Talking about buying a puppy from a pet store, I can only say I wish I knew then what I know now. I have 2 personal experience regarding this topic. And both didn’t end well.
So many years ago, back when I was still in my last year of junior high, internet is not as common as it is now. I remember we even still use dial-up connection in our home. And being a kid, I wasn’t a big fan of news. I didn’t know what a puppy mill is. Never even heard the terms “puppy mill”. All I know, if you want to get a pet, you buy them from a pet store.
But I won’t talk about the relation between a pet shop and a puppy mill. That’s a topic for tomorrow. What I want to share with you today is my personal experience as a customer.
One day, I was at this mall with my boyfriend (well, ex-boyfriend now) and we pass by a pet store. There was this adorable red Chow-Chow puppy, who tilt his head right and left following my movement. Well, I have to admit it was love at the first sight. So I ask the owner for the puppy price. He mention the number and I happen to got that amount of money in my bank account. I ask further, like what kind of food should I gave him and if there are anything else I should know regarding to his daily care (grooming, etc).
The pet store owner said, just feed him rice and boiled chicken liver. Crazy, right? Yea I know. But back then, I didn’t. I thought rice and chicken liver is easy peasy. Maybe, if I come as an adult, he will give me a different answer. Perhaps he’d told me to feed him a proper dog food. But I came in my school uniform, and maybe he knows that a kid my age won’t go for anything complicated. So yea, that day I brought home a Chow-Chow puppy.
I named him Felix, and I did exactly as I told. I feed him rice and boiled chicken liver. He was a very smart and loving dog. For vaccination, usually I brought him to the nearest vet from home and I never saw another Chow-Chow there. So I thought everything was fine with Felix. He never got sick, and he was healthy and always happy.
When Felix was 2 years old, I bought a cream female Chow-Chow puppy and named her Allie. She was this energetic little girl, always running around tirelessly. But everytime I pick her up and carry her like a baby, she was like instantly fall a sleep. Few days after I brought her home, she got sick. I took her to a clinic and there, for the first time I saw another Chow-Chow. He was huge. My Felix was fully grown but only about half his size.
When it was my turn to see the vet, I told the doctor I saw a Chow-Chow outside and ask how come that dog can be so big. She look outside and say, that’s a normal size for a Chow-Chow. When I told her mine are only half that size, she ask what kind of food do I gave him. That’s when I found out, rice and chicken liver are far from enough for a dog to grow to it’s full potential.
Because of the pet store owner’s answer, my Felix grow up to be a dwarfed Chow-Chow.
I should’ve ask around for more information, but back then it doesn’t even cross my mind, because I thought that the pet shop owner knows what they’re doing. But apparently, I was wrong.
And about Allie, after the vet do some checking on her, she drop me the bomb. Allie has a distemper and it seems like the virus was already there since she was still in the pet store. She has to be hospitalized and there are no guarantee that she will make it because she was still very young. The vet said, the only thing I can do is hope for the best and be there with her as long as I can. I did that, but Allie didn’t make it. Her condition keep dropping with each passing day, and in the end she passed away.
I know that not everyone experience the same thing I did, some of you might buy a puppy from a pet store and don’t have any problems at all with your dogs. But apart from puppy mill issue, one thing I’m sure we have in common is that, after you buy your dog from a pet store, not even once they called you to ask how’s the puppy doing. Are they healthy, how do they adapt with their new home, etc. I even doubted the pet store ask for your number.
Things are different if you get your puppy from a reputable breeder or a shelter. Remember on previous topic when I discuss about adopting a puppy from a shelter, I mention that my neighbor told me they recently adopt a Terrier from a shelter. Well, the officer from the shelter actually pay them a visit to check on the dog’s condition and make sure it’s been taken care of decently.
In my case, both of Arthur’s and Jayden’s breeder keep in touch with me intensively for months after I took the boys home. They ask about how are they doing, are they healthy, of if I have any problems with their daily care. And whenever I have a question about anything related to my boys, I was welcomed to contact them anytime.
Can you imagine having this kind of relationship with a pet store owner? Or do you have your own personal experience related to the topic? Please do share.