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5 Reasons to Avoid Buying a Dog From a Pet Store

Saturday, February 5, 2011

You pass a pet store window, and observe several cute puppies behind the glass. They seem happy, healthy, and friendly. It's tempting to venture inside the store, and inquire how much it will cost to take one home. You would be better served by continuing on your way.

Many people have heard that buying a dog - puppy or adult - from a pet store is a bad idea. Few aspiring owners, however, are familiar with the reasons. In this article, we'll describe a few of them. If you're thinking of taking home a pet store puppy, the following should give you pause.

Pet Store Puppies by jessiesgirl614
1 - A Poor Match For Your Lifestyle
The people who work at pet stores are trained to sell animals to those who want to adopt a pet. While they carry myriad products, the profit margins on animals are higher. Thus, their goal is to "move" the animals. Unfortunately, they often encourage people to adopt canines that are ill-fitted to their lifestyles.

Unlike a professional breeder or reputable shelter, both of which will make sure you know what to expect from the dog you're adopting, the store will simply push the sale. Sadly, many people are burdened with a poor match, which motivates them to abandon their canines.

2 - Puppy Mill Dogs
The puppies that are sold from pet stores often come from puppy mills. These are essentially breeding farms where pups are caged and mistreated. Some of them are malnourished. Others suffer serious health conditions brought about by the squalor in which they are forced to live. Still others suffer from socialization issues that may be challenging - even impossible - to address.

Why do pet stores sell puppies that come from puppy mills? Because the profit margins are high. As long as people continue to buy them, they will carry the inventory.

3 - Health Problems
Related to the previous point, many pet store dogs suffer from an assortment of health issues. Some, like digestive problems, hip dysplasia, and infections, are hidden from view. A casual inspection of the canine will fail to reveal them.

Sometimes, a store will extend a degree of coverage to those who purchase an animal in their care. This coverage is seldom exhaustive, however, and thus may not cover some of the diseases from which dogs can suffer.

4 - Behavioral Problems
Many of the canines at pet stores struggle with behavioral issues. In some cases, these issues are due to treatment they received at the puppy mills from which they arrived. Other times, behavioral problems have resulted from a previous owner's lax approach to training and discipline. As the problem worsened, the owner was finally forced to abandon his or her pet.

These issues are often difficult to address, even by a professional trainer. Over time, persistent separation anxiety, biting, and jumping on people, can strain the relationship between the canine and his owner.

5 - Contributes To The Puppy Mill Industry
One of the best reasons to avoid adopting a pet store dog is because doing so removes financial support from the puppy mill industry. As mentioned earlier, stores will continue to sell these puppies as long as people purchase them. This means new generations of canines will be bred and raised in these facilities. Those that remain unsold - or outlive their usefulness - are often euthanized.

Puppy Mill in Rural US by PETA
An alternative is to adopt a dog from an animal shelter. The employees at these facilities are keenly interested in finding a good match for the animals in their care. They realize that failing to do so leads many owners to abandon or return their pets. For this reason, reputable shelters will make certain the canines are healthy and friendly. When the pets display small behavioral issues, the employees will inform potential owners.

Buying a dog from a pet store can lead to many frustrating and expensive problems. Each of the reasons above pose a compelling argument against doing so.

About the Author: Written by Larry J. Reaves
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