Puppy farming is bad because it places priority on profit over animal welfare. Animals in puppy farms are treated poorly and often have health and behavioral problems.
If you’re looking to buy a dog, you should understand why puppy farming is bad. Below, learn more about puppy farming practices so you can recognize a puppy from a puppy farm and prevent heartbreak for your family, high veterinary bills, and or even the death of your puppy later on.
Table of Contents
- How are puppies from puppy farms treated?
- What are the living conditions for animals at a puppy farm?
- Why are puppies from puppy farms unhealthy?
- Why don’t puppy farms provide veterinary care?
- Why do farmed puppies have behavioral issues?
- Are puppy farms the same as backyard breeders?
- How do I know if a puppy is from a puppy farm?
- How many puppy farms exist?
- Where can I find a list of puppy farms?
- Are puppy farms illegal?
- Can I report a puppy farm?
How are puppies from puppy farms treated?
Puppies from puppy farms are treated poorly. Profit takes precedence for the puppy farm business over the health and welfare of the animal.
Puppies at puppy farms often suffer from dehydration, malnourishment, overgrown nails, tooth decay, ear infections, eye lesions, and swollen paws.
According to Puppy Mill Rescue Team, a nonprofit that rescues discarded dogs and puppies from puppy mills, puppy farms breed female dogs with few or no breaks between litters. Puppy farmers discard female dogs if they can no longer produce puppies to sell.
What are the living conditions for animals at a puppy farm?
The living conditions for animals at a puppy farm are cramped and chaotic. Animals will spend most of their time in uncomfortable wire cages and are rarely let out to play. Dogs are often left in their own feces and urine, which mats their fur and causes infections.
The environment is rarely temperature-controlled or sheltered from the weather, leaving animals exposed to harsh conditions, including heat, rain, and even snow.
Why are puppies from puppy farms unhealthy?
Puppies from puppy farms are unhealthy because they lack proper oversight and live in unsanitary conditions. Crowded puppy mills create a disease-ridden environment.
Puppy farmers don’t remove sick dogs from their breeding pools. According to the ASPCA, this leads to puppies with congenital and hereditary issues. Often, puppies will not survive long enough to be sold.
Why don’t puppy farms provide veterinary care?
Puppy farms do not provide veterinary care because it is expensive and impacts their bottom line.
The lack of veterinary care means that many dogs from puppy farms won’t be fed a proper diet or receive the necessary vaccinations to prevent them from getting sick.
Why do farmed puppies have behavioral issues?
Taking a puppy away from its mother too early leads to behavior problems and socialization issues later in life. Puppy farmers take puppies from their mothers and littermates at approximately six weeks old, which is too soon. The American Kennel Club states that puppies should stay with their mother and littermates for a minimum of eight to nine weeks.
It is not uncommon for farmed puppies to show signs of fearfulness toward humans and other animals.
Are puppy farms the same as backyard breeders?
Puppy farms and backyard breeders are not the same, though you can draw parallels.
Puppy farms are large-scale commercial dog breeding operations that focus on increasing profit and decreasing overhead costs. Think of them as factories where they produce dogs at large scale, with a focus on maximizing profit.
Backyard breeders operate smaller facilities, often at their own homes, but still emphasize profit over animal welfare. According to Paws.org, they’re usually not knowledgeable about responsible breeding practices, leading to sick dogs with genetic defects.
How do I know if a puppy is from a puppy farm?
To determine whether a puppy is from a puppy farm, look for these warning signs:
- The puppy is for sale from a pet shop, a classified ad, or an online posting
- The seller will not allow you to meet the puppy’s parents
- You are not allowed the see the puppy’s kennel area or home environment
- The seller is offering puppies from more than one litter at a time
- The breed of puppy is considered a “designer dog,” often called a “teacup” or a “mini” version of a traditional dog breed
- The puppy does not have proper vaccinations or vaccination records
- The breeder allows you to buy the puppy without signing a contract
- The puppy is too young
- The puppy appears unhealthy
How many puppy farms exist?
The Humane Society of the United States estimates there are 10,000 puppy mills in the United States alone. Puppy farmers keep more than 500,000 dogs solely for breeding purposes. Consumers purchase more than 2.6 million puppies from puppy farms each year. These estimates are on the low-side of what is likely a much larger number of mills.
Where can I find a list of puppy farms?
There is no official list of puppy farms because many unregulated farms exist. The Humane Society of the United States reports that many puppy farms frequently change their names and locations to avoid detection, so maintaining an updated list would be nearly impossible.
Are puppy farms illegal?
Puppy farms are not illegal in most cases, but regulations vary by state. The Federal Animal Welfare Act requires large-scale breeders that sell to pet stores or people online to hold a license and uphold specific animal welfare standards. The United States Department of Agriculture should enforce these regulations, but many puppy farms know how to use loopholes to get around the rules.
For example, the Animal Welfare Act does not require puppy farmers who sell their animals directly to customers to adhere to the Animal Welfare Act.
Can I report a puppy farm?
Most states have laws that protect animal welfare, including their access to clean food and water, shelter from the elements, and medical treatment for injuries or sickness. If you have evidence that someone is breaking these laws, you can file a report.
While most puppy farms are not illegal, you can still report evidence of puppy neglect, abuse, or cruelty. Start with your local authorities. Gather your evidence, then contact your local humane society, animal control agency, or sheriff’s department to file a report.
You may also file a report with the Humane Society of the United States or the USDA if you know the breeder sells their animals as resale.