10 Ways to Spot a Puppy Mill

Puppy mills are a large problem and contribute large scale problems to many breeds. Mass breeding can cause an entire breed of dog to become unhealthy with genetic diseases and in some cases may eventually cause a breed’s extinction. These are dog breeders who care nothing of a puppy’s health or for the breed, but only of money. There are many signs and red flags that can come up to signal what kind of breeder you are dealing with.

The first sign that things are not on the up and up is if the breeder does not offer a health guarantee. All reputable breeders will offer a health guarantee for your puppy. If the breeder does not do so you may be dealing with a puppy mill.

If the dogs have not had their first shots you may be in trouble. All breeders should give their puppies their first shots before they are even old enough to be sold. If the breeder you are dealing with says nothing of their dogs having their shots then ask.

When at the kennel looking at the dogs be observant. Look for sanitation issues. Puppy mills will often clean the area where the puppies are at but will neglect the other dogs on the property. Look to see if the kennels have been cleaned and what kind of condition they are in. If the puppies are raised around sanitation issues they may already have a weak immune system and possibly be sick already.

If the breeder you are dealing with always has puppies this should be a huge sign that these are not healthy puppies. The general rule in dog breeding is that you give the mother two years in between litters. This allows her to recover fully and be healthy for the next litter. If the mother is weak then the puppies will be also.

See also  Chronic Vomiting in Dogs

If the parent dog is not on site this is a huge red flag. If at a large kennel this can mean she is there but that the breeders do not know which one these puppies came from. This is something that every reputable breeder would know and be quick to show you. Most good breeders show off their dog when you are looking at their puppies.

If the breeder has multiple dog breeds available. Most dog breeders breed only one or two breeds of dog. If the kennel where you found your dog has more than two breeds you are probably dealing with a puppy mill. Puppy mills are all about profit so they breed more than one breed so they can show you another breed if you don’t like the first.

Do the puppies’ kennels have mesh floors? This is common amongst puppy mills because it allows the pets waste to go through the floor and land in a tray. This is something reputable breeders do not do for two reasons. One it makes the dog much harder to house train later and two these mesh floors often injure the dog’s feet.

The mother of the puppies should be at least two years old. Before a dog reaches the age of two it is not psychologically or physically ready to breed. It is true it is capable of breeding at this age but it would be similar to a pregnant teenager if you will. The dog has not fully developed and therefore may whelp unhealthy puppies.

See also  Causes for Seizures in Dogs

A breeder should know their breed standard by heart. Some reputable breeders may be able to recite it to you but all breeders should be able to answer general questions. Ask a question about the breed standard and if an answer is not given you may be dealing with a puppy mill.

A breeder should ask you as many questions about you as you ask about them. Reputable breeders want to know that their puppies are going to good homes. They will often ask you about facilities for the dog as well as your personality.

These are ten warning signs that you are dealing with a puppy mill. If any of these items arise or if more than one of them arises be careful. The puppy you want to buy may not be healthy. Many people may ask why I said nothing of phony registrations or getting an AKC registered dog. The truth is that an AKC registration only means that the both of the dog’s parent were full breeds. An AKC registration does not mean your puppy is in good health nor is a good puppy. As for less reputable registries these are sometimes used by good breeders. So registration does not mean much other than your dog comes with a piece of paper saying it is a full breed.