Bringing a dog into your family is a huge ordeal. However, bringing a puppy into the house is even a much bigger ordeal. Puppies do not come to you pre-trained such as cats. Kittens have a litter box to use, and their instinct tells them it is there for that purpose.
Puppies, on the other hand, come to you clumsy, forgetful, challenging, and cute! They need thorough training, and by adopting one, you are nominating yourself to be the one doing the training.
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Finding your best friend can be a lengthy process. Mainly because you may be looking for a breed that is difficult to find. Pet stores that sell puppies usually have limited breeds and not all stores are stellar businesses. Therefore, to find a particular breed, you will need to ready yourself for an intensive search.
What you want to avoid at all cost is buying from a puppy mill. Puppy mills are cruel and inhumane. Sellers that push sick, poorly bred puppies is a huge internet business. Keep reading to find out what a puppy mill is and why you should avoid them at all cost.
- 1 Puppy Mania
- 2 A Closer Look Inside a Mill
- 3 Common Health Problems that Impact Mill Dogs
- 4 Behavior Problems in Mill Dogs
- 5 How to Avoid Buying a Puppy Mill Dog
- 6 Purchasing Purebred Dogs Elsewhere
- 7 Are Online Sellers Regulated?
- 8 Proceed with Caution
- 9 Puppy Mill Legislation
- 10 How Can I Avoid a Puppy Mill?
- 11 Head to the Vet
- 12 The Most Expensive Dog Breed
- 13 Pet Stores That Sell Puppies Near Me
- 14 FAQs:
- 15 In Conclusion
- 16 How useful was this post?
While puppies can be exhausting and much work, in the end, it will be worth every bit. You want a dog that will be trained, balanced and your life-long canine companion. Families that have a dog as a pet tend to share years full of amazing adventures and experiences.
However, you will need to get through some pretty tough stuff first. Fortunately, the stuff is easier if you keep your patience intact.
In the puppy business there is a dark world out there filled with people pushing litter after litter from breeding dogs to sell them to unknowing parties.
Puppies that come from puppy mills rarely are healthy. You find yourself investing a load of money just to get it in good health. What about you, would you know a puppy mill if you saw one? Keep reading to arm yourself with the right information on puppy mills and what to avoid.
The Truth About Puppy Mills
If you are considering adding a pup to the pack, the one thing you for sure need to avoid is shopping at puppy mills. If you have not heard about the dangers of puppy mills, let me fill you in on why you need to steer clear of these.
A puppy mill is a dog breeding commercial operation that functions on a large scale. Profit for these is more important than the well-being of the animals. Due to lack of consideration of the genetic quality, this type of breeding produces multiple generations of hereditary defects that go unchecked.
Some puppies from mills end up in pet stores as young as six and eight weeks old where they market for high dollar amounts. The paperwork is rarely accurate, and the majority of them have many health problems. 
A Closer Look Inside a Mill
The number of dogs that are in a mill varies significantly. The range can be anywhere from ten to 1,000 dogs for breeding. Due to the failure of obtaining a license with regular inspection, there is no way of gathering to correct figures.
To gain the most profit, the females in these mills often bred at every opportunity. There is typically little to zero recovery between each litter. Once the females can no longer reproduce, they no longer hold value, so they kill them.
The puppy’s parents you see through the window at a pet store will more than likely never make it out alive in a mill. Many puppies that have apparent physical issues never make it out alive either.
The mills usually house high numbers of dogs in unsanitary and overcrowded conditions. Water and food, as well as healthcare, are typically lacking along with socialization.
The average mill dogs never see basic grooming, exercise, toys, treats, and play time. They usually stay in wire cages that often injure their legs and paws. Often these cages will stack on top of one another in columns.
Breeding dogs often spend their entire lives outdoors. Most face exposure to weather elements while crammed inside structures that are filthy as they never breathe outside fresh air or feel the sunlight.
Common Health Problems that Impact Mill Dogs
Common issues with disease and illness run rampant in these puppy mills. Due to the operators not adhering to proper care that would remove the one that is sick from the breeding pools, these puppies often have congenital and hereditary health problems.
The following are common health problems:
- Respiratory disorders
- Heart disease
- Musculoskeletal disorders such as hip dysplasia
- Endocrine disorders such as hyperthyroidism
- Eye Problems such as glaucoma, cataracts, and retinal atrophy
- Kidney disease
- Blood disorders such as anemia and Von Willebrand disease
Along with these issues, the puppies you see in the pet store window as well as the new owner’s homes include the following:
- Upper Respiratory Infections
- Kennel Cough
- Ticks and Fleas
- Intestinal Parasites
- Chronic diarrhea
Behavior Problems in Mill Dogs
Lack of socialization with other animals and people along with fearful behavoir are typical of dogs from a puppy mill. Operators typically remove puppies born in mills from their mothers and littermates at a very young six weeks old.
The puppies first months are the major ones for establishing socialization skills critical of not being an aggressive pet towards other animals and humans. Having that time with their littermates and mother aids with preventing developmental problems as they grow. 
Some of these problems are as follow:
- Extreme Shyness
How to Avoid Buying a Puppy Mill Dog
Many pet store employees and even owners will tell customers they only get puppies from a licensed USDA breeder or a respected local breeder. However, stores such as these often use this type of licensing to offer a false sense of security in a purchase to customers. What they really mean is that they get these puppies from puppy mills that claim to have proper licensing.
“Having papers” or being “registered” simply means that the puppy the customer is buying had parents that both had papers. Numerous registered dogs and even pedigreed dogs come from mills. The only way of knowing that a puppy is from a reputable source is to see first-hand for yourself.
Responsible and reputable breeders would never sell a puppy to someone they have not met because they typically screen buyers to guarantee the puppies will go to good homes.
Purchasing Purebred Dogs Elsewhere
If you are searching for a new puppy, please choose adoption. Purebred dogs often wind up in shelters just as mixed breeds. There is a rescue group for every breed imaginable. If you have your mind set on a particular purebred, be sure to visit shelters around you. You should also contact the breed rescue group before searching for a breeder.
If you have searched all the reputable places and you have had no luck locating a breed you have your heart set on, be sure to know how to recognize responsible breeders. When you buy from a breeder, always ask to meet the parents or at least the mother of the litter and ask to see where the puppies live.
Rule of thumb-never agree to meet at off-site locations or buying a puppy sight unseen to be shipped to you.
Are Online Sellers Regulated?
Dog lovers wanting to buy a new pup have caught on to the misleading savvy ads from pet stores. Most people know that reputable breeders will not sell puppies to any pet store. Therefore, stores turn to irresponsible breeders to put on display meant to woo people into buying them at outrageous prices.
It is for this reason states such as California along with thousands of cities in the US have a ban on the sale of puppies in pet stores. However, it is harder to crack down and control online selling. The Federal Government, particularly the USDA- is supposed to strictly regulate all online pet sellers through the Retail Pet Store Rule. 
However, the USDA has licensed very few of the thousands of online breeders, leaving it a wide-open field for abuse.
Proceed with Caution
So, the trick question is, how can you tell if a seller you are talking with online is a reputable dealer and not a puppy mill? The truth is, you can’t. You may also never know if a pup you found online even exist or whether the parents live in a nasty cage in a backyard somewhere.
There are many thousands of reports from people who lost thousands of dollars that never received their puppy, or they received a sick puppy. Many reports also stem from consumers paying for one breed and receiving a different type.
There are times that the consumer does get the cute puppy they paid for and it is healthy. However, buying online still leaves the door open for supporting a cruel breeder that has the parents to that puppy living in horrid conditions.
There as those that are responsible and caring breeders that utilize the internet to show their dogs. They will also educate consumers about that particular breed while communicating with potential buyers.
However, for every one honest breeder, the internet is crawling with shady people selling by using sophisticated marketing tactics. These type will sell to anyone who has a PayPal account or a handy credit card. Sadly, it is difficult to tell the difference.
The best way you can avoid being a victim of a puppy selling scam or unknowingly supporting a cruel breeder is not to buy any animals online.
Puppy Mill Legislation
The AWA-Federal Animal Welfare Act passed in 1966 states that breeders who has over three female breeding dogs that sell puppies to puppy brokers or pet stores must maintain a license. The law also requires that the USDA inspect the facility.
Generally, the rules breeders must meet by law is unfortunately minimal. Under the AWA, a breeder can keep a dog in a cage that is a mere six inches longer than the dog is in each direction. It also makes it ok that the pen has a wire floor that stacks one on top of the other, the entire span of the dog’s life.
These are living conditions that the majority of people consider cruel and inhumane, yet they are legal. Puppy mills are everywhere in the US, thanks to the internet commerce. These businesses offer sickly bred puppies of any breed imaginable directly to the buyer.
The results are the U.S. market has seen an increase in imported dogs that are in poor health and often carry diseases harmful to other animals and humans. Due to the U.S. regulation that do not apply to foreign puppy mills, (including the AWA standards), many dogs breed and live in horrific, inhumane conditions.
The 2008 Farm Bill added an amendment that prohibits the importation of any puppy less than six months old with the intention of resale. In August 2014, the USDA also adopted a regulation applying the law at national entry ports.
Three-Quarter of the U.S. States now apply legislations higher standards for the care of commercially bred animals. That employs the bare minimum that the AWA requires. Sadly, there are still 21 states that have no law whatsoever on their books that regulate commercial dog breeding.
Many states do require breeders to have a license and have regular inspections by the state. However, this law only states that commercial breeders meet the bare necessity standard of care.
How Can I Avoid a Puppy Mill?
Many pet stores get their puppies through a puppy mill. That is not to say all store use this avenue. First, be sure to ask to visit the breeder where the parents of the puppies live and breed. Look around while talking with the breeder. Is the space clean? Do the puppies have plenty room?
Ask to look at the parent dogs as well. If the breeder hesitate to give you access to the facility or to allow you to see other dogs kept there, you should walk away. Is the breeder fine with anyone off the streets buying one of their puppies that walk in their door sight unseen?
Keep in mind; any reputable breeder will ask you as many questions about you and the future of the puppy as you should be asking them. Good, honest dog breeders will want to know without a doubt that their puppies are going to good homes.
Head to the Vet
Now that you have found the perfect dog for you and your family, your next step is to take her to the vet for a complete and thorough examination. At this visit, your puppy will more than likely receive the proper vaccination along with de-worming.
Your Vet will also answer any questions you may have on your puppy’s nutritional needs and offer specific health instructions. If your puppy was not spayed or neutered before you got her, here is when you will discuss an appointment for the procedure if it is your vet’s recommendation. Once you get a clean bill of health, you can start on the fun part—puppy training 101.
Your first duty of a new puppy owner is to establish a daily schedule to adhere to consistently for training a puppy. A repetitive schedule is vital to have a well-balanced and behaved dog.
Housebreaking a puppy is one of the most important as well as tedious things you will teach her. You will need patience and consistency to get her completely housebroken. However, by showing her that her potty spot is outdoors, she will learn where and when in no time.
The Most Expensive Dog Breed
Most of us have a particular breed of a dog in mind when we decide it’s time to add a pup to the household. However, there are those that want one type of puppy and one type only—expensive. Have you ever wondered what the most expensive dog breeds in the U.S. are and why they cost so much?
Well, before we talk about finding the right pup, let’s look at the ones that make our checkbook scream.
The Rottweiler is not only a fierce looking dog, but it is also one that demands respect. It is a loyal and powerful dog breed, but they need extensive training on your part early on to teach it proper obedience. A Purebred Rottweiler puppy can sell for up to as much $8k.
2. English Bulldog
The English Bulldog is easily one of the most sought-after breeds in the U.S. They are courageous and lively, and a loyal bulldog lover know that these dogs love to do two things, eat and sleep. Be prepared to dish out around $9k for a purebred English Bulldog pup.
One of the oldest dog breeds known to man is the Samoyed Husky. The Samoyed comes from Siberia where their purpose was to herd reindeer. A true, purebred pup will cost you as much as $11K. The puppies are lively and playful but are quite stubborn as well.
4. Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is friendly, relaxed, and well adapted for an apartment living environment thanks to it being an easy-to-care-for breed. The Spaniel is one of the most popular dogs for families and date back to almost 500 years ago. To buy a purebred puppy will set you back around $14K.
5. German Shepherd
Credited with being the noblest breed in the world, the German Shepard is one of the most sought out dogs for protection and as a service dog. They are incredibly intelligent, courageous and loyal. You will find them on every police and guard force trained to save and protect lives.
The starting price for a purebred Shepherd is around $3k and can go all the way up to $24k.
Pet Stores That Sell Puppies Near Me
The Pet Store close to me thanks to a Google search are as follows:
- Us Pets 3150 Steinway St, Long Island City, NY 11103- Website unavailable.
- USA Dog Shop- 549 NY-17, Tuxedo Park, NY 10987
- Pet Supplies Plus- 3196 Erie Blvd E, Syracuse, NY 13214
- Puppy Love-4802 Valley View Blvd NW Uf290, Roanoke, VA 24012
Be sure to check out the Human Societies close to you such as this one here in my town. Please consider adoption over buying from a pet store. You can save a dog’s life today.
Q: Are all Pet Stores bad business?
A: No. Plenty pet stores run reputable and legit selling of puppies. Do your homework and check for comments from previous buyers.
Q: What should I do if I locate a puppy mill?
A: If you know without a doubt that someone is operating a puppy mill, report them to your local authority.
When you decide to add a dog to your family think long and hard before flopping down a wad of cash for a dog you saw on an ad. Puppies require a massive amount of attention to be trained well, including housebreaking. The last thing you want is to spend a ton of money on a sickly puppy that came from a shady seller.
Remember, ask to see the pup parents and where they live to make sure they are not living in horrid, unsafe conditions. If you do find a bad seller, report them to the authorities at once. As I mentioned, not all pet stores are bad sellers. Word of mouth is an excellent way to gain information from happy and unhappy customers.
Social media is your friend – ask questions and ask for recommendations. When you find that perfect canine for your family, be sure to give it the love and care it deserves, and you will no doubt have a best friend for life.
I hope you enjoyed my article and even learned a thing or two about buying puppies and the vast business of puppy mills. Do you have any information you would like to add? If so, leave us a comment, and we will get right with you.
While you are here, please share my article on your social media sites and so that this information can reach others. Thank you again for your time. Malissa!
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