Puppies Kittens and Pet Stores – Pet tip 176
It is tempting to buy puppies and kittens from pet stores when we are considering getting a new pet. Pet stores always seem to get puppies and kittens at the right age when they look so cute and playful behind the glass windows. Very often though these pets are impulse buys and that’s exactly what pet stores want. The larger problem aside from the impulse buy (a living creature that will live with your family for 10-15 years should not be an impulse buy), is that many pet stores or pet store employees don’t know much about dog breeds or cat breeds in general. They often don’t know much about the breeds they are selling and often don’t even know anything about the pet’s parents. This is very useful knowledge to be aware of before you spend many hundreds/thousands of dollars. The sad truth is, is that a very high percentage of pet stores get their pets from puppy mills (or puppy farms) and kitty mills. By buying from pet stores you are likely supporting the puppy mill that bred them.
A puppy/kitty mill is a place that mass produces breeds of puppies and kittens often in substandard conditions. These mills are often unsanitary, are extremely crowded with cages from floor to ceiling, breed multiple dog-breeds and cat breeds, keep breeding the females immediately after each birth, and generally condemn the breeding parents and any unsellable puppies/kittens to an extremely poor quality of life. Many states and provinces have very lax laws when it comes to animal welfare. This allows many puppy millers to operate their businesses until multiple complaints and/or violations are lodged against them.
Compare the above scenario to buying a cat or a dog from a reputable breeder and you’ll quickly see the advantages of not buying a dog, cat, puppy or kitten from a pet store. When you buy your pet from a reputable breeder (and you should still get references from people you trust) you are also buying peace of mind. Reputable breeders know all about (history, breed characteristics, possible genetic problems etc.) the breeds they are raising and normally specialize in only 1 breed. Reputable breeders care about which family ultimately gets their litter members and will regularly refuse to sell to those people they think will not provide an adequate environment for the puppy/kitten. Reputable breeders will allow you to inspect the parents of the litter and will allow you to see where they are being raised. They will often show their breeds at professional shows and both the parents and the litters are often registered with organizations like the CKC or the AKC.
At the end of the day buying a puppy/kitten should not be an impulse buy. It’s important to do the research and find out what is best for your family. Pet stores in general just can’t give you much of the important information you need to make a decision like this. Their job is to sell pets no questions asked. You are better off adopting from a shelter, or a breed specific rescue as they will likely have more information and experience regarding the pet’s behaviour and breed traits than a pet store employee.