“Dogs For Sale?” We Need To Talk

High Angle View Of Puppies In Wooden Box

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So you’ve just typed “dogs for sale” into Google or Craigslist hoping to find a specific breed of dog or a cheap, quick, and easy way to grab a companion without the need for an annoying background check or screening process. We need to talk. I say that because you may not be aware of what happens when you buy a dog for sale. You may not know what kind of business or practices your dollars are going to. While you may end up with a perfect new furry family member, you may not understand that your purchase of a dog for sale might hurt other dogs in the process. Here’s what you need to know.

Buying “Dogs For Sale” From Backyard Breeders

Close-Up Of Puppies In Cardboard Box

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“Backyard breeders” is a term that is used to describe non-professional dog breeders that do not know what they’re doing. Many of them breed their dogs without regard for the safety of their animals or their puppies. Inbreeding is common, so puppies often end up with serious birth defects. The puppies that they can’t sell are often discarded, dumped, or killed. Backyard breeders continue the practice because it is profitable. They can almost always sell a few of the puppies for cash to people who search on Craigslist for cheap dogs, and they are almost always cheaper than professional breeders. People who buy bait dogs for dog fighting rings are always on the look out for these deals, as backyard breeders don’t ask questions.

Of course, maybe the person you’re buying from just didn’t spay their dog, and they had an unexpected pregnancy. If that is the case, there are proper ways to ensure that the puppies go to a good home. Surrendering them to a shelter is the right thing to do instead of profiting off of their mistake. At least the shelter can conduct background checks and screen applicants. Supporting these people does not help them learn from their mistakes, and they have no motivation to prevent unexpected pregnancies in their dog in the future.

If you’re not concerned with the fact that supporting the business of backyard breeders allows them to keep doing harmful things to the dogs in their care, consider that the dog you’re buying may not be what you think you’re getting. You have no guarantee of the dog’s health or breed, if that’s important to you. A puppy may have been separated from the mother too early and missed out on the antibodies provided by their mother’s milk or the socialization skills they develop by being with their litter mates. You are probably getting a dog that hasn’t been vaccinated, spayed, or neutered. All of these medical expenses come out of pocket for you. Usually when you get a dog from the shelter, all of that is included in the adoption fee. Whatever deal you think you’re getting from a backyard breeder, the deal from the shelter is probably better.

Buying “Dogs For Sale” From A Pet Store

Cute girl near to window with her mother looking at puppy for adoption

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It’s hard to resist all the adorable dogs in the window of a pet store. However, once you know where they come from, you may rethink your desire to purchase one. Most pet stores are supplied with dogs that were bred in puppy mills. These puppy mills keep dogs in deplorable conditions without love or proper care and force them to breed and give birth until they are of no use any more. The puppies are sold to pet shops for profit. Next time you see a dog in a pet shop, think of that dog’s parents locked in a cage for life. That is what your purchase will support.

Some pet shops work with local shelters and source their dogs from the population of adoptable dogs. These dogs are given a chance at a good life, and you should consider saving one of these “unwanted” dogs. Always ask your pet store where their dogs are sourced from. Make sure you know what kind of business you’re supporting.

Buying “Dogs For Sale” From A Professional Breeder

Four puppies Siberian Husky. Litter dogs in the hands of the breeder. Little puppies.

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Maybe you want a purebred dog, and you’ll spare no expense. Professional, reputable breeders often care for their dogs and avoid inbreeding to ensure health. They make sure every dog goes to a good home, and they provide any medical care that the dogs need before they go live elsewhere. Breeders often have reviews online, and some even guarantee that you’re getting the dog you want or you can return them and get your money back. They are certainly a step up from backyard breeders and puppy mills. So what’s the problem?

The problem is that there are millions of dogs in shelters that need homes. Every dog bought from a breeder means another dog in a shelter goes without a home. Hundreds of thousands of dogs are euthanized at shelters every year in the United States. Breeders are crowding a market that’s already overcrowded, and dogs suffer because of it.

Maybe you have your heart set on the breed you want and you can’t find that specific type of dog at the shelter. The good news is that there are many non-profit, breed-specific rescue groups all over the country that would be happy to provide you with the dog of your dreams. Try searching for one near you. Instead of typing “dogs for sale” into Google, try typing “Yorkie rescue group” or “German Shepherd rescue group” and see what comes up. Give these groups a call, and they’ll be more than delighted to work with you. Or you can try searching our database of adoptable dogs by typing in the breed you want and find a dog near you that needs a home.

Consider adopting a dog instead of buying a dog for sale. You won’t regret giving a dog a chance at a good life.

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