“Dog breeding and puppy mills: the good and the bad”
If you have ever wanted to adopt a dog you may have wondered how to get started and might have even visited a local pet shop to check the puppies for sale. But, in your quest to find a new adorable addition to your family did you ask yourself where these puppies came from or how they are being treated when you are not visiting them? Hopefully next time you find yourself looking into getting a new pet you do ask yourself these questions. While most of us would never consider hurting or mistreating an animal, sadly this is not always the case. Many people who are in charge of raising and breeding animals like dogs do not use ethical practices or humane conditions when dealing with them. Hence, to be a responsible dog owner one must ensure that the puppies adopted are being treated ethically and with utmost care to make sure that their health and wellbeing is guaranteed. To do this certain guidelines and procedures need to be followed. For example, bad places to get dogs are from pet shops or kennels that get their puppies from places that are not on site as they normally come from puppy mills (also known as breeding operations).Puppy mills keep dogs in very inhumane conditions where the mother dogs are mistreated, malnourished and kept in very confined enclosures. If you buy from a puppy mill you will help keep this horrendous practice ongoing because you will add demand to these types of dogs.
Essentially, responsible dog breeders do not sell dogs to pet stores; instead they take the time and effort to personally select the proper home for their dogs and assess the potential dog owners as to the likelihood that they will provide safe, nurturing, loving and healthy environments for their dogs. Good dog breeders will also have available proper documentation of their dog’s background including pedigrees as well as demonstrate that they are knowledgeable about dog behavior, health, traits, development and other canine factors that owners must be taught to ensure the best match with them and a dog and will spay or neuter their dogs before giving them up for adoption. Also, it is easy to recognize a certified and accredited/responsible dog breeder as he/she will only have available one or two breeds of dogs rather than a multitude of breeds as some puppy mills will. Responsible dog breeders will test the health of their dogs using accredited, reliable and accurate methods. In this way, the genetics of a dog as well as its potential inherent diseases can be found and hence ensure that proper care is given to it when it finds the proper owner as well as minimizing the probability of breeding sick and unhealthy puppies.
Importantly, responsible dog breeders will show at all times a life-long commitment to their dogs. This means that he/she will take back any dog from a house that it adopted one of their dogs to if the dog is no longer being taken care of the best manner possible or if the purchaser cannot or will not take care of the dog any longer. Similarly a responsible breeder, after having interviewed and talked with purchasers, will visit the homes of the potential dog owner and only agree their dogs to be adopted if the owners and their homes are suitable and adequate places for the dogs to live happy, safe and healthy lives.
Under the care of a responsible dog breeder, only dogs over the age of two will be bred and not every year but rather for only a limited number of times thus giving the mothers enough time to recover, be healthy and strong enough to continue giving birth to healthy and strong puppies. These puppies will then not be separated from their mothers before they reach 8 weeks of age and will be properly vaccinated and de-wormed using the most accredited and accepted practices and medications.
Good breeders will ask a potential owner many questions including if he/she has had a dog before, the type of breed, if children live in the household, if other pets live in the house, if there is ample room for the dog to move around and if the owner will exercise the dog adequately and sufficiently and of course, will communicate the costs involved in having a dog and keeping it healthy for its whole life. Also, responsible breeders are part of national breeding clubs and partake in activities such as obedience trails, agility competitions and dog shows related to the breeds of dogs they are knowledgeable about and having under their care. Essentially, it is crucial to ask key questions and investigate the conditions under which puppies are kept when one visits a pet adoption facility and/or breeder as this will help curtail the existence and flourishing of puppy mills and will give rise, instead, to safe and well-maintained facilities where happy and healthy puppies can be bred allowing them to become the wonderful pets that a potential dog owner desires.