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Where should I get a new pet?

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Getting a new pet is an exciting time for your family. However, getting a pet from a disreputable source can lead to future health and temperament problems, creating a heartbreaking and expensive situation for you and your family. Your purchase could also be funding an inhumane breeding operation.

The CFHS encourages all Canadians who are thinking about adding a pet to their household to ONLY:

paw green ADOPT from reputable shelters, rescue organizations or their satellite adoption centres. (Learn more here.)


paw green Choose a responsible breeder. (Learn how to identify a responsible breeder here.)

What is wrong with buying a new pet from a pet store?

The sale of puppies and kittens in pet stores (other than satellite adoption centres) promotes impulse buying, which can lead to ill-informed and unprepared people buying a pet based on the temptation of the cute kitten or puppy behind the glass. Unfortunately, too few people ask about an animal’s background when purchasing from a pet store. Chances are they would be shocked if they were told.

Pet store puppies and kittens are often highly priced, rarely come with any meaningful health or temperament guarantee and frequently originate from puppy or kitten mills, pet brokers or backyard breeders. Many of the puppies are from mills where animals are kept for mass production to make as much money as quickly as possible. Little to nothing is known about the health and temperament of the animal’s parents, and the puppies rarely get the crucial socialization they need to help them adjust to a new family. For example, they may never have experienced grass, carpet, stairs or even sunlight. Mill animals are usually kept in dark sheds, barns or basements, in small cages with only minimal care. They are kept alive so they can produce litter after litter until they can produce no more. At this point the breeding animals are given away or killed.

Animals from mills rarely, if ever, receive veterinary or basic health care and often suffer from fleas, worms, parasites or respiratory problems. Although the cute puppies may look fine at the pet store, they often develop behavioural and health problems later in life because of the poor treatment they had at the most critical point in their lives. More often than not in the pet store setting, little information is available from the pet store staff about the animal, its genetic history and the facility where it was born and raised.

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