What Are Puppy Mills And Why Are They Bad?

What Are Puppy Mills And Why Are They Bad

Puppy mills instantly hit you with the word mill in it.

Mills are commercial and profit-making enterprises, which is why the name is frowned upon. Especially when the media does not spare anyone from their wrongdoings. Puppy mills horror stories are available in abundance; just ask any fellow lovers of dogs and pets. 

So what are these mills in real life? Why so many bad words about adopting or buying a pet from these establishments?

Stick around if you want to know more.

What are puppy mills and why are they bad?

Puppy mills are illegal establishment with only profits in their mind. They are considered bad because being profit focused adversely affect the welfare of animals. They are nothing but shallow firms of a brazen breeding compound of pets. And as we all know, exploiting animals for selfish motives is derogatory in itself.

Let’s dig deeper to understand the dog things associated with this. 

What is a puppy mill?

Puppy mills are just any large-scale establishment holding a breeding business of pet dogs, often identified by the name puppy mill. The prominent feature is of it being a commercial breeding enterprise for dogs – also go by the name of puppy farms. These puppy farms do not bother much about the health and welfare of the dogs. 

These mill’s organization often keep their animals and puppies in severe uncomfortable conditions so that they can focus on profits more than the animal’s well-being. Puppy mills are majorly looking for business by offering puppies to all prospective buyers. These breeding enterprises will often introduce themselves as kennels or responsible dog breeders instead of puppy mills. 

It might not be looking anything fishy so far while thinking about a dog breeder. However, this is where things are going to get grey. The breeding process is not how it should be happening for proper breeding. The proprietors of the mass-producing puppy mills go overboard by breeding the animals over and over again. The unsanitary situation that they live in is not even the tiny part of the agony these animals go through. 

How do puppy mills compounds look?

What Are Puppy Mills -Puppy Mills Compounds

The puppy mill’s compounds are nothing like they will portray themselves to be. The responsible breeders assure that the animals in their compound have suitable living standards for their optimal habitat. The problem is not just with the space given for the animals to live but the forceful activities. The managers of these establishments are not looking to proffering an apt and hygienic place for breeding.

Breeding the animals repeatedly without tending to their health needs and welfare happens at such breeding compounds. This organization works without covering genetic defects and other health issues. The animals are often put-down after they are no longer fit for breeding. 

Dogs in these mills live in tight spaces, often crammed into unsanitary wire cages that look like small prisons. It allows them not even enough space to move around and breathe with ease. The mill does not give them any chance to play or roam around, do physical exercise and social interaction are far-fetched dreams for the dogs. They are often even not socialized with their fellow canine. 

Living in such terrible conditions, these puppies are sold even before they realize the world around them. The puppies become hot-selling on online markets and pet stores when they reach seven-eight weeks of age. The target market always stays the potential buyers who instantly want to have a puppy in their family. Most of these compound puppies are sold in well-known pet stores and on famous online portals. 

Puppy mills vs. Responsible dog breeders

The business is not wrong, neither the process of breeding and selling them for profit is wrong. However, when buying a pet from the puppy mill, the pet will likely have specific health concerns and behavior issues. These conditions worsen with time, and eventually, the dogs are abandoned or put down for the same reasons. The same situation goes on and on like a vicious circle with the problem at hand.

For buyers and interested dog lovers, it might be impossible to differentiate between the two terms. The minute you dig deeper and learn more about them, you will find a noticeable difference between puppy mills and sensible dog breeders. To put it in bold letters, responsible dog breeders will not put the health and well-being of a pet dog after their profits. 

How responsible dog breeders better?

1. Better care

responsible dog breeders care for dogs

Responsible dog breeders tend to every need of their puppy and dogs to ensure they are fed well and kept well throughout. Working hand in hand with experienced veterinarians and co-workers, their dogs and facility speaks volumes of their concern for them. You can sense their professionalism with the health and well-maintained living standards for dogs. 

Responsible dog breeders make sure to raise their dogs in a safe and homely environment right from when they are born. The caring and healthy atmosphere enhance their socializing with human and other animals. Mostly the responsible dog breeders will care and provide for their breeding dogs as their family’s pets. 

2. Better quality

When the profits take the back seat, the quality of work increases many-fold. The same case is with responsible breeders who keep screening the dogs for any possible health problems. Responsible dog breeders make sure not breeding dogs that have health issues or have any behavior problems. Dogs with behavior issues are neutered and are allowed for adoption in good households.

Responsible dog breeders will make sure not to look for their profit first while dealing with even expensive breeds. They would instead not breed the particular dog again if the problems can become hereditary in the future. Responsible breeders will not leave any stone unturned to ensure they are doing everything right in their capacity. 

3. Recognized work

Most of these breeders affiliate themselves with local and national dog breeding clubs and organizations. So, they will be easily able to give plenty of their work’s references. Basically, they will be on good terms with all of the canine and dog lovers fraternity. They would often keep their dogs in the best of living conditions. The profit is almost negligible for most of these sensible dog breeders. 

The final deal-breaker and maker that distinguish responsible dog breeders from puppy mills is their willingness to take the dog back. The responsible dog breeder will never hesitate to take their dog back. Irrespective of the reason you give them. Many times, dog owners struggle to maintain a suitable lifestyle for their pet dog, or in case of hereditary or health issues, it can become challenging to keep them. 

How puppy mills stay in businesses?

How puppy mills stay in business

So, you understand now that these puppy mills are not very pleasant for dogs and their welfare. But, still, they are found everywhere blooming with more and more litter to offer. It is nothing but the acute case of the supply and demand of pet dogs. There are a constant need and demand for pet dogs, which is why the supply is happening from such puppy mills.

Pet dogs are prevalent in every household as almost all would want to have a canine companion in their life. The never-ending demand is such that there are long waiting lists for specific hybrid and particular dog breeds. Most of the prospective buyers are often lured magnetically by adorable and cute photographs of the dogs. Puppy mills offer their supply of puppies with attractive websites and charming photographs to attract buyers. 

Dog buyers are often reluctant to look deeper into the breeding and compound of the dog breeding and are only concerned about the price they offer the pet dogs on. These puppy mills offer the puppies at a slightly lower price than their quality rivals, so they can lure the buyers into buying from them. However, what buyers do not understand is that if they can find a costly breed at lesser prices, this could be a red flag. 

Discounts and better price tags often work as magnets to lure prospective dog buyers, and they often end up buying from puppy mills unknowingly. Just giving in for the cute pictures and flashy pet sales websites can make anyone believe in the claims made by these puppy mills. Pet stores also endorse the puppies from such puppy mills as they are in the same business and most often will convince the buyers to buy from them.  

How do I usually avoid the puppy mill trap?

Of course, we all want a canine to live and share their life with us as they are undeniably the cutest pet in the whole wide world. But, never readily believe in any advertisement or sale pitch to buy one. Make sure to do thorough research before you decide on a pet dog to bring to your home.

Here are some helpful tips to ensure you do not support the white lies of puppy mills.

  • Never purchase a pet dog from a pet store. Of course, consider buying from an in-store adoption campaign that runs from time to time with legit rescue groups. But, say no to pet store claim to get you a pet in a day or without having to visit the breeding facility. 
  • Adopt a dog from a local shelter for animals or a registered rescue group for dogs to make sure you put your best effort into giving a dog a lovable home. Even if you want to get hold of a specific breed or have a particular image set in your mind, you can find one there. 
  • Whenever opting for a specific breed or a purebred puppy, do plenty of research and find one that suffices your quest well. Try and contact national or local kennel clubs to find out about the breeder. Visit their compound and investigate the facility to find out about the dog breeder and dog breeding quality. Look and know more about the mother dog or both the parents of the puppy. 
  • Make sure to visit the facility irrespective of your breeder’s choice, be it online or offline kennel. Do not opt for such breeders who will have to ship the dog in boxes to get to you.
  • Never ignore if something wrong is happening with the breeding operations. Make sure to report any illegal works or inhumane breeding practices to the authorities as soon as possible. 

Why curb puppy mills?

Many think it is wrong to purchase a cute adorable pet dog from puppy mills—often arguing with logical reasoning to give a loving home to an innocent pet dog bought from the cruel atmosphere of a puppy mill. But is it okay to consider buying from a puppy mill similar to rescuing? No. The firm answer should enable you to understand that purchasing a dog from a puppy mill gives such places the business they need to stay active. 

Make sure you report such fraudulent places to the authorities and reputed kennel groups. Watch out for the red flags and warning signs discussed above. Let the authorities conduct a thorough investigation of such places to ensure such cases of puppy mills do not thrive again.


Make sure to research and look for where your pet dog was born, brought up, and given food. This way, you will be able to understand so much more about your pet dog. Having a pet dog walking side by side with you is undeniably the best feeling in itself where pets are concerned. However, make sure to get your dog the responsible way and without taking any shortcuts. 

Make sure to get hold of reputable and responsible dog breeders who would treat breeding and dogs like any other living being. Also, you can choose to go to a shelter or contact a rescue group to adopt a dog from their center. You can find out many purebred and even specific breeds in rescue groups. Strive to make a difference for dogs’ welfare and not add to the demand for another puppy mill to function under your nose. 

James A.

I am a dog parent who is after researching about and recommending the best dog products to dog lovers like you. My aim is to make taking care of your furry friend a hustle free commitment.

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