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10 Signs That a Puppy is from a Puppy Mill

small black and light brown dog laying on a brown blanket

Many times people inadvertently buy puppies from puppy mills. Often times puppies from puppy mills aren't in good health, and they may be poorly socialized. There are several signs that a puppy may be from a puppy mill.

  1. Always Has Puppies For Sale:Puppy mills place all priority on breeding and selling dogs, regardless of their health. So these mills will constantly be trying to sell their puppies.
  2. Flea Markets, Parking Lots, Etc.:Not every dog sold at a flea market or in the parking lot of a store is from a puppy mill, but it should raise your suspicion.
  3. Meeting Places: Puppy mill owners do not want you to see the conditions their dogs live in, so they will have you meet them in a public place instead of the breeding site.
  4. Don't Care About Anything But The Sale:Since puppy mills only concern their self with profits, they don't care who buys their puppies. They won't ask even the most basic questions about the potential buyers ability to care for the puppies. Any reputable breeder will want to make sure their puppies go to a good home, by screening potential buyers.
  5. Meeting The Parents: Reputable breeders will allow and even encourage potential buyers to see the parents of the puppy. This allows you to see the quality of the parents, as well as the health conditions they live in.
  6. Creative Breeding:This on its own doesn't necessarily indicate a puppy mill, but beware of any breeder selling "designer, exotic, or cross-breeds". They may be experimenting with their dogs.
  7. Too Many Breeds:Reputable breeders will have a few breeds at most. If they have many different breeds, it is a puppy mill.
  8. Genetically Unhealthy: Puppy mills aren't concerned about breeding genetically inferior dogs. Many of their puppies have genetic conditions or poor health in general.
  9. Skin Conditions: Many times these dogs are raised in unsanitary conditions. They may have hair loss or a poor coat.
  10. No Veterinary Record:You should be able to contact the breeder's veterinarian. If they won't give you that information, then you should be concerned. You also need the veterinarian records to see what kind of vaccinations the puppy has had.

Meet The Author 

Grant Withers

Canine Specialist & Writer

Grant is an award-winning writer for SitStay with a passion for pets and especially dogs! Grant loves writing about furry little goofballs and aims to educate pet parents about anything and everything regarding their dogs.




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