Almost any time of the year is great for bringing home new family members, adopted from shelters or reputable breeders, EXCEPT for this time of year. We say it over and over — no holiday puppies. There are lots of great reasons such as people are too busy to pay attention to new family members, there’s a lot of extra commotion in homes that make it harder for puppies to acclimate to their new surroundings and well, I could go on and on. To read one of the best set of commentaries on the subject, check out Gina Spadafori’s PetConnection Blog: Dogma series!
No Christmas puppies, fight puppy mills edition
A couple years ago I decided to post a reason every day between Thanksgiving and Christmas explaining why getting a puppy is not a good idea. Here’s the series, and it’s still worth reading if you’re buying into the Norman Rockwell Christmas puppy moment without considering the Christmas puppy reality of backyard breeders and puppy mills.
So what’s a puppy mill? I’m been writing about pets for almost 25 years now, and am still surprised to find out there are still people who don’t realize that many if not most pet-store puppies come from large-scale commercial breeders, many of whom keep their animals — “livestock,” to them — in deplorable conditions. The latter are puppy mills, but even the commercial kennels who run “model” operations keep hundreds of dogs in cages, breeding them repeatedly until they’re worn out and giving them only the minimum of attention necessary to clean cages and fill bowls.
We’ve known for years that puppies who don’t come such places are not properly socialized for life as family pets, and many also are destined to have health problems, because screening the parents for genetic illnesses cuts into the profit margin and so is not commonly done.