The mother of every puppy sold in a pet store will spend her life in a cage.
We live in a world of instant gratification, and we’re easily swayed by cuteness. Puppies are cute! Not all puppies maintain that cuteness when they grow up, and many grow a lot bigger than you might anticipate. Are you ready to put as much time into grooming and exercising a dog? Some need more than others.
Whether buying on impulse or if you entered a pet store with the intention of buying on the spot, so many people do not take the time to thoroughly think this decision through and research breeds … OR the pet store itself. Are you ready for a dog? What breed is best suited for your lifestyle? (Try this site for ideas.)
Puppy Mill Doublespeak
Don’t fall for puppy mill doublespeak from pet store owners/managers/workers. They will tell you that their puppies come from breeders who are “USDA approved”. There’s no such thing! Pet stores often use this line to give a false sense of security to potential buyers. It really means that they do, in fact, get their puppies from puppy mills.
What is a USDA license?
Having a USDA license only means that they meet the bare minimum standards required to obtain that license. If a breeder is USDA licensed, that means that they sell their puppies to brokers or pet stores. Truly responsible breeders don’t sell their puppies to pet stores; they want to meet their puppy buyers in person, not sell their puppies to the first person who shows up with cash in hand.
I caved. Twice. I bought a black Pekingese from a mall pet store. A little over a year later, I bought a Shih-tzu / Poodle mix (Shih-poo) from the same store. I discovered my Peke had an upper respiratory infection after bringing him home. That required a trip to a compounding pharmacist to get medicine specially mixed for his size. I discovered my Shih-poo had pneumonia after bringing him home. The vet wanted to use his chest x-rays for teaching because it was classic.
Neither showed any signs of being sick the day I brought them home. Some dogs are clearly sick in the pet store. Medical expense is another thing you have to consider before buying a pet – both the routine and the unexpected.
Today, they are 13 and 12 years old and still full of life and playfulness. However, if I ever get another dog, it won’t be from a pet store.