While there’s no question that we all love our dogs, do you know how to ensure that you’re purchasing your puppy from a legitimate breeder rather than a puppy farm? This National Puppy Day, speak up for those who can’t and spread awareness about puppy farming and how we can prevent it.
What are the warning signs of puppy farming?
There are still too many instances of bad breeders tricking potential puppy owners into believing that they are treating their dogs well and aren’t breaking the law. Make sure you don’t fall into this trap by knowing how to spot the warning signs …
- Poor living conditions – When going to visit the puppies, you’ll be able to tell whether or not they’re being kept in good conditions. They should not be shut away in cages and should have clean food and water and regular access to the outside.
- Not being allowed to see the parents – One of the biggest warning signs to look out for is the breeder not letting you see the puppy’s parents. Seeing puppies alongside their parents can give you an insight into their temperament and how well they interact with other dogs.
- Being told you can take the puppy home before it’s 8 weeks old – Puppies should not leave their mother or the rest of their litter before they are eight weeks old because this is how they learn how to socialise. If a breeder tries to sell you a puppy before they’re eight weeks old, this is a strong sign that they’re not breeding their puppies in the correct way.
- Not providing documentation – If the breeder cannot provide you with any of the puppy’s documents, turn them away immediately because they could have been bred on a puppy farm.
- Not being shown where the puppies are being kept – If the breeder asks to meet you in a neutral location, such as a car park or any public place, this is a big red flag. A breeder should allow you to see the puppy in the environment that it has been living in, and if they don’t, it can only be because they have something to hide.
What to do if you suspect someone of puppy farming
If, when you’re visiting a breeder and their puppies, you spot some of the warning signs, don’t be tempted to buy the puppy in order to save it from a puppy farm. While it may seem like buying the puppy is the right thing to do, this will only result in the breeder bringing up more puppies in the same awful conditions, with the same poor treatment.
Instead of buying the puppy, you should report the breeder to the local authorities, police or the RSPCA and make other people in the area aware of the breeder – the more people that know about them, the less puppies they’ll be able to breed.