Pet Shops

Almost all puppies in pet shops come from puppy mills and, because there are NO breed standards for dogs bred in puppy mills, there is no guarantee your puppy will mature into what you think he or she is!

Many puppies grow into dogs that have uncharacteristically long or short legs, ears and tails. Some people end up with 20-pound Chihuahuas or 50-pound cocker spaniels; others get Shepherds that are mixed with Malamutes and Huskies; Maltese that look more like Havanese and Shih Tzus mixes, and so on.

Most pet shop employees have limited knowledge about different breeds. They do not properly screen buyers to properly match them with the "best" companion animal. This may result in a puppy that needs lots of exercise but is confined to a crate all day while no one is home or a puppy that is incompatible with children.

These puppies are often the offspring of intensively confined (caged) parents who have little or no socialization, so the chances are great that your puppy will suffer from inherited emotional and behavioral disorders such as nervousness, hyperactivity, fear, and food aggression.

Non-congenital illnesses seen in pet shop puppies are typically kennel cough, pneumonia, coccidia, giardia, parasites, and sarcoptic mange, among others. Serious illnesses include distemper and parvovirus, which can be fatal.

Inherited disorders might not show up for 3 – 9 months. They include demodectic mange, deafness, blindness, hip dysplasia, cherry eye, premature cataracts, glaucoma, epilepsy, retained testicles, spinal arthritis, overbite, underbite and more.

Many brokers or pet shops pay as little as $10.00 for a puppy or as high as $300.00, then turn around and sell the puppy to you for as much as $3,000.00! High price and registration papers do NOT guarantee a quality or healthy puppy.

Remember, pet shops are only interested in making the initial sale – most are not interested in providing follow-up support or additional resources and information to buyers. Paying for veterinary expenses cuts into their profits and many store owners will fight you every step of the way should your new puppy become ill shortly after purchase, even blaming you, the buyer, for your puppy's health problems.