It has often been said that man's best friend is a dog. However, there are cases where humans are not a dog’s best friend. There is a major problem today with puppy mills. Puppy mills are production facilities that breed puppies simply for the purpose of selling them. Not to be confused with breeders, puppy mills are distinguished as facilities that do not provide adequate facilities for the animals they breed.
The cages the mothers are housed in are in horrible condition. In some cases, the dogs are caged in wire cages and rarely have the chance to leave it for more than a few minutes a week. In the most severe cases, these animals are placed in cages and then stacked on top of the other with very little or no heating or cooling. The animals end up living in cages that are covered in feces and the animals on the bottom of the cage stack are covered in the waste of the animals above them.
Puppy mills have rare, if any, veterinarian care provided for mothers or puppies. This helps keep the costs of running the mill lower. Most facilities know that if they did allow a vet in, the mill could be shut down within hours or days.
These horrible conditions can lead to the animals having severe health and medical conditions. The adult dogs often are bone thin from a lack of food and proper nutrition. Some puppy mills provide food that holds no nutritional value. It is bought in bulk and often comes from the floors of the manufacturing plants.
The water given will become stagnant and can contain many different parasites and bacteria. These conditions often cause animals to develop severe infections and diseases. In some cases, a mother has puppies that are malnourished from the time they are born because she has no nutrition of her own to provide.
Condition of the Puppies
Many puppy mills know a trick about how to get mother dogs to breed faster. It is by taking the puppies away from her as early as four weeks (which is about four to five weeks too soon). This causes the mother's milk to dry up quickly, allowing her to go into heat quicker.
When a mother is bred too often, she produces puppies that are frail and sick from the day of birth. When the puppies are removed from the mother's cage, they are put on solid food. These puppies cannot eat solid food yet because they have no teeth. The puppies who actually survive starvation are often very ill.
Puppies at the Pet Store
What's worse is the process these puppies go through while being transferred to a sales store. They are often shipped in a puppy size travel box along with six to seven other puppies. They cannot move, and some are crushed and dead before they reach the destination. They will travel in these conditions for hours without food or water.
Many of the puppies face unsuitable conditions once they arrive at the pet store. Rather than being nursed back to health, these animals will be fed 1/4 of a cup of food every day rather than the 3/4 of a cup new puppies require. This is enough food to get to looking healthier, but not enough to make them mess in their cages often. Using this process, pet stores can keep from cleaning the cages often.
Some stores will not even allow people to hold certain puppies once they arrive, because they are very sick or they are so thin their bones can be felt. Not all pet stores contribute to the growing problem of puppy mills, so it essential to research pet stores and their standards for purchasing puppies before making a final decision on which puppy to choose.
Purchasing one of these puppies often means paying outrageous vet bills in order to get the puppy back to optimal health. In addition, other animals in a home can contract the illnesses that puppies carry. An otherwise perfectly healthy pet could end up ill or even die. Some of the parasites and illnesses can even be harmful to humans. Be careful when buying a puppy to eliminate this risk.
Buying a puppy should be a joyful and rewarding experience. Puppy mills tend to undermine that joy by delivering puppies that are unhealthy, leaving the owner in a predicament. Lessen the chances of running into this problem by knowing everything possible about the puppy to be purchased before making the sale.