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Buyer Beware:The Horrors of Puppy Farming

Tuesday, September 02, 2014

It’s an exciting time when buying a new pet - deciding on a name, which breed to get, googling hundreds of cute pictures and adverts- it’s easy to get carried away! However, how can you be sure your new family member has had the best start in life?

Research suggests that as many as one in three pet owners may have unknowingly bought from a puppy farm (Kennel Club, August 2013). ‘Puppy farmers’ mass produce dogs with no regard to their health or well-being and are often kept in cruel and unsanitary conditions. These pets frequently end up with multiple health problems such as behaviour issues, hereditary diseases and poor immune systems; not to mention costly vet bills due to the inability to get insurance cover! 

Spot the signs:
1. Make sure you see where the puppy was born and raised. 
2. Don’t let your new pet be “delivered” or meet the breeder in a neutral place.
3. Where’s mum? Is the mother there and do they interact normally?
4. If buying a pedigree breed, ensure the breeder has provided the correct health tests.
5. If you visit a suspected puppy farm, do not buy in order to ‘rescue’ it. You’re just making room for another and filling the breeder’s pockets.

They may seem obvious, but these are breeding basics that are often overlooked in all the excitement!

Last week, the Kennel Club hosted the national campaign “Puppy Awareness Week (PAW)”. This coincided with the House of Commons debate on dog breeding and puppy farming, which will hopefully help to raise awareness of this awful issue. However, don’t forget that it’s not just dogs that suffer from “farming”; they also exist for kittens, rabbits and other popular pet animals! 

 
If you’re considering buying a new pet and would like some advice, pop in to your local surgery to have a chat with a member of the team or call our nurse advice line on 01275 832410. Please remember that a pet is for life; make sure it’s given the best chance possible.


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