If you’re thinking about getting a new dog, you’ve probably heard at least once or twice that you should avoid purchasing dogs raised in puppy mills. But why, exactly, would you want to avoid that?
If the name ‘puppy mill’ doesn’t already send chills down your spine, don’t worry. This article will explain some of the ethical concerns involved in the use of puppy mills so that you can decide for yourself whether or not it’s a good idea to purchase a dog from these mills. (Hint: it’s not.)
What Exactly Are Puppy Mills?
A puppy mill is a commercial dog breeding facility. These facilities are known to produce dogs quickly, often at the expense of the dogs’ living conditions. In other words, the owners of these mills sacrifice the happiness and comfort of their animals in order to turn a larger profit.
In fact, one of the leading definitions of puppy mill, published in Avenson v. Zegart in 1984, classifies puppy mills as “dog breeding operations in which the health of the dogs is disregarded in order to maintain a low overhead and maximize profits.”
Puppy mills generally focus on quantity over quality and don’t discriminate when breeding. Dogs are often kept in close confinement, don’t receive proper socialization, lack the necessary health care to grow up properly, and often struggle with malnutrition.
More Reasons to Avoid Puppy Mills
If reading the description of a puppy mill wasn’t enough to scare you away from them, read on. Here are a few more reasons that you should avoid buying from or supporting puppy mills.
- Dogs from mills are more prone to health problems. Because these dogs aren’t raised properly they are more likely to struggle with serious health problems later in life.
- Behavioral problems. Dogs raised in puppy mills aren’t properly socialized – with humans or other dogs. This can lead to a large number of behavioral problems.
- Pet overpopulation and euthanasia. Some puppy mills simply produce more dogs than the nearby areas need. This can lead to an overpopulation of dogs, some of which must then be medically put down.
- Supporting unethical businesses. There are many dog breeders out there who care for their animals and ensure that they have a happy life. It would seem wiser to contribute your money to these ventures rather than to a puppy mill that doesn’t care for its dogs.
A dog from a puppy mill might be cheaper, but you must remember that someone is still paying the cost for this. In this particular case, it’s the poor dog who pays the extra cost in the form of pain, suffering, and discomfort.
You should avoid getting your dogs at a puppy mill. In most cases, these dogs are raised in unethical conditions that leave them psychologically and physically damaged. On top of this, the money goes to fuel more puppy milling which contributes to more pain and suffering.