Have you ever thought about why a puppy or a kitten costs you more when getting from a certain breeder and why less from getting it from another?
For example, if you get a Maine Coon kitten from a reputable cat breeder, it costs you up to $4000 while getting the same breed from a cat mill or a backyard breeder may cost you around $1000. Just in $1000, sounds fishy, right?
Supplies to Prepare before Picking Up a Puppy
- Dog Seat Cover
- Install in seconds
- Simple cleaning
- Non-slip, waterproof
- House or Crate
To confirm this price difference, we asked a Groodle aka Goldendoodle (Golden Retriever + Poodle mix) breeder for his best price and he quoted $3500 while we had already confirmed from a backyard breeder who was willing to give us a Groodle puppy for $1200. So, we interviewed the authentic and well-reputed breeder about these prices and found some shocking and heart-trembling facts.
Let’s find out why does getting a pet from a reputable breeder costs you more and why shouldn’t you get a pet from a Puppy mill or backyard breeder.
What are Puppy Mills, Puppy Factories, & Backyard Breeders?
Puppy mills or puppy factories are highly cruel and inhumane breeding facilities where the dogs are forcefully bred to mass-produce puppies. The same happens with the cats in cat mills. These puppies and kittens are then supplied to pet stores throughout the country or sold out for a minimal price at their premises.
Will you believe that such facilities have hundreds of puppies or kittens kept in cages while hundreds of dogs are also kept as a hostage for non-stop breeding? In 2008, the largest puppy mill in the US in West Virginia was closed down and more than 1000 animals were rescued from this facility.
The same goes with the backyard breeders who have 4-5 female dogs and they breed them throughout the year to produce as many puppies as possible.
Some cruel facts about puppy mills:
- The dogs and puppies are kept in crowded cages, literally dozens of them in a single cage.
- No regular food or water is provided and the puppies suffer from starvation.
- Puppies, kittens, and other newborn animals are taken from their mothers at an early age.
- No health care, no vet visits, and no help for sick or dying animals at these facilities.
- The dogs, cats, or other animals are continuously bred until they are unable to produce and completely destroyed.
Apart from all such cruel acts, if you manage to get an animal (especially a puppy) from such puppy mills, they are more likely to develop genetic disorders and other health-related issues. Along with that, there are chances that such dogs will have behavioral issues in adulthood and they may be aggressive and destructive.
Unfortunately, such dogs end up in shelters because the owners are fed up with the continuous struggle with their dogs. Also, you pay less for a puppy but you pay a lot more for their vet bills and other unwanted expenses on your dog.
Backyard breeders may seem less cruel because they consider their breeding animals a part of the family and most animals such as dogs and cats spend their time indoors with their kids. But these backyard breeders may not be knowledgeable about breeding practices, screening for different genetic defects, and other health-related issues. So, they are also not recommended to get an animal from.
Next time, when you try to get a puppy or a kitten from such facilities for a small price, do think about all the possible cruelty.
Why does a well-reputed breeder charge you more?
Well, many factors go into the price of buying a puppy from a reputable breeder. The most important are:
Price of Dogs:
Usually, the breeding dogs are the expensive ones, imported from the countries of their origin, for example, the Bernese Mountain Dogs belong to Switzerland, and breeders may spend up to $20,000 on importing such dogs with breeding rights.
Veterinary Care Cost:
Believe it or not the breeders spend thousands of dollars each year at the vets because not only for puppies but also the breeding dogs. The dams and sires are checked thoroughly for genetic defects so these defects are not inherited by puppies.
Vet costs include but are not limited to pregnancy x-rays, a high-quality diet during the pregnancy, supplements, emergency vet care, vaccinations, and lots of other things. And when it comes to puppies, different expenses include puppy vaccinations, at least two vet visits (or maybe three visits), bloodwork, a high-quality diet, dental cleanings, and routine health testing.
Breeders Invest Their Time:
According to the breeder we interviewed, he couldn’t leave his puppies and dogs alone for even half an hour because disasters are always a couple of feet away from these creatures if they are not supervised. Taking care of a dog is a 24×7 job and needs complete dedication. From day one the female gets pregnant till the day when the puppies are handed over to their forever families, the breeders are on their toes.
On average, breeders may spend up to 120 hours a month looking after their dogs and puppies while many enthusiast breeders admitted that they spent over 200+ hours caring for their dogs and puppies.
Dogs and puppies are kept in crowded cages for months in puppy mills, unlike the breeders’ premises where every dog and puppy has its separate items such as a crate, food bowl, leash, collar, and many others. Many breeders send out their puppies with a basic puppy package that includes all the necessary items for puppies.
Dog Grooming and Maintenance:
The breeding dogs are regularly groomed, bathed, and taken care of. They are regularly checked by veterinarians to figure out any possible genetic defects and illnesses. Many breeders consider their breeding dogs an integral part of their families- hence they spend most of their time playing with kids and around other members of the breeding facility.
Now you’d have an idea why reputable breeders charge more for puppies. They not only spend thousands of dollars but invest their precious time in producing the healthiest and well-tempered puppies for families. On the other hand, puppy mills countlessly breed their dogs for the sake of countless puppies and money.
So, when next time, you get a puppy, make sure you are getting it from a registered and authentic breeder and not a puppy mill.