You hear more and more about puppy farming in the news these days, but, in our opinion, not nearly enough. Here are some need-to-know facts about puppy farming, and some great first steps for what we can do to help stop it.
1. OK, so what is puppy farming?
Puppy farming is the mass production of puppies for profit. Think of puppy farming as battery farming, like with chickens. There’s no wonder puppy farms are also called puppy mills – it’s an industry.
Image via The Mirror
2. Pups live miserable lives on puppy farms.
Pups are crammed tightly into cages, so you can imagine what hygiene is like. They don’t get the chance to wag their tales or goof off with other pups or hoomans. Even worse, many pups get sick. Really sick. Some pick up incurable diseases and don’t live long once they get to their new home. What makes us barking mad is that pups are also often separated from their mums (no pup should leave their mum before 8 weeks young).
Image via Horse & Country
3. Pet shops are the number one buyers of puppy farm pups.
Look at those puppehs in the window! Big balls of fluff! How can you not melt? But by buying from a pet shop, you’re supporting the puppy farming industry.
Image via Gallery Hip
4. But what about dog breeders?
There are plenty of responsible dog breeders out there who love dogs and want to raise healthy pups. But how do you know who you’re getting your new best friend from? Here are some pointers:
* Dodgy breeders will suggest coming to you or meeting off-site – so you don’t get to see the conditions the pups are kept in
* Bad breeders sell very young pups – don’t be fooled by how adorable they look!
* When you visit a breeder, don’t just play with your pup – check out all the other pups. Are they happy? Healthy? Social?
* Never buy a dog from an ad in the paper or online – good breeders work on word of mouth or with local vets
* Visit the breeder several times to get a sense of the dogs’ health, hygiene and treatment.
* If you feel pressure to buy a dog, this breeder is bad news.
Image via Irish Central
The best way to avoid ALL risk of inadvertently supporting a puppy farm? Rehoming. There are dozens of rehoming centres all over the country where you can find your next big ball of fluffy love. Check out Dogs Trust, an amazing organization with over twenty locations and an online database of pups in need of a home.
Image via Huffington Post
And don’t forget to support Pup Aid, the U.K.’s biggest campaigner against puppy farming. They just delivered 110,000 signatures to No. 10 and had a debate in the House of Commons to end puppy farm cruelty. Hopefully one day puppy farming will go to the dogs…