Pick Your Puppy the Right Way and Avoid a Puppy Mill
In 2012, 62% of American households included at least one pet: it’s fair to say that we are a nation of animal lovers. There are 83.3 million owned dogs in the United States and 47% of households own at least one dog. If you’re thinking of bringing a dog into your household, therefore, you’re not alone. But are you ready for this important step?
Choosing to add a new pet, specifically a dog, to your family is a big and important decision. Dogs need time, commitment, and plenty of love from their owners. They are also a significant financial commitment, and this need to be considered into your monthly budget. Research conducted by the American Pet Products Association found that Americans spend more than $50 billion on their beloved cats and dogs every year. Your dog will need food, toys for stimulation, regular vaccinations and it’s also worth giving some thought to a comprehensive pet insurance policy so that they can see a vet if they become unwell. Before you start looking for a puppy of your own you need to be sure that you’re ready for the responsibility that accompanies dog ownership. Only when you’ve assessed this, should you start looking for a puppy to bring into your family.
Reasons to Choose a Rescue Dog
The best place to look for a dog is at a rescue center like our own. When you choose a rescue dog or puppy you will know that it has been loved and well looked after by people that have the dog’s best interests, rather than simply turning a profit, at heart. Taking home a rescue dog is a wonderful way to rescue an unwanted animal and give something back to your community. In contrast, puppy mills breed animals with the sole purpose of churning out the most dogs for the least money so that they can make the most profit. This means that the puppies they produce are often unhealthy and can sometimes be poorly looked after. A dog rescue center should be your first port of call if you’re looking to bring a new dog into your home. If you do decide to purchase a puppy instead, here are a few hints and tips for ensuring you buy a happy and healthy puppy, and avoid purchasing from a puppy mill:
Ask to See The Puppy’s Parents
When it comes to meeting a puppy, warning bells should ring if the breeder wants to bring the puppy to your home or meet you in a neutral location. One of the best ways to be sure your puppy isn’t from a puppy mill is to see it with its mother and in the owners home. Does the puppy look happy and healthy and does he seem at ease with his mother? Are the facilities where the dogs are being kept look clean and do they seem to be suitable spacious? These are all good signs that you are dealing with a genuine puppy breeder who has the best interests of their pets at the forefront of their operation. Reputable breeders and dog owners will want to make sure their puppies are going to good homes, so as well as answering all of your questions, the breeder should also ask you plenty of questions about your home environment and the lifestyle you intend to give to the puppy. Again, if the breeder doesn’t show any interest in you or seems happy to sell their puppies to anyone who wanders in off the street then those warning bells should start ringing again. It is worth noting that puppies should not leave their mothers before they are 7 weeks of age. Don’t agree to take one that is under that age. Before you bring the puppy home it should be spayed or neutered too.
Don’t Buy From a Pet Store
When looking for a new puppy, many people will immediately head to their local pet store. Sadly, this is a sure fire way of buying a puppy from a puppy mill, and pet stores are one of the worst places to purchase dogs from. Puppy mill puppies tend to be cheaper, enabling the pet store to turn a greater profit. It is also easier for pet stores to work with puppy mill owners compared to legitimate breeders, as they don’t care who is buying their puppies and are happy for them to sit in a pet store window day after day. Dog breeders who care for the wellbeing of their animals are unlikely to sell them to pet stores, so potential dog owners looking for a healthy and happy pet shouldn’t visit a pet store either. When purchasing a dog, regardless of who it is from, the seller should agree to take the dog back, no questions asked at any time. Sometimes it is worth having a policy drawn up to protect both the seller and the buyer, should any problems arise.
Written by Emma Crosby