Pet shops acquire their puppies from USDA breeders who
don't test their dogs for health problems. You can look at a pet shop puppy (or any puppy,
for that matter) and say, "Well, he looks healthy!" and think that
that's the end of it! The health problems we’re talking about are inherited. If
your puppy has inherited bad genes, these health problems WILL show up
eventually, long after you've brought the puppy home. There are health tests
that can determine
with 100% accuracy whether a puppy has inherited certain serious health
problems. There are other health tests that can't say for sure, but can predict
the risk. Responsible breeders do these tests. Breeders who sell to pet stores
Pet shop puppies are frequently inbred.
Most pet shops don't even have a copy of their
puppies' pedigrees for you to look at. Instead, they mail it to you AFTER
you've bought the puppy. And you probably receive only 3 generations; not
nearly enough to evaluate inbreeding.
Pet shop puppies may have "sham" registration
papers and pedigrees. More and more pet shops are avoiding the stricter documentation
requirements of the AKC and registering their puppies with an
"alternative" registry like the Continental Kennel Club, APR, APRI,
NKC, and others. Now, the AKC definitely can have problems with people
falsifying registration papers and pedigrees, but the alternative registries
are even worse. If a puppy has registration papers from any of these
registries, I wouldn't believe that the parents listed on the papers are
necessarily the true parents, that the ancestors listed on the pedigree are the
true ancestors, or that the puppy is even purebred.
Many pet shop puppies are hyperactive and noisy. Raised in a small
cage, they haven't been able
to run and play and explore like normal puppies, so they've developed frenetic
habits like running in small circles and excessive barking.
Pet shop puppies often come with illnesses. You bring the
puppy home and a few days later
he develops a cough, or diarrhea, or vomiting, or listlessness, or he starts
scratching or losing hair.... this happens over and over with pet shop puppies.
Kennel cough, parvovirus, coronavirus, giardia, coccidia, mange, ringworm –
these illnesses are commonly found in commercial breeding kennels and pet
Pet shops often overload their puppies with vaccinations
Because the puppies are exposed to so many illnesses, pet stores often overdo
the vaccines, de-wormers, and chemical baths and dips. Overloading the poor
puppy's immune system like this is very damaging for his long-term health.
Most pet shop puppies are hard to housebreak. Where does a pet
shop puppy go the bathroom?
Right there in his cage. It's hard to take such a puppy home and teach him NOT
to go to the bathroom in his crate or bed when that's what he's been trained to
And, finally, a major
disadvantage of acquiring a pet shop puppy is ...
You're supporting a bad
industry. When you pay money for a pet shop puppy, you're encouraging the
industry to keep doing what it's doing.
Yes, you've emptied one
cage – which creates demand for another puppy to be born to fill that cage.
Even if YOU are lucky and YOUR puppy turns out "okay", a large
percentage of the others will not, and YOU helped provide the incentive for
them to be born, by buying the one who came before them.
So what seems like a simple, isolated purchase actually
The misery of female dogs who spend their lives in a cage, being
bred again and again so people will have a "quick and convenient"
source from which to buy.
The misery of future puppies born with health and temperament
misery of families who will buy these puppies and then
struggle to cope with all the health and temperament problems.
misery of animal rescue groups who have to deal with all the
pet shop puppies dumped on their doorstep when frustrated families give up on
the health and temperament problems.
you buy one of
those cute puppies in the pet shop, you buy more than the puppy. You buy the
budding physical, behavioral, and health problems created by the bad genes
passed on by untested parents. And you feed a profit-hungry industry that's
doing a lot of harm to innocent creatures.
If you want a puppy, seek out a reputable, experienced