Charlotte Peltz Living with Your Dog "Pet Store Pups" brought to you by Joy Beckner Artist/ Bronze Sculptor

Living with Your Dog

Pet Store Pups

by Charlotte Peltz

It happens over and over and over again. Caring, loving people see pups in pet stores and decide to buy one for various reasons. Those reasons include "rescuing" the pup, impulse buying, "the right time" for a pup in their lives, etc. Others not so caring also buy such pups often with the plan to breed them to recover their money and they are often definitely encouraged and told how much money they can earn by "producing" pups.

PRODUCING PUPS? Are we talking about some commodity that one gets by making a template and pumping out copies? Well, sad to say, those who buy pups for this purpose don't really care about the pups and wanna know something? Pet store pup retailers don't care either!

With this formula in mind, the breeder of pups who find themselves in pet stores don't care or the pups wouldn't be there! Does that sound harsh? Well, let's think about it. People who care about the pups they breed always, ALWAYS! ask lots of questions of prospective buyers to determine if said buyer would give their pup a good home. Questions include: Did you ever own this breed before? If so, what happened to your last dog? (Should you reply that your dog was hit by a car, you are not a good prospect for a pup!) Do you understand the breed's health issues? Coat care problems? Socialization needs? Do you plan to take this pup to a puppy socialization course? If not, why not? You are given the breeder's name, phone number, statistics on the pup, such as date of birth, vaccination record, when it was weaned, how many in the litter (VERY IMPORTANT INFO!), a sample food supply so the pup doesn't suffer food change diarrhea, crate training suggestions, a chance to meet the bitch and maybe even the sire and much, much more.

When is the last time you ever saw that offered with a pet store pup? To buy a pet store pup all you need is money! Pup's future is not an important issue.

Yes! There certainly are pups bought from the worst possible conditions as well as pups rescued from a life on the street that become the dog of all dogs, wonderful pets, super stars with the smarts of Einstein. And then there are all the others, those with serious health issues including crippling inherited diseases (canine hip dysplasia comes to mind immediately but it is not alone.) or temperament issues like the darling bit of fluff I saw today that is a serious risk should it end up in a home with children. If it were a huge breed of dog anyone in its path would be at risk as it matures!

Surely this pup could be "managed" for the rest of its life but is that a reasonable request to make of the innocent buyer? Must they forever sequester the pup-soon-to-be-dog from interaction with visitors for fear of a "snap?" Please understand that "snap" is what little dogs do, but big dogs bite! The result may well be the same depending on if the recipient is two years of age or a whopping 200-pound male human. It is a sad thing to see a child's face torn by a dog that "snapped."

Caring, loving people seeking a canine companion in their lives deserve proper help in achieving that goal. Pups and dogs available for adoption and purchase ALSO deserve that same attention.

Please rescue a dog. Seek a responsible breeder. Avoid buying any pets, whatever they may be, from pet stores. Having said that, should you succumb to impulse buying please, at the very least, ask to have the pet examined by the vet of your choice (this is correct procedure even when buying from a reputable breeder!) and, obviously, if a vet is selling pets, do go to a vet who does not ever sell pets, no matter what!!!! Ask for at least two days trial time and, if conditions do not suit you, that you may return the animal for a complete refund. No trading issues -- a refund. If you do not get that agreement, RUN and do not look back. Sad for the animal left there? You bet. But, should you buy it you encourage more breeding of more creatures facing the same very questionable future.

Am I being harsh? Absolutely. But it comes from so many sad experiences that I dare not tally them.

"One can measure the size and moral progress of a nation to how she treats her animals." Mahatma Gandhi.

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