Puppy mills are large operations that focus primarily on breeding dogs without much attention being placed on the well-being of the dogs in question. There are many reasons as to why you should avoid purchasing a dog from a puppy mill and zero advantages towards doing so. Due to the breeding of these dogs without any regard to their health, these puppy mills often cause the production of breeds that have hereditary defects that go unchecked, which is one of the many reasons that you should consider adopting or purchasing a dog from a more reputable option.
How to Avoid Puppy Mills?
There are dog shelters and rescues. One of the primary reasons that you should avoid purchasing a dog from a puppy mill is that there are already too many dogs that you can find at dog shelters and via rescue groups that are treated humanely and will provide you with confidence that you’re adopting a dog that’s in good health and needs an owner. Purebred dogs can be found in these shelters and rescue centers, allowing you to find exactly what you’re searching for without needing to resort to a puppy mill.
How Are Dogs Treated in Puppy Mills?
You might get a sick puppy. When you wish to purchase or adopt a dog, you’re obviously going to be looking for one that’s healthy or at least has received adequate vet care. In most puppy mills, vet care is seen as an afterthought due to the rapidity at which these mills try to breed the animals that they bring in without putting much thought on actually caring for these dogs. Because of the lack of vet care that these dogs receive, you have a high potential to get a sick puppy, especially if the puppy mill has been in existence for a lengthy period of time.
The longer that a single puppy mill is breeding dogs, the more likely it is that future generations of puppies bred in these mills suffer from certain hereditary or congenital conditions. The reason that this occurs is that the majority of mill owners do not attempt to identify if some of their dogs are sick, which means that sick dogs will continue to breed with other dogs, heightening the chances that the puppy you obtain from one of these mills has some kind of disease.
- Heart disease
- Kidney disease
- Disorders within the musculoskeletal system
Due to the lack of vet care provided to these dogs, there’s also a chance that the one you purchase from a puppy mill has some form of the disease. These diseases can include everything from infections in the upper respiratory system, pneumonia, ticks, fleas, diarrhea, and mange. When you adopt or purchase a puppy from a rescue group or shelter, it’s highly unlikely that they will have any type of disease or disorder, allowing you to avoid the many issues and expenses that can occur when the puppy is already sick.
Cruel Living Conditions
Along with the lack of vet care provided to the dogs kept at puppy mills, the living conditions in these mills are typically awful and can be very cruel to the dogs that are made to live and breed there. Although a small number of puppy mills are inspected and have generally decent living conditions, the majority do not. Dogs are usually kept in very crowded conditions alongside other dogs at the mill. These conditions are dirty and unsanitary, while the dogs kept inside these mills do not receive any kind of treats or toys.
Most dogs will not be provided with enough food and water and usually go without standard grooming techniques or even exercise. When a dog is placed into a puppy mill, they are typically kept in a steel cage, sometimes with other dogs. These cages are often dangerous for dogs as the rough flooring can cause the development of injuries in the legs and paws of the dog. The dogs bred at puppy mills are also kept from socializing in a normal manner, which means that they can have behavioral issues once they have been purchased and taken to a home.
Breeding Females Treated Poorly
One of the more horrifying aspects of puppy mills is that breeding females are almost always treated very poorly, wherein they are bred as often as possible. Since the majority of puppy mills are focused on boosting their profits, this means that breeding females are given hardly any time to recover before being bred again. When these female dogs no longer have the strength necessary to continue breeding, they are usually killed. In many cases, records aren’t kept, which means that the owners of the puppy mill have no idea how many times that a female dog has produced litters.
Are There Reputable Breeders?
If you feel as though you simply must go through a breeder in order to obtain a specific breed of dog, it’s important that you at least purchase a dog from a reputable breeder. If you’ve never gone through this process before, it may seem difficult to know where to start when trying to find a breeder that treats their dogs well. First of all, never purchase a dog online, as the majority come from a puppy mill. You want to see where the dog comes from, which should clue you into how the dog has been treated.
Breeders who are responsible will never sell a dog to someone that they have never met in person, as they aim to make sure that the dog is being provided with a home that will take care of them. Also, make sure to ask to see the dog’s mother to make sure that they are healthy and are being treated well. Don’t hesitate to ask the breeder questions, as a readiness to answer these questions indicates that the breeder is reputable. A great place to find reputable breeders is at dog shows.