7 Tips to Avoid Puppy Mills and Unethical Dog Breeders
By TOI Staff February 13, 2023 Update on : February 13, 2023
Dogs are awesome, and we all know that; they have been our helpers and best friends since the dawn of civilization. They are among the first few animals we domesticated, and since then, they have become a part of our culture and civilization.
Dogs have always been our capable hunting partners, fearless guardians, diligent shepherds, and beloved friends. They have been helping us in various aspects of our lives since ancient times and will keep doing that for the foreseeable future.
Nowadays, most of us don’t need dogs to help us hunt or shepherd sheep, but we still keep them with us. Why? Because they are the most loyal animal in the world for us humans, we know that if we treat them well, they will never betray us.
We go to pet shops to buy dogs because we love them; we are even willing to pay a hefty sum for a puppy from a good breed. But have you ever asked the question, where do these pet shops get their puppies from? The sources of these puppies vary; some are good, and some are quite deplorable.
In this article, we will discuss puppy mills and unethical dog breeders, what they do, and how to stop their deplorable and cruel practices.
What is a puppy mill?
A puppy mill is a puppy factory where puppies are produced in masses. These factories are there to make the maximum amount of money, so they pay little to no attention to the health and well-being of the dogs. Both the puppies and their mothers are kept in cramped, small cages to fit as many of them as possible in a given space.
These places are often dirty and unhygienic, and puppies and their mothers are often starved and malnutrition. They don’t receive adequate veterinary care, sanitation, or even basic grooming. The factory staff doesn’t give any attention or love to the puppies; they have no place to socialize with humans or walk around.
Just 6 to 8 weeks after their birth, unethical dog breeders snatch them from their mothers and ship them off to various pet shops. These puppies that don’t know anything about the outside world are forced to leave their loving mother towards an uncertain future.
The puppies that come out of puppy mills are physically and mentally scared; most of them don’t know how to trust humans because their contact with humans has never given, they any warmth. Some can grow out of that trauma, but most of them can never become healthy, responsible, and social dogs.
Training and taking care of them becomes much harder than normal; it takes a lot of care, time, and effort to make them trust you. So, many of the owners that buy them grow frustrated with their behavior, abandon them and let them fend for themselves; many die.
We need to do something to stop this; our furry friends don’t deserve this kind of treatment. They deserve love and care; they shouldn’t be used as a money maker tools for unethical dog breeders.
The best way to prevent all this from happening is to stop buying puppies from puppy mills. Once these puppy mills know that they can’t make money through this method, they will stop their unscrupulous breeding practices.
Here are seven ways to recognize a puppy mill:
Here are a few tips on how to spot puppy mills and unethical dog breeders while looking for a puppy online or in a pet store.
Taking care of puppies in a proper way costs a lot of effort and money; you have to spend on their medical checkups, food, accommodation, vaccination, etc. That’s why puppies are so expensive, so if you see a store selling them at much lower prices due to discounts, sales, or whatever, then stay away. That store is likely to have connections with a puppy mill, and the puppy they are selling should have some defects that they are not telling you about.
Sellers don’t talk to you on the phone
You go to an online pet shop, see photos of a puppy and decide to buy it. When you contact the breeder, they only contact you by email and refuse to talk to you on the phone. If they have nothing to hide, any shopkeeper will try to give their customers as much convenience as possible. If they avoid being on a call with you, they are hiding something; they are most likely a puppy mill.
You can’t visit the puppy
If the seller denies your request to visit the puppy, and its parents, at their current living space, then it is a sign that they are a puppy mill. As mentioned before, puppy mills keep their dogs in miserable conditions, so they don’t want prospective pet parents to visit their place. They will get your address and ask you to wait for them to ship the puppy to you.
They don’t allow a video call
Another red flag is when the seller denies a video call on the internet. They probably don’t want you to see the living place of the puppy and its parents on the video call.
Another no-so-good sign is when the seller demands extra charges for whatever reason after making a deal; it can be anything, such as shipping insurance, crate fees, vet bills, etc. Any honest and good business will clearly tell you the charges before making a deal, so you should probably stay away from them.
Sellers deny being a professional dog breeder
You may come across a seller that denies being a professional dog breeder by saying something like, our dog has just given birth, we can’t take care of them, and so we are trying to find a good home for them. This is a common argument that puppy mills use to sell puppies online.
You find the puppy photos in other places
When you go to an online pet store and decide to buy a puppy, before contacting the sellers, first do a reverse image search. If you find that image in places other than that shop on the internet, it is a scam, and you should back away.
Here are some ways you can find an ethical dog breeder
Finding an ethical dog breeder is not easy, but here are some ways to ascertain if a dog breeder is in the ethical category.
- The first step is to meet the breeder in person; if they refuse to do so, cross them out of your list.
- Once you meet in person, ask them the question you have in mind about the puppy; don’t hesitate to speak your mind. Don’t care whether the question you ask will make you seem dumb; clear all the doubts in your mind. Then observe their reaction, and see if they are likable and patient in answering your questions. If you buy a puppy from them, you will have to keep in touch with them for the rest of your life.
- Observe the place where the puppy lives to see if the place is clean and odor free. Check the dogs and see if they are well-fed, healthy, and clean.
- Try to see if the dog breeder genuinely loves dogs or if he/she is in this business just for money.
If you want to find an ethical dog breeder to buy a dog, then we recommend TomKings Kennel (https://tomkingskennel.com/).
The owners of this online pet store are two brothers: Tom and Geri; Tom has a degree in animal breeding, while Geri is a professional athlete. The two brothers are dog lovers, and they pay great care in breeding and raising French bulldogs; you can go to their place to check them out yourself.
They pay great care to the well-being of the mother and puppies; they are given proper veterinary care, nutrition, and grooming. They also provide plenty of space for puppies to roam around and explore. After their birth, the puppies are kept with their mother and siblings for three months and given proper care and socialization.
These puppies also start receiving potty training, so they are less likely to make a mess in your house. If you want to buy a French bulldog puppy, go to TomKings Kennel to see if a puppy meets your eye.