What Is A ‘Puppy Mill’?

puppymillsjpg-3f8fe645d0980a64When you hear the word ‘puppy mill’ what do you picture?  Do you picture a way off acreage with cages and cages of sad, neglected puppies?  Do you picture an old dilapidated farmhouse with a terrible stench and mean people?  The phrase ‘puppy mill’ leaves the impression that it’s some sort of large operation with tons of dogs and puppies.  When in fact, it’s the opposite in many situations.

Definition of a puppy millWhat Is A 'Puppy Mill'?

Her is Webster’s dictionary definition of a puppy mill: ‘a commercial farming operation in which purebred dogs are raised in large numbers’. Webster’s does give the impression it’s a farming industry and something you would not see in the city.  However the new ‘modern online’ dictionary states the definition of a puppy mill: ‘a place where puppies are bred for profit’.  And in today’s society this is a lot more accurate.

MoWhat Is A 'Puppy Mill'?dern day puppy mill

Things in the dog world have changed.  Purebred dogs are not necessarily the popular dogs anymore.  These new crossbreed dogs with mashed names such as ‘doodle’ or ‘pugalier’ are very sought after.  But it doesn’t seem to matter what the breed is.  The entire premise of what exactly a puppy mill is has changed dramatically.  

What has not changed is the standard of care puppy mill puppies must endure.  Basically, a puppy mill is anyone who breeds dogs irresponsibly.  They lack compassion for the breeding parents, forcing them to birth too many litters.What Is A 'Puppy Mill'?  And they sometimes start breeding the females right at their first heat, which is usually around 6 months old.  But their bodies don’t finish growing and developing until they reach about 2 years old.  Any owner who forces their female dog to have puppies before 2 years of age is probably a puppy mill!

And let’s not forget the puppies they birth.  Often kept in an unsafe or unclean environment, they tend to lack the mental stimulation they need.  Their health care is usually obsolete.  The breeding parents themselves may not even be up to a breeding standard health wise or behaviorally.  Basically it’s a business.  The sale of the puppies is simply a transaction.

Misconceptions of a puppy mill

The days of such ‘businesses’ being located on acreages far away from the public eye are long gone.  Most puppy mills are literally right next door to you.  They’re in well-to-do areas and basement suites or garages in your own neighborhood.  What Is A 'Puppy Mill'?So what about that friend or acquaintance you have that breeds dogs?  Do they offer proper veterinary care and breed good tempered dogs?  Did a veterinarian check the dog they want to breed?  Were the breeding parents behavior tested?  How many litters a year are they having?  And what about the puppies?  Are both their mental and physical health needs being met?  Make no mistake, if any of those are a no, they are a puppy mill.  It’s a business, those poor dogs are simply inventory.  There’s no love, no matter what they say.

To love a dog means to respect them as well.   Remember, when a dog is bred too often without proper nutrition or veterinarian care, it’s called a puppy mill!  There’s no respect for puppy mill dogs or puppies.  Please do not support this industry.  It’s a horrible industry and it needs to stop!  And the only way to stop it is to not support it in the first place.  If you want to buy a puppy please buy one from a reputable breeder.  To help find one read this blog post: tips on how to pick a reputable breeder.

Written by Brenda McBurnie, Certified Dog Trainer and Natural Nutrition

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9 Responses to “What Is A ‘Puppy Mill’?”

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  1. Trish says:

    Very informative … changed my perspective. Please keep the articles coming!

  2. Jan Beintema says:

    Love the articles I have read so far. Keep them coming! I share them on Facebook too!


  1. […] My first suggestion when looking for a dog is always rescue’s.  So look up ‘German Shepherd Rescue’, or call your local SPCA, ASPCA, Humane Society or whatever your city or country offers.  If you’re hell-bent on a breeder please do your research and make sure you pick a reputable one.  See my blog post on How To Pick A Reputable Breeder and be sure to avoid puppy mills. […]

  2. […] would EVER sell their puppies to a pet store.  Make no mistake…..pet store puppies are Puppy Mill puppies.  The puppy mill industry is abusive, inhumane and cruel.    The only way to stop it is […]

  3. […] on screening you and matching a puppy to your lifestyle.  Puppies for sale at pet stores are puppy mill puppies.  And furthermore, selling puppies for profit is a horrible industry.  The only way to […]

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