy from a store, you will not get to meet the parents of the pet. A reputable breeder will introduce you to the mom, siblings and possibly the dad of the pet. This will give you a good idea of size, temperament, and looks of your new pet. If you ask to see the mom of a dog in a
puppy store, they will probably laugh at you.

5. No Socialization at a Critical Age
Puppies in stores are often removed from their mother and siblings at far too young
an age. We’re talking 4 to 5 weeks old. Reputable breeders insist that the puppies stay with the pack until at least 10 weeks old. This is something that true caring breeders care about because this is a critical age for puppies to learn canine manners and basically how to “speak dog”- their own language. Imagine if you weren’t taught what to do and you were just thrown into the world without any knowledge of what is right and what is wrong. You’re just expected to know. This is very cruel and unfair. Also keep in mind that these pups in the store have been very minimally handled by humans and can stay shy and fearful for life. There are many other reasons not to buy that adorable puppy in the window- one more is that the breed on the paperwork may not be the puppy you end up with. Puppy mills are not careful about who breeds with who, as long as more puppies are coming to be sold. Your beautiful little German Shepherd puppy could have Maltese, Shih Tzu or any other number of breeds mixed in.

Before you go and buy a puppy from a store or a breeder, please consider the fully bred dog (or mutts) being fostered with rescue groups. There are so many wonderful dogs out there that need homes! In my opinion, mutts are the best “breed.”

Valerie Pegg

About the Author:
Valerie Pegg is the owner/operator of  Best Fit Pet Sit Services, Inc.

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