Top seven warning signs a breeder might be a puppy mill

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By: H.R.
Pets Best Insurance Editorial Manager
A Puggle puppy looks sad as it sits in a cage.
Ask any pet enthusiast what they know about puppy mills and they’ll likely detail horrific images of filthy cages stuffed with puppies in poor dog health.

According to Almost Home Rescue website, a puppy mill is “a large-scale breeding operation that produces large numbers of puppies for profit.”

The site also says that most mills are terribly inhumane and treat their dogs horrifically in order to make a dime.

Often times, puppy mills are housed in large warehouses and rampant with disease. Both puppies and older dogs alike are stacked in cages—one on top of another, and dogs are forced to breed prolifically without proper pet health care or medical attention.

According to The Dog Liberator homepage, puppy mills don’t vaccinate their animals, which can pose severe threats to dogs that have been purchased, even unknowingly, from a mill.

The site advises to “never purchase a pup without visiting the premises, [and] meeting the breeders, and their dogs.”

According to websites including the No Puppy Mills, VA site, there are a few ways to detect whether that little ball of fluff you’ve been eyeing is from a puppy mill. If any of these sound familiar, steer clear!

Even “saving” one of these puppies (with good intentions) perpetuates the need for these kinds of dogs and will ultimately help the horrible industry.

1. Multiple kinds of breeds are being bred and sold. The No Puppy Mills, VA site says good breeders will stick to one or two breeds.

2. The puppies are registered with registries you’ve never heard of—or they’re not registered at all.

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3. They breed more than a few litters each year. They breed females during every heat cycle or they start breeding them before they’re old enough (between 18-24 months.)

4. They create rare breeds by mixing dogs and creating odd names like “Dalimer.”

5. They want to meet you somewhere, like in a parking lot, to show you the puppies.

6. They tell you the pup hasn’t had its shots, and seem blasé about dog health in general.

7. They don’t seem too concerned about your background or what you intend to do with the puppy.

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