11 Signs Your Buying From a Puppy Farm: How to Spot Them

If you’re considering buying a new puppy, you want to make sure you’re doing it right. You want to ensure that you’re buying from a reputable source and that the puppy you’re getting is healthy and happy. Unfortunately, there are many puppy farms and mills out there that are only interested in making a profit, and they don’t care about the welfare of the animals they’re selling.

To help you make an informed decision, we’ve put together a list of 11 signs that you may be buying from a puppy farm. These signs include things like the seller not wanting you to visit their premises, the puppies not having proper paperwork, and the seller not being able to provide you with information about the puppy’s parents. By recognizing these red flags, you can avoid buying from a puppy mill and ensure that you’re getting a happy and healthy puppy.

Key Takeaways

  • Recognize the red flags when buying a puppy to avoid buying from a puppy farm.
  • Understand the tactics used by puppy mill sellers to deceive buyers.
  • Ensure that you’re buying from a reputable source that cares about animal welfare.

11 Signs Your Buying from A Puppy Farm

When looking to buy a puppy, it’s essential to know the signs of a puppy farm. Here are 11 signs that you might be buying from a puppy farm:

  1. The seller offers multiple breeds of puppies.
  2. The seller has several litters of puppies available at the same time.
  3. The seller isn’t interested in knowing your living situation or lifestyle.
  4. The seller doesn’t provide any information about the puppy’s parents.
  5. The seller doesn’t allow you to see the puppy’s living conditions.
  6. The puppy is younger than eight weeks old.
  7. The seller doesn’t have any veterinary records for the puppy.
  8. The seller offers to meet you in a public place to deliver the puppy.
  9. The seller doesn’t ask you any questions about your experience with dogs.
  10. The seller doesn’t provide any health guarantees for the puppy.
  11. The seller offers to ship the puppy to you without meeting you in person.

If you notice any of these signs, it’s best to walk away and find a reputable breeder. Puppy mills are known for their inhumane treatment of animals, and buying from them only supports their cruel practices. Remember to always do your research and ask questions before buying a puppy.


Recognizing Red Flags

Multiple Litters

If the breeder has multiple litters available at the same time, it could be a sign of a puppy farm. Responsible breeders usually have only one or two litters at a time.

Young Puppies

If the puppies are too young to be adopted (less than eight weeks old), it could be a sign of a puppy farm. Puppies need to stay with their mothers and littermates until they are at least eight weeks old.

Odd Behaviour

If the puppies show signs of stress or behavioral problems, it could be a sign of a puppy farm. Puppies from puppy farms are often kept in poor conditions, which can lead to health and behavioral problems.

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Health Conditions

If the puppies have health problems such as discharge or odor, it could be a sign of a puppy farm. Puppy farms often don’t provide adequate healthcare for their animals.

Poor Environment

If the breeder’s environment is dirty, overcrowded, or lacking in basic amenities, it could be a sign of a puppy farm. Responsible breeders keep their animals in clean, comfortable environments.

Puppy farms, also known as backyard breeders, are notorious for producing puppies in poor conditions. If you’re buying a puppy, it’s important to recognize the red flags and avoid supporting these operations. Look for responsible breeders who prioritize the health and wellbeing of their animals. 1


  1. Humane Society

Understanding the Seller’s Tactics

Online Ads

When searching for a new puppy, be wary of online ads. Puppy mills often use online ads to sell their puppies, and they can be difficult to distinguish from legitimate breeders. Look for red flags like low prices, multiple breeds available, and no health guarantees.

Telephone Communication

Puppy mills may use a disposable telephone number to avoid detection. Be cautious of sellers who refuse to give out their phone number or who only communicate through email or text message. Legitimate breeders will be happy to speak with you over the phone and answer any questions you may have.

Cash Transactions

Puppy mills often prefer cash transactions to avoid leaving a paper trail. Be wary of sellers who insist on cash payments or who offer a discount for cash. Legitimate breeders will accept other forms of payment, such as credit cards or checks.

It’s important to understand the tactics used by puppy mill sellers to avoid being scammed. By being vigilant and doing your research, you can ensure that you are buying a puppy from a reputable breeder.

Identifying Puppy Mill Signs

When looking to purchase a new puppy, it’s important to be able to identify the signs of a puppy mill. Puppy mills are commercial breeding facilities that prioritize profit over the welfare of the animals. Here are a few signs to look out for:

Multiple Breeds

Puppy mills often breed multiple breeds of dogs in order to maximize profits. This can lead to poor breeding practices and unhealthy puppies. Be wary of breeders who have a large number of different breeds available.

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Inadequate Veterinary Care

Puppy mills often don’t provide adequate veterinary care for their animals. This can lead to a host of health problems for the puppies. Be sure to ask about the breeder’s veterinary care practices and ask to see records of vaccinations and other treatments.

Poor Living Conditions

Puppy mills often keep their animals in poor living conditions, such as outbuildings, sheds, or cramped cages or crates. Be sure to ask to see where the puppies are kept and ensure that they have access to clean water, food, and proper bedding.

By being aware of these signs, you can help to ensure that you’re not supporting a puppy mill and that you’re getting a healthy, happy puppy.

The Importance of Paperwork

When buying a puppy, it’s crucial to obtain and review the necessary paperwork to ensure that you are not supporting puppy farms. Proper documentation is an essential aspect of responsible pet ownership. It provides you with written confirmation of the puppy’s health, breed, and vaccination records.

Health Certificates

Health certificates are an essential part of preventive healthcare for your puppy. They provide written confirmation that a licensed veterinarian has examined your puppy and found it to be free of any contagious diseases. Health certificates also ensure that your puppy is healthy enough to travel.

Breed Documentation

Breed documentation is essential to ensure that you are getting the breed you want and not a mixed breed or a puppy from a puppy mill. It also provides you with information about the breed’s temperament, size, and any potential health issues.

Vaccination Records

Vaccination records are crucial to ensure that your puppy is up-to-date with its vaccinations. Vaccinations protect your puppy from various diseases and illnesses, and it’s important to ensure that your puppy has received all the necessary vaccinations.

Proper documentation is a crucial aspect of responsible pet ownership. It ensures that you are not supporting puppy farms and that your puppy is healthy and up-to-date with its vaccinations. Make sure to review all the necessary paperwork, including health certificates, breed documentation, and vaccination records, before buying a puppy.


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  • The Importance of Paperwork When Buying a Puppy
  • Why You Need to Insist on Proper Documentation When Buying a Puppy

Understanding the Role of Legislation

Lucy’s Law

Lucy’s Law is a piece of legislation that aims to prevent the sale of puppies and kittens from third-party sellers. It requires all breeders to be registered and licensed, making it easier to trace the origin of pets. This law helps to prevent the cruel practices of puppy farms and illegal breeders.

Animal Welfare Laws

Animal welfare laws are in place to protect animals from harm and cruelty. These laws set standards for the care and treatment of animals, including those in breeding facilities. Breeders must meet these standards to ensure the welfare of their animals. The authorities can take legal action against breeders who do not comply with these laws.

In conclusion, understanding the role of legislation is essential when buying a pet. Lucy’s Law and animal welfare laws are crucial in preventing the sale of puppies from puppy farms and ensuring the welfare of animals. Always make sure that the breeder is registered and licensed, and comply with animal welfare laws.