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D2004-46

Dear Daisy Dog

I have heard it’s not smart to buy a puppy from a puppy mill. What is a puppy mill?

Daisy Responds

While there is no official definition, most puppy mills share certain characteristics.

Most are large commercial operations that breed many varieties of dogs and sell them to consumers directly or through pet stores.

Most puppy mills prioritize profits over producing dogs whose health and temperaments are sound throughout their lives.

Puppy mill breeders seldom research the health and temperament of the ancestors of the dogs they breed, and they don’t follow the puppies after they’re sold. So they have no way of knowing whether their breeding dogs are passing inherited diseases to the puppies.

In contrast, reputable breeders can pursue these investigations because they focus on improving the quality of only one or two breeds.

Puppy mills don’t routinely test breeding dogs and their relatives for inherited diseases.

Conversely, reputable breeders frequently provide reports from Canine Eye Registration Foundation, PennHip and other specialist organizations that affirm both parents are free of specific hereditary diseases.

Many puppy mill dogs are confined to small cages and denied human and canine companionship.

Contrast this to reputable breeders who spend weeks socializing puppies, and you can see why you’ve been advised not to buy from a puppy mill.

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