Why You Should Avoid Purchasing a Dog from a Puppy Mill

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.
cute english bulldog puppy in the grass

There are Dogs 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.

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 because 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.

Some of the more common hereditary conditions that these puppies may suffer from include:

  • Heart disease
  • Kidney disease
  • Anemia
  • Cataracts
  • Glaucoma
  • Disorders within the musculoskeletal system

Due to the lack of vet care provided to these dpgs, there’s also a chance that the one you purchase from a puppy mill has some form of 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.

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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 at 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 in to 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.

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How Do You Crate Train a Puppy?

Crate training relies on your puppy’s natural instinct as a den animal. It is a safe place for them to escape and sleep. The caution with crate training a puppy is that they shouldn’t be left in it for too long. A puppy can only hold their bladder for so long before an accident is inevitable. The main purpose behind crate training is for housebreaking your puppy. Meaning that you want to train them to not relieve themselves in the house or destroy your home while you are gone. A crate will not solve all of your puppy problems. Use it in conjunction with other training methods. Here are the steps to crate train your puppy.
Pound Puppy
  1. Select a crate that is of the correct size for your puppy. Your puppy should be able to stand up and turn around inside the crate. You may want to purchase a crate that will accommodate the size that your puppy will be as an adult. Many people choose to purchase a smaller crate in the beginning and then upgrade to a larger one later on. There are different types of crates available. Determine if you are planning on using the crate long-term or just for training. This will dictate the type of crate that you purchase.

  1. Introduce your puppy to the crate in a place where you spend a lot of time. Put comfortable bedding material inside the crate. You want to create a welcoming environment that your puppy can explore. Either remove the door or secure it in the open position. If your puppy if hesitant to enter the crate, try putting a treat inside or their favorite toy. Be positive when encouraging your puppy into the crate. Don’t force your puppy into the crate. You want your puppy to associate the crate with good things. Allow your puppy to go in and out as they choose. The point of this exercise is to familiarize your puppy with their new den.
  1. Serve your puppy their meals in the crate. This allows them to associate the crate with a place of safety and somewhere that they want to spend some time. Leave the door open in the beginning. As your puppy becomes more comfortable with the crate, try closing the door. Once they have finished eating, allow them to come out. With each meal that they have in the crate, leave the door closed for a few minutes longer. If your puppy starts to whine, don’t open the door immediately. Train them that they have to stop whining to be let out. If you let them out every time that they whine, you are teaching your puppy that whining is the key to the door being opened.

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  1. Once your puppy is comfortable with the crate, try putting them in it when it is not meal time. Teach them the command to go to their kennel or even their bed. Give them a treat when they willing enter the crate. Give them excessive praise as you close the door. Sit near the crate for about ten minutes without saying anything. Your puppy may whine in the beginning. Once they have calmed down, leave the room. You only want to be gone for five minutes the first time. Come back into the room and sit next to the crate for a few minutes. Let your puppy out of the crate once they have stopped whining. Repeat this process until your puppy is able to stay in the crate calmly for thirty minutes without you being in the room. In the beginning, only leave your puppy in the crate for short intervals of time.

  1. Once your puppy has mastered the ability to stay in the crate for thirty minutes, it is safe to leave them in the crate while you are out of the house. Use the same training method each time. Let your puppy know that you are leaving and then go. Don’t draw out this process. Make sure that your puppy will not be left alone for more than a couple of hours. They are still young and can only hold it for so long. You can now start to crate train your puppy at night. Move their crate near your bed and put them in it at night. This is so you can get up with your puppy at night to let them relieve themselves. Once they are sleeping through the night, you can move the crate to another location if you wish.

A crate should never be used for punishment. This will cause your puppy to associate their crate with negative emotions. Another thing to remember is that your puppy may be whining because they need to relieve themselves. Say the phrase that they associate with going outside. If they get excited, take them outside. Crate training will take time and patience.

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How to Get Your Dog Service Certified

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) defines a service animal as “a dog that has been individually trained to do work or perform tasks for an individual with a disability.” It also says that the tasks must be directly related to the person’s disability. This means that a service dog is trained to help with specific things that the individual is unable to do because of their disability. For example, a blind person may need the dog to lead them, or a person with seizures may have a dog trained to alert them when a seizure is about to happen.
service dog for the blind

For those with service dogs, these dogs must be available to them at all times. This includes when they go out to various public facilities and stores. All facilities are required to allow service dogs, regardless of the type of business. This includes restaurants and medical facilities, as these dogs are necessary for the disabled person to function in their daily lives.

Some service dogs are certified by the facility that trained them to help the individual. There are many groups that offer service certification for these types of dogs, as well. Services, such as The United States Service Dog Registry, offers a free registry for service dogs. This allows a person to conveniently add their service dog to a registry where they can be looked up by anyone to verify their validity. Vests and cards can also be purchased for the pet to make them more easily identified when entering a business.

Is there an official certification or recognized governing body?

No, there is not an official certification or recognized governing body for the certification of service dogs. It is not required by federal law to have a dog service certified. It is also not required to have a dog trained by a specific trainer or company. As long as the dog is trained to perform its task and is able to behave in a public setting, they are permitted to be in any area the disabled person is in.

There is no current requirement to have a service dog certified due to the further complications it could bring to a disabled person. It is believed that a disabled person faces enough challenges in their daily life that a required certification could bring undo hardships to those with a disability that requires a service dog. They could be limited in their ability to perform their daily tasks due to a lengthy registration process, as well as open them up to more questions and complications when taking their service dog to various facilities.

What is the difference between a service animal and an emotional support animal?

Service animals perform a specific task for the disabled person. Emotional support animals provide comfort being with a person. Emotional support animals are not given the same protection to be in public areas. Some state and local governments do allow people to take emotional support animals into public areas, however, they are not federally required to do so. There are requirements, however, that allow emotional support animals to be allowed in homes, even no pet rental units. They are also allowed on planes and other travel accommodations, as well as hotels and other lodgings.

Where can you take a service animal?

You can take a service animal anywhere. This includes any public area, school, restaurant, grocery store, and even medical facilities, such as hospitals. However, the handler is responsible for all care and supervision of the service animal. The only limitation is when there are two service animals and the facility cannot safely accommodate both. For example, a small restaurant may limit the guest to one service animal, only if, only one dog can safely sit under the table and the other would have to remain in the walkway. Even hospitals are required to allow service animals for patients as long as the dog is cared for during the stay.

According to the ADA, these facilities are only allowed to ask two questions concerning the service dog.

  • Is the dog a service animal required because of a disability?
  • What work or task has the dog been trained to perform?
flying with a dog

The staff is not allowed to ask any questions pertaining to the disability, nor are they allowed to request documentation or a demonstration of that task.

Can I get my dog certified if I do not have a disability?

No. Service dogs are specifically for those with a disability. They provide a specific task to help lessen the burden of their disability on their daily activities. Although it is possible to get the certification at some less than legitimate sites, it would require lying about such disability and fraudulently taking advantage of laws established to protect the disabled.

Does abusing the system harm those that truly need a service animal?

Yes. First and foremost, these service animals provide a method for disabled people to do things they would otherwise be unable to do. The laws surrounding service animals were put into effect to minimize the complications a disabled person faces on a daily basis. By abusing the system, it dismisses the fact that those in need of service dogs have a legitimate disability that those abusing the system do not have. It can often feel like they and their disability are not taken seriously.

Secondly, it can make things more complicated for the disabled person and their service dog to enter various facilities and businesses. If a person abusing the system takes their pet into these establishments and their pet is not trained to behave, it can create complications for the business. This can lead to the business trying to weed out offenders and often causing more complications for the disabled.

It could also create a need to create a real registry for service animals. This can increase costs and accessibility for the disabled to get and utilize a service animal. It can also create more complications and embarrassment at establishments when they are required to go into detail about their disability and service animal.

Service dogs are not a “perk” for the disabled. They are necessary helpers to allow an individual to perform many of the tasks they may not be able to do without the service animal. Many of the things most people take for granted are limited in those with disabilities. A disabled person cannot do many of the things those without disabilities can do. A service dog helps to provide a bridge for them to be more independent and able to enjoy their life.

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