So you are considering an addition to the family? Congratulations! By consulting a breed club web site you are on your way to making a wise and informed decision that will be beneficial for years to come. Remember, your new companion will be a prominent member of your family for many years and should never be the result of an impulsive decision.
We often walk by pet shops and see all the cute little faces in the windows and just want to take them all home. Have you ever stopped to consider where these puppies have come from and why often there are so many mixed breeds being sold at such high prices? The sad truth is that most often they have been bred in “puppy mills”. These are places that operate for the sole purpose of supplying puppies to the retail market for financial gain. Puppies are mass produced often with several breeds in one location. The parents or “breeding stock” are kept in small cages exclusively for the purpose of breeding and are usually bred way more often than they should be. These dogs never know what it is like to be loved. It is a very sad and lonely existence which no animal should have to be subject to. Puppy mills often sell to large dog broker corporations who sell and distribute to the smaller pet stores. By purchasing a dog in this manner it just encourages the stores to fill their windows with more of them. In April of 2011, the city of Richmond, British Columbia passed legislation banning the sale of dogs in pet stores. The city of Toronto, Ontario followed suit in September 2011.
Health issues are always a major consideration when purchasing a pet as veterinary care can be costly when you are treating major issues. Our pets are integral members of our families. The last thing we want to be facing is having to make a difficult decision regarding the health or life of our pet especially at a young age and for issues that could have been prevented by responsible breeding practices. Although pet stores may offer a health guarantee, most major health issues may not present themselves until long after the guarantee runs out. Veterinarians cannot often tell from a puppy what may evolve as they mature.
Reputable breeders put endless effort and money into health testing. They do not breed dogs with any known health or temperament issues. Testing has come a long way in recent years. With DNA testing breeders can now determine if their dogs carry many genetically predisposed health issues and can eliminate these by not breeding those affected.
Reputable breeders will take time to interview prospective new owners and ensure you are paired with the dog that best suits your family and lifestyle. If you prefer a more mature dog, they may have one available or can recommend another breeder who may have one to place. Like new borns, puppies are a lot of work and may not suit everyone. They require time and training to become well mannered pets. Reputable breeders sell their dogs with “lifetime return contracts” so that if for whatever reason you can no longer care for your dog they will take them back. Their goal is to breed healthy dogs with good temperaments and to preserve the breed for years to come. When purchasing from a breeder be patient. Reputable breeders have limited and selective litters. Puppies are not always readily available but are well worth the wait.
Please do not be impulsive when choosing your next pet. Resist purchasing from pet stores. We must do what we can to put an end to puppy mills and inhumane breeding practices. Take time to do your research, consult breed clubs where you will find contacts for reputable breeders or reputable rescues. Choose the right dog to best suit your lifestyle and be responsible pet owners by by having your pets spayed and neutered. This will be well worth it to you and your companion.